The University of North Texas Health Science Center established the Texas Center for Health Disparities to conduct education, research and outreach activities to eliminate health disparities. As part of its education and outreach activitis, the Center has been has organized very successful annual health disparity conferences for the past seven years supported and funded in part by the National Institutes for Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) focusing on different areas of health disparities. The Eighth Annual Conference on Health Disparities will be held May 30-31, 2013 at the University of North Texas Health Science Center. The overall theme for the conference is "Disparities related to Smoking, HIV/AIDS and Cancer". Tobacco smoking, HIV/AIDS and cancer are all known to disproportionally affect various under- represented minority populations. While these three disparities have been the topic of research and conferences, the interplay among all these three health disparity issues has not been a focus of any previous conference. We chose the theme based on input and feedback from our Community Advisory Board in order to meet the needs of our community. Of specific focus will be Prevention Strategies in Medicine and Community with emphasis on Community Based solutions. Educational and interactive presentations, panel discussions and questions/ answer sessions will identify the challenges and bring conference attendees closer to developing a prospectus for the future.
The Specific Aims of this application are: 1) Enhance health disparity knowledge of the health care practitioners and policy makers, and 2) Serve as a resource for the minority communities to disseminate health information, promote community participation in health education and research, and to implement disease prevention activities. The expected outcome will be increased participation of health care practitioners in minority communities and awareness of policy makers in the existing health disparities.
Health disparities are a significant challenge to the health and wellbeing of Americans. Elimination of health disparities necessitates a full understanding of the existence of health disparities as well as best practices and novel solutions to the problem. The annual Texas Conference on Health Disparities addresses these goals.