State of Black Health Conference Atlanta, Georgia September 10 – 12, 2018
Healthcare and the Black community feature disparities, inequalities, and limited access to care. Personally, I determined that this was a critical socio-economic problem from my time and research for my MBA program within the Healthcare Management concentration. My capstone project for my MBA discussed how approximately 46 million at that point of time were uninsured and how lack of access and utilization of appropriate resources would continue to contribute to economic wealth disparities and how many of the uninsured were Black. Despite my capstone project in 2006, there has not been significant change from over a decade ago.
The disturbing trends that still affect the Black community today requires a call for action. Although I am not in the clinical aspect of the healthcare profession, I felt that I could contribute in a variety of ways to effect social change for those within the African-American community. I know that it hits home, because as a Black male regardless of my upbringing, I have seen first hand how poor health outcomes tear at the fabric of a family dynamic when you see your loved ones or familiar with others who suffer from chronic ailments. These chronic ailments are often left unchecked which results in losing a loved one.
A colleague forwarded the State of Black Health Conference Call for Abstracts. As part of my Mahogany Legacy Project, a key area of progressive growth and proposed holistic change is to focus on healthcare. As such, I felt that this conference was the appropriate setting to officially roll out the Mahogany Legacy Project. For my presentation, I discussed the need for the project to create a doctrine of socio-economic change focusing on Five Points of Progressive Change: Healthcare, Education, Financial Independence, Entrepreneurship/Job Creation. The concept was well-received, and I continued to receive compliments and strong feedback about my presentation. More details to follow on this project in a separate blog!
I have attended many conferences, but I feel that this was the most fulfilling and impressive conference I attended. It was an honor to be around others from across the country and predominately the Southeast Region discussing the challenges of the Black community. What was also unique was the disparity issues ranged based on region. For example, in the Southeast region tobacco use is a critical issue because the major tobacco companies were located there and the predatory marketing towards Blacks created large disparities of tobacco-related deaths. I had the pleasure to meet many non-profit agencies, Department of Health officials, and had the honor to hear from the Surgeon General of the United States, as well as the renowned Dr. David Satcher, who was not only a former Surgeon General, but is also well-decorated for his achievements in Public Health, particularly in the Black community.
The conference itself provided a unique experience where I had the opportunity to network and spend countless hours, even until the late-night hours about the future direction of Black health and how we can improve these outcomes. I look forward to not only continuing to grow these relationships, but I also look forward to future conferences, collaborations, and additional opportunities to provide my recommendations and academic insights to such a vital socio-economic problem.
Please take the time to view Dr. Satcher’s Health Leadership Institute and review some of the more powerful tweets and images from the conference on #SBH2018. Also, please continue to follow my personal page, www.drtduncan.com for additional updates, blogs, commentary and project development.
Satcher Health Leadership Institute – www.satcherinstitute.org
State of Black Health Conference – www.stateofblackhealth.com