By Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D.
On October 29, the Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (CICATS) at UConn, in partnership with the Connecticut Legislative Black and Puerto Rican Caucus and the W. Montague Cobb/NMA Health Institute, hosted the second National Health Disparities Elimination Summit here at UConn Health. The summit’s theme was “Living in America Today,” and its goal was bringing stakeholders together to provide important information and resources to eliminate health disparities.
This year’s summit took a holistic approach and focused on how different environments are creating or exacerbating health disparities. Discussions surrounded physical environments such as the Flint, MI water crisis; health care environment and the role of diversity in improving outcomes; and social environment including societal structural issues such as gun violence. Where people live matters! Health care providers, politicians, community leaders and individuals can all positively impact their environments, resulting in improved health outcomes in their communities.
The hours of planning and execution invested in this event were recognized by all the attendees, and I was told by several people how impressed they were by this year’s summit. I want to thank everyone for the work and the commitment to excellence.