As court challenges continue against the historic health care reform law, the issue of wellness in the Black community does not subside. No matter the outcome of the legal challenges to the health law signed by President Obama last year, what remains true is that Blacks are disproportionately impacted by chronic illnesses and continue to have a shorter life expectancy than whites. These issues will be on the table during an upcoming conference in New Orleans that will focus on health care disparities.
The Xavier University of Louisiana’s College of Pharmacy will host the fourth annual health care disparities conference, titled “Utilizing Interdisciplinary Strategies to Advance from Disparity to Reform,” at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel from March 27 to March 29. The event is sponsored by the Center for Minority Health Disparities Research and Education. The Center’s mission is to conduct research and provide clinical experiential training and community outreach aimed at eliminating health disparities.
One area that will be examined at the conference is the role of mid-level health care providers, non-physicians, such as pharmacists and nurses in helping eliminate disparities. These providers are playing a greater role in the delivery of primary-care, the point of first contact, between the patient and the health care system. The landmark health care reform centered on increasing the quality of primary care to reduce overall health care costs by encouraging preventive measures and reducing unnecessary and costly medical procedures.
Dr. Leonard Jack, a faculty member of the Xavier College of Pharmacy and program chair, said, “Low income, racial and ethnic, rural and migrant communities are particularly affected by health disparities, and sources indicate that utilizing mid-level providers in a trans-disciplinary environment can provide lower costs, improve quality care and access to care in many environments.”
The conference will demonstrate models of successful implementation of projects using multidisciplinary healthcare teams to address disparities in chronic disease; examine the impact of a culturally and linguistically competent healthcare workforce in the delivery services; and discuss policy changes related to healthcare reimbursement at local and regional levels.
Funding for the conference was made possible in part by a grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Early registration for the conference ends on March 14. To obtain further information on the Xavier University Fourth Annual Health Care Disparities Conference visit: http://xula.the1joshuagroup.com/.