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UMSL Conference Explores Health Disparities, Offers Free Health Screenings
Fifth Annual African-American Nursing History Conference celebrates a milestone year, examines unique contributions made by nurses, and offers the community free mammograms and additional screenings
As a way to enhance the focus of health disparities in the community, the Conference site will offer free mammograms available by appointment and additional free health screenings on a walk-in basis. Health screenings include: weight, blood pressure, HIV/AIDS, glucose, kidney, cholesterol, prostate, and EKG. No registration or fee is required to receive a screening. To schedule a mammogram, call (314) 251-6500.
The conference is targeted for the community, especially nurses and other professionals in the health care field who are interested in the unique contributions that African-American nurses have made and continue to make in addressing health care disparities, health equity and health promotion through organizational community involvement. Future nurses as well as high school students are also encouraged to attend.
Attendees will explore projects and plans of action to improve health and eliminate health disparities, explore strategies on how to improve lines of communication for the community, and strengthen the cultural competence of health providers.
This year’s conference celebrates the first four conferences and features speakers from each past event. The first conference was in 2008, marking the 20th anniversary of National Black Nurses Day and was titled “A Celebration of African-American Nursing History.” The following year’s conference focused on “Health Disparities Within a Historical Context,” recognizing local and national contributions made by African-American nurses. In 2010, the annual conference’s theme was “Unlocking the Past, Securing the Future,” and last year’s conference continued to focus on disease disparities with a “Mind Your Health” theme.
“African-American nurses have made unique contributions to the nursing profession by bringing attention to health disparities such as gaps in the quality of health and health care across racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups,” says Vanessa Loyd, PhD(c), RN, director of Continuing Education and assistant professor with the College of Nursing at UMSL. “Minorities have higher incidences of chronic diseases, higher mortality and poorer health outcomes.”
Among the disease-specific examples of racial and ethnic disparities in the United States, the cancer incidence rate in African-Americans is 10% higher than that of Caucasians. In addition, adult African-Americans and Latinos have approximately twice the risk as Caucasians of developing diabetes. Minorities also have higher rates of cardiovascular disease, HIV/AIDS and infant mortality.
“Participation in the annual African-American Nursing History Conference continues to grow,” says Loyd. “We anticipated 300 nurses when we first offered this conference, now we are anticipating up to 700 nurses, prospective nurses and other health care professionals to attend the 2012 conference.”
Attendees are part of the UMSL academic community at large; the UMSL College of Nursing faculty, students and staff; the various community partners in the metropolitan area; the St. Louis African-American nursing community; and students from St. Louis high schools.
Interested attendees must register for the conference. The registration fee is $50*, which includes a continental breakfast and lunch. The registration deadline is February 10, 2012. To register or for more information visit the Conference website or call (314) 516-5994.
*Please note that participants do not need to register and pay a fee to take part in the free health screenings. The fee is only for access to the Conference speakers and events.
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About UMSL CE:
The UMSL Division of Continuing Education provides programs that fulfill degree completion, professional development and personal enrichment goals for the lifelong learner. For more information, please visit http://umslce.org.