Health Equity Conference Addresses Community Collaborations
Minority Health & Health Disparities annual conference focuses on bridging health equity across communities
 
Baltimore, MD (December 7, 2017) – The 14th Annual Maryland Health Equity Conference, which focuses on needed coordination, collaboration, and available opportunities to address population health and health disparities in Maryland, was held today in Baltimore. Each year, this statewide conference brings together representatives from health departments, state and local government, Minority Outreach and Technical Assistance grantees, health service and clinical providers, and others  to collaborate on ways to advance health equity for all Marylanders.
 
“This year’s conference highlights population health strategies, as well as approaches to addressing health disparities in Maryland communities, which will ultimately close health care gaps for all Marylanders,” said Department of Health Secretary Dennis R Schrader. “The Department’s recent launch of a $7.2 million initiative to reduce lead poisoning and improve asthma is an important example of collaboration and coordination among state agencies to ensure better health outcomes.”
 
The Healthy Homes for Health Kids program, an initiative of the Departments of Health, in conjunction with the Maryland Department of the Environment and the Department of Housing and Community Development, expands lead identification and abatement programs throughout the state.
 
The conference is sponsored by the Department of Health’s Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities and co-sponsored by the Behavioral Health Administration’s Office of Workforce Development and Training and the University of Maryland’s School of Public Health, Maryland Center for Health Equity. This year’s theme is “Bridging Health Equity Across Communities: Coordination, Collaboration, & Opportunities in Maryland.”
 
Speakers and panelists included Secretary Schrader; Minority Health and Health Disparities Acting Director Stephanie Slowly; state Senator Shirley Nathan-Pulliam; and Dr. Stephen Thomas, director of the Maryland Center for Health Equity in the University of Maryland’s School of Public Health.
 
“As a healthcare professional and state Senator, I have experienced, first hand, how important it is for communities to address health disparities here in Maryland.” said Senator Shirley Nathan-Pulliam. “The strategies and programs discussed at the conference highlight a number of opportunities for organizations to work together to address the social determinants of health and achieve health equity for all Marylanders through collaboration, coordination, and integration.”                                        

E. Albert Reece, Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Maryland and John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor, and Dean of the School of Medicine, is the 2017 recipient of the annual Shirley Nathan-Pulliam Health Equity Award, and delivered the keynote address.
 
Conference presentations focused on Maryland’s Primary Care Program, public health implementation strategies for improving population health, Maryland’s Two-Generation Approach, collaborative opioid overdose prevention efforts, National Minority Health Month 2017 community conversation insights, and workforce development of community health workers.
 
For more information on the department’s Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities, please visit https://health.maryland.gov/mhhd/