Virtual conference

Organizers will address racial inequalities in health care at a virtual conference this weekend

A free event this weekend aims to provide information on health equity and issue a call to action to end racial disparities in health care.

The African American and Latin American Health Coalitions, along with Common Ground Health, host the annual Speak Life! Health Equity Conference Saturday. The University of Rochester Medical Center is sponsoring the conference.

Common Ground Chief Medical Officer Dr Linda Clark says they want to “ensure the community has access to the information they need about health and health disparities, and think about actions to correct the disparities that we see”.

The theme for this year’s conference is “Revive”. Clark said it was about achieving a sense of energy and renewal for the community and addressing health disparities.

“We want to not just survive, but thrive,” Clark said. “Our ‘Revive’ theme really brings that together, along with a spiritual component.”

The conference will feature keynote speaker Harriet Washington, historian, ethicist and author of “medical apartheid: The dark history of medical experimentation on black Americans from colonial times to the present day.

Washington will speak about historical and current mistrust of the health care system when it comes to racial disparities. She will also address mental health issues and gun violence.

This is the first health equity conference since Common Ground published the Color of Health Report in the summer of 2021. The report provides a detailed look at the systemic racism entrenched in the region and the long- and short-term outcomes of these disparities.

“The Color of Health, although it’s about African Americans, our Latino Health Coalition has been at the forefront in supporting the report’s findings and sharing information,” Clark said.

She added that a report on Latino health is expected to be released this summer.

The free virtual conference takes place from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday.

To register, click here.