Catalysts for Change

Catalysts for Change – The Equity Equation

Sunday, November 11
1-3PM CT
McCormick Place
Convention Center, Main Event 1

We are experiencing an historic time in our country with five African Americans at the helm of leading health organizations. Catalysts for Change — the Equity Equation panel will feature these leaders who will share their perspectives to overcome disparity gaps that prevent millions of Americans from living longer, healthier lives. The panel will discuss breaking down barriers to inspire early career investigators. This global forum will be facilitated by award-winning journalist, Tamron Hall, to elevate the conversation and encourage the broader science community to be catalysts for change.

The problem:

  • Only 20% of a person’s health outcomes are dictated by clinical medical care – another 80% is dictated by social and economic factors and physical environment.
  • From an international perspective, specifically in low- and middle-income countries, health status and quality of care revolves heavily around wealth, urban vs. rural residence, gender and education. Also, some areas have greater cultural gender disparities, which can result in lower quality care for women. Educating and supporting girls to become health professionals could change the outlook of care for women in these areas.
  • College students from under-represented groups (Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans) do not graduate from college with science degrees at the same rate as students who are a majority in society. Once under-represented students do earn their undergraduate degree and enter graduate school or medical school, their likelihood of completion gets considerably better. Still, because they start from behind the eight ball, these individuals remain under-represented in medicine and science. We know that physicians from under-represented groups are more likely to work in underserved communities, and that those under-served patients report improved satisfaction with their care when seeing an under-represented physician. Also, physicians and scientists who are from under-represented groups facilitate research in the area of health disparities. Thus both clinical care and research into health disparities is enhanced with a larger percentage of physicians and scientists who are from racially and ethnically diverse groups.

Tamron Hall, Award-winning journalist

Tamron Hall has been the host of “Deadline: Crime with Tamron Hall” on Investigation Discovery since September 2013. The series, now in its fifth season, takes an in-depth look at crimes that shocked the nation. She also brought her signature reporting style to the “Guns On Campus: Tamron Hall Investigates” special that explored the importance of securing one’s personal safety on public property. In a powerful interview, Tamron brought together two survivors to lay out both sides’ positions behind this controversial debate among college campuses.

View Tamron Hall’s Full Bio


photo of Dr. Ivor Benjamin

Ivor J. Benjamin, M.D., FAHA,
President, American Heart Association

Ivor Benjamin, M.D., FAHA is 2018-19 president of the American Heart Association. He is director of the Cardiovascular Center at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Benjamin is chairperson of the association’s Research Committee and a member of its Board of Directors, Corporate Operations Coordinating Committee, Executive Committee, International Committee and Science & Advisory Coordinating Committee. He is also a longtime member of the association’s Council on Basic Cardiovascular Sciences and Council on Clinical Cardiology.

View Dr. Benjamin’s Full Bio


photo of Dr. John Fontaine

John M. Fontaine, MD, MBA, FACC, FHRS,
President, Association of Black Cardiologists

Dr. John Fontaine is Professor of Medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine and Director of Arrhythmia Services. He recently attained an M.B.A. in Healthcare Management. He served on the Clinical Trials Review Committee and the Electrical Signaling and Ion transport and Arrhythmia study section at the NIH; and also holds ad hoc positions on editorial board of several journals and is a manuscript reviewer for several peer-review journals.

View Dr. Fontaine’s Full Bio


photo of Dr. Gary Gibbons

Dr. Gary H. Gibbons,
Director, NHLBI

Gary H. Gibbons, M.D., is Director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where he oversees the third largest institute at the NIH, with an annual budget of approximately $3 billion and a staff of nearly 2,100 federal employees, contractors, and volunteers. NHLBI provides global leadership for research, training, and education programs to promote the prevention and treatment of heart, lung, and blood diseases and enhance the health of all individuals so that they can live longer and more fulfilling lives.

View Dr. Gibbons’s Full Bio


photo of Dr. Patrice Harris

Patrice A. Harris, MD, MA,
President-elect, American Medical Association

Dr. Patrice Harris, a psychiatrist from Atlanta, is president-elect of the American Medical Association (AMA). Active in organized medicine her entire career, Dr. Harris has held many leadership positions at both the national and state level. She has served on the AMA’s Board of Trustees since 2011, including a term as chair from 2016 – 2017. She previously served as chair of the AMA’s Council on Legislation, and on the boards of the American Psychiatric Association and the Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association.

View Dr. Harris’s Full Bio


photo of Dr. Niva Lubin-Johnson

Niva Lubin-Johnson, M.D., FACP,
President, National Medical Association

A dedicated physician, Dr. Niva Lubin-Johnson, has been an advocate of quality health care for all, especially the underserved and underrepresented. She was voted President-Elect of the National Medical Association (NMA) on August 2, 2017 and has been an active member of the NMA for over thirty (30) years.

View Dr. Lubin-Johnson’s Full Bio


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