Month: January 2020

Dr. Laurencin Meets with the Congressional Black Caucus to Discuss the Future of the National Roundtable

Dr. Cato Laurencin and Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett


Dr. Laurencin recently met with the Congressional Black Caucus to discuss the National Roundtable on Black Men and Black Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine. The Roundtable focuses on the barriers and opportunities encountered by Black men and Black women as they navigate the pathways from K-12 and postsecondary education to careers in science, engineering, and medicine. Roundtable goals are to:

  • Compile and discuss quantitative and qualitative data relevant to the representation and experiences of Black men and Black women in science, engineering, and medicine;
  • Convene a broad array of stakeholders representing higher education, industry, health care, government, private foundations, and professional societies;
  • Highlight promising practices for increasing the representation, retention, and inclusiveness of Black men and Black women in science, engineering, and medicine;
  • Advance discussions that can lead to increasing systemic change.

Pictured in the above photo is Congresswoman Stacey E. Plaskett, who represents the United States Virgin Islands’ at-large Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives. Stacey currently serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the House Committee on Agriculture. She is also a member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, where she serves as Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on the Interior, Energy, and Environment.

Dr. Ruano Presents at the CT Forum on DNA Testing and Genomic Medicine

Dr. Gualberto Ruano, Assistant Director of Special Projects at The Connecticut Convergence Institute, was recently invited to present at the CT Legislative Forum on DNA Testing and Genomic Medicine. The forum took place at the CT Legislature on January 23rd. Amongst various leading names in medicine, Dr. Ruano represented UConn Health and discussed precision pain management with genetic clinical decision support.

During this forum, the topics of interest were:

  • How are genetic tests, genomic medicine and precision medicine changing the landscape of healthcare?
  • How can healthcare professionals ensure equal access, treatment, privacy and safety for patients’ health and health data using genomic and precision medicine?
  • What are best practices, if any?
  • What role does the state have in the ethical, legal, and social implications of testing and genomic and precision medicine?


  • Researchers from Yale, UConn, The Jackson Laboratory
  • Clinicians from UConn/UCH, Hartford Healthcare and others
  • Patients and Consumers
  • Representatives of genetic testing companies including 23andMe and SEMA4
  • Genetic Counselors from My Gene Counsel and others
  • Payor organizations including Anthem, CIGNA and DSS
  • Health Data Managers from Office of Health Strategy, YNHH and UCONN Health
  • Experts on the bioethics of testing

The CT Convergence Institute Hosts a Successful Health Café on Mental Health Services for the Latinx Community

Health Cafe 1.16.20 Latino Mental Health


On Thursday, January 16th The Connecticut Convergence Institute hosted a Health Café on Cultural Psychiatry and Mental Health Services for the Latinx Community in conjunction with the UConn Latino Medical Student Association. The event attracted over 40 attendees and unlike our traditional Health Café format, this event was interactive, allowing participants the opportunity to break off into small groups to gain a more collaborative approach and strike up a conversation. Dr. Esperanza Diaz, Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine provided the keynote speech and inspired this new configuration.

All Health Café attendees were provided a free dinner and giveaways. We would like to thank the Aetna Foundation for making this event possible.