Missed the conference this year? Not to worry, we sat down with Marcos Pesquera, Executive Director of the Center on Health Disparities, to catch you up on the day’s events and share what some of the DC region’s most influential leaders in health care had to say about eliminating health disparities.

What was the focus of this year’s Health Disparities Conference?

Our goal for this year’s conference, “Starting at the Top: Achieving Health Equity Through Executive Leadership,” was to increase executive leadership support for health equity strategies. The discussions aimed to motivate senior leaders and illuminate the importance of shaping strategic goals around improving patient outcomes and breaking down barriers to care.

Who were the featured speakers?

We were honored to bring together such accomplished health care leaders from across Maryland, D.C. and Virginia, who were able to share with us their journey in placing health equity at the center of their mission. Our speakers were chosen for their passion, unique perspectives and their successful approaches in identifying and eliminating health disparities in their communities.

We asked our CEO roundtable panelists why it’s important to make addressing health disparities a top priority. See what they had to say by visiting Facebook.com/HealthDisparities.

Neurosurgeon, Dr. Ben Carson, also attended as the keynote speaker, delivering a stirring speech about health care disparities and his ideas for health care reform.

What insights were shared on how to go about eliminating health disparities in one’s community?

It starts with identifying the root causes of inequality among different populations by collecting, monitoring and analyzing population data. Community outreach and services should meet the needs of the populations identified through data collection to improve health, social conditions and socioeconomic outcomes for community residents, particularly minority and low-income groups. Additionally, community leaders and stakeholders should ensure cross-cultural awareness and communication skills among providers of care and services, so that residents receive care that is sensitive to their values and beliefs.

Check out the Center on Health Disparities’ 2012 Health Equity Report for our latest research findings.


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