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Health Education and Healthcare Disparities Symposium, Oct. 19

Healthcare disparities

Health Education and Healthcare Disparities: A Critical Look at an Interdisciplinary Approach to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Tuesday, October 19, 1 pm
MART Auditorium (East Campus) 

That healthcare practice, health outcomes and health research disparities adversely affect underrepresented groups (including but not limited to, race/ethnicity, physical ability, LGBTQIA+, age, geographic location, etc.) has been well researched and established. Eliminating disparities in healthcare and health outcomes requires an understanding of the determinants of disease, causes of health disparities, and effective interventions for prevention and treatment.

In order to achieve these goals, it is imperative that stakeholders and thought leaders work collectively to achieve equitable healthcare and optimal health outcomes for underrepresented populations, as well as preeminent education and research opportunities for students. To that end, and in celebration of the inauguration of President Maurie McInnis, this mini-symposium — presented as an interdisciplinary and collaborative effort from several schools within the Health Sciences Center — will discuss the panel’s efforts to reduce such disparities.

Erasing Health Inequalities
Jennie Williams, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Family, Population and Preventive Medicine

Jennie Williams
Jennie Williams

Dr. Williams’ research focus is cancer chemoprevention/chemotherapy. She investigates the chemopreventive/therapeutic properties of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NO-NSAIDs) and formulated derivatives as well as novel natural agents against cancer ignition and progression. Concurrently, she addresses the underlying genetic/regulatory causes associated with cancer racial disparity — a major health concern in this nation. As such, Dr. Williams’ group assesses social influences, the dysregulation of gene expression, and aberrant DNA methylation as factors influencing racial health disparity in incidence and mortality rates of cancers. The overall actionable goals of these positions are to enhance diversity through active recruitment and retention, generation of diversity awareness in research, and improvement of culture competency in the workforce. Dr. Williams also serves as assistant dean for student diversity at the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University and associate director for diversity, equity and inclusion for the SBU Cancer Center.

Racial and Social Determinates of Health
Hector E. Alcalá, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor, Department of Family, Population and Preventive Medicine, Program in Public Health

Hector Alcalá
Hector Alcalá

Dr. Alcalá studies the impact of early life adversity on health. In particular, he examines how adversity impacts cancer risk and known correlates of cancer like smoking, cancer screening and use of other preventive health services. Dr. Alcalá’s research also focuses on health disparities, with a strong focus on racial and ethnic disparities. This work explores differences between broad racial categories, examines how policies have impacted these disparities, and examines the heterogeneity that exists within racial and ethnic groups. In this research, he has investigated a variety of outcomes including access and utilization of healthcare, arrests, tobacco use and dietary behaviors. 

Creating Inclusive and Equitable Learning Spaces
Lisa Johnson, MS, RT, RRT-NPS, Chair, Department of Respiratory Care;
Program Director, Respiratory Care and Polysomnographic Specialty Option Programs; Clinical Associate Professor

Lisa Johnson
Lisa Johnson

Lisa Johnson is a clinical associate professor, chair of the Respiratory Care Department, and program director of the Respiratory Care Program in the School of Health Technology and Management at Stony Brook University. She received a Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy from Quinnipiac University and received an Advanced Graduate Certificate in Community Health and a Master’s of Science in Health Care, Policy and Management from Stony Brook University. Her responsibilities include teaching, advisement of students, faculty mentor and serving on committees in the School of Health Technology and Management and campus-wide. Ms. Johnson’s passion for teaching and inspiring others about the respiratory care profession has led to professional service not only within Stony Brook University but also in various communities on Long Island and abroad.

Promoting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Stony Brook Medicine
Adam Gonzalez, PhD, Founding Director, Mind-Body Clinical Research Center; Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry

Adam Gonzalez
Adam Gonzalez

Adam Gonzalez is a licensed clinical psychologist and founding director of the Mind-Body Clinical Research Center. He is an expert in cognitive behavioral treatment for mood and anxiety disorders, dialectical behavior therapy, relaxation/mindfulness-based treatments and behavioral medicine. His program of research focuses on understanding the interplay of cognitive, emotional and behavioral health factors that may affect physical and mental health, as well as disease management among chronically ill populations. In addition to his responsibilities with the Mind-Body Clinical Research Center, Dr. Gonzalez is also co-director of the Stony Brook University Consortium Pre- and Post-Doctoral Training programs in clinical psychology and co-director of the Center for Disaster Health, Trauma & Resilience. 

Visit the Inauguration website for more information and events.

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