'Racism: Let the Cure Begin' Town Hall Meeting on Dec. 1

Nov. 19, 2015

'Racism: Let the Cure Begin' Town Hall Meeting on Dec. 1 - Multicultural Health Foundation

SAN DIEGO, Nov. 19, 2015 -- In our data-driven culture, the numbers reveal a harsh reality: People of color, particularly African Americans and Native Americans, get sicker and die earlier than whites, while Hispanics have poorer access to health care and higher rates of obesity and diabetes.  What role does racism have in these healthcare disparities?  As the country again wrestles with racism, it’s imperative that that conversation include health care, which touches everyone from before birth to the last moments of life.

The Multicultural Health Foundation is presenting a town hall meeting, “Racism: Let the Cure Begin,” on Dec. 1, 6 to 9 p.m. at the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation. The goal of this unprecedented gathering is to have an informed, candid conversation about the role racism plays in health disparities, which have held steady for generations despite advances in medicine.

A baby born in Southeastern San Diego, for example, has a life expectancy of 77 years while one born a few miles away in La Jolla can expect to live to 85. And the death rate for heart disease is 70 per cent higher in National City compared to the county overall.

The foundation has assembled a respected panel of speakers, including Dr. Camara Phyllis Jones, president of the American Public Health Association, considered the nation’s leading voice on the effects of racism and health. Her work “Levels of Racism: A Theoretic Framework and a Gardener’s Tale” combines her research findings and storytelling skills to illuminate the difficult subject.

The other panelists will be Dr. Anthony  B. Iton,  Senior Vice President of Healthy Communities, The California Endowment; Wm. Jahmal Miller, Deputy Director, Office of Health Equity, California Department of Public Health; Gregory  E. Knoll, Executive Director, The Legal Aid Society of San Diego; Dr. Rodney G. Hood, President, Multicultural Health Foundation;  Rev. Gerald Brown, Executive Director, United African American Ministerial Action Council; Elizabeth Bustos, Director of Civic Engagement, Be There San Diego; and Naeemah A. Munir, MD Candidate, UC San Diego.

The Foundation, through its Health Equity Think Tank (HEATT), sees this conversation and others to follow as part of a process that will contribute to the elimination of health disparities, integral to its mission. Working with its partners, this process includes conducting research and advocating for policies that lead to health equity for ethnic and racial minorities.

The town hall meeting is 6 to 9 p.m., at the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation, 404 Euclid Ave., San Diego 92114.  Admission is free but space is limited and registration is encouraged through this link.

 The foundation’s partners for this event are Be There San Diego, an initiative to eliminate heart attacks and strokes in San Diego; the National Medical Association; The W. Montague Cobb/NMA Health Institute; United African American Ministerial Action Council; Pastors on Point San Diego; the Southeastern San Diego Community Advisory Committee and the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation.

Multicultural Health Foundation

The non-profit organization champions health equity in low-income communities in the San Diego region.  Its flagship program, the Patient Health Improvement Initiative, helps chronically ill, indigent patients advance from medical crisis to stability. Through its Health Equity Action Think Tank (HEATT), the foundation is working to conduct research and to advocate for policies to eliminate disparities.

Be There San Diego

Be There San Diego is a coalition of patients, communities, healthcare systems and others working together to prevent heart attacks and strokes in the county. One of its programs is the Southeastern San Diego Cardiac Disparities project, which works with faith-based organizations to raise awareness of the risk factors of cardiovascular disease and promotes community-based strategies to prevent it.

National Medical Association 

The National Medical Association is the largest and oldest organization representing African American physicians and their patients in the country. The association, which has 50,000 physician members, is committed to improving the quality of health among minorities and disadvantaged people through community education, advocacy and research, among other initiatives.

W. Montague Cobb/NMA Health Institute

The National Medical Association established the W. Montague Cobb Institute to develop, evaluate, and implement strategies to promote wellness and eliminate health disparities and racism in medicine. The institute conducts data-driven research and makes policy recommendations.  It‘s the preeminent repository of information about the health of African Americans.

United African American Ministerial Action Council         

The United African American Ministerial Action Council helps build the capacity of the clergy in San Diego County to tackle social and economic issues confronting their communities.  The clergy work toward creating institutional change that leads to the empowerment of low-income residents and good health while assisting them to develop effective leadership.

Pastors on Point San Diego

The organization serves as a critical voice for churches across the region.  Its mission is to strengthen all communities by maximizing the resources of faith-based and partner organizations.  The organization builds the capacity of these organizations, develops educational and economic development programs, promotes health education and advocates on issues of importance to its members.

Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation

The Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation works with community members to revitalize Southeastern San Diego’s Diamond Neighborhoods. Over the past two decades, the center has evolved from a traditional grant maker to one focused on developing the community into a vibrant and economically sustainable destination.

Southeastern San Diego Community Action Committee (CAC)

The Community Action Committee works to achieve the highest level of health and wellness for all Southeastern San Diego residents with special attention focused on those who have experienced socioeconomic disadvantage and historical injustice.  The Committee’s priority is the elimination of racial and ethnic health disparities.



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