By: Jen Blackstock
A group of congressional leaders is convening in Philadelphia from November 10 to November 13 to discuss an issue becoming more and more prevalent in the political and medical communities: access to healthcare services. This is an important topic in today’s economic environment and one that has come to the attention of more people since the passage of the Affordable Care Act earlier this year.
At the Fourth Annual National Conference on Health Disparities, discussions will center on how to bridge the disparities that exist in access to healthcare and exact a toll on quality of life as well as on economic resources. The conference will focus on the question, “How then, do we as a nation address these health disparities and build viable, healthy communities?”
The goal? To answer questions about non-medical determinants of health, including education levels, health literacy, poverty, public safety, community design, environmental quality, and personal, government, and corporate responsibility. The conference will focus on discussing solutions, reviewing programs that work, and recommending policies to address their concerns.
According to the Affordable Care Act website, not all Americans have equal access to healthcare-or similar health care outcomes. Low-income Americans, ethnic minorities, and other underserved populations often have higher rates of disease, fewer treatment options, and reduced access to care. They are also less likely to have health insurance than the population as a whole. The new law will bring down healthcare costs, invest in prevention and wellness, and give individuals and families more control over their own care. But the law will not take care of all of the problems, so conferences like this bring together leaders in the community to discuss how to handle these disparities on a local as well as national basis.
The conference includes many well known speakers, such as Dr. Thurman Evans, CEO of Whole Life Associates, and Dr. Howard Koh, Assistant Secretary for Health, Department of Health and Human Services First Lady Michelle Obama has been invited to speak as well. Several panels discussions will be held, with topics including Cutting Edge Translational Research with Proven Applications in Reducing Health Disparities; Prevention and Personal Responsibility as Primary Factors in Reducing Health Disparities and Sustaining Healthy Communities; Successful Community-Based Programs for Strengthening and Sustaining Healthy Communities, and A Roundtable Discussion with Congressional Leaders on Health Care Reform. In all, eight panel discussions will be held with some of the top political, corporate and educational leaders weighing in.
The Fourth Annual Conference on Health Disparities will be held at the Marriot Hotel at 1201 Market Street in Philadelphia. Tickets to attend at $450 and can be purchased online or by mail. For more information or questions, call the Conference toll-free Help Desk at (888) 573-8028.