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Minority health equity to get CHEER conference support

The Consortium for Health Education, Economic Empowerment and Research (CHEER) will host a three-day regional conference to promote health equity among minority communities beginning June 20. The Consortium for Health Education, Economic Empowerment and Research (CHEER) will host a three-day regional conference to promote health equity among minority communities beginning June 20.

The conference will be held at the Cook Convention Center. CHEER, an initiative aimed at health equity research and housed at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), is a partnership of seven organizations working to develop, share and put to use research that impacts minority health and reduces health inequities.  

The consortium also includes The LeMoyne-Owen College, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, the Memphis and Shelby County Health Department, Memphis Housing Authority, First Baptist Church Lauderdale, and Mustard Seed, Inc.  Organizations co-sponsoring this year’s CHEER conference include the Healthy Memphis Common Table, the Assisi Foundation and Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.  

Empowering Communities to Create a Healthy Village is the theme. It celebrates CHEER’s mission to build community collaborations that promote healthy lifestyles and economic efficacy for disadvantaged persons in urban, suburban or rural areas. The conference is designed for local, state, regional and national health practitioners and officials, members of community-based and faith-based organizations, academic experts at colleges and universities, and community residents.  

Speakers wil include: Brian Smedley, PhD, vice president and director of the Health Policy Institute, a division of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington, D.C.; Alvin Poussaint, MD, psychiatrist, media consultant, author, and co-author with Bill Cosby of “Come On People: On the Path from Victims to Victors,” and Bishop William Young, pastor of The Healing Center in Memphis and founder of the annual Suicide and the Black Church Conference.  

Panelists include experts from academic institutions such as Meharry Medical College, Johns Hopkins University and UTHSC.

 
 Dr. Leon Caldwell

The goals of the conference are to examine the overall health and well-being of minority communities; address economic empowerment as a vehicle for creating healthier citizens; ignite new partnerships focused on health in the Delta region; showcase successful community intervention efforts that have improved minority health, and provide attendees with tools for community-based participatory research.  

During an award ceremony, CHEER will recognize researcher Leon Caldwell, PhD, for his progress in community-based participatory research in Memphis and other cities in our nation.  Dr. Caldwell, who is transitioning to a role as a senior research associate for the Annie E. Casey Foundation in Baltimore, founded several national and local initiatives aimed at community building and addressing the needs of vulnerable populations.  

Among his contributions in Memphis, Caldwell facilitated the Think Tank for African-American Progress, founded the Center for the Advancement of Youth Development (www.advancingyouth.org) housed at Rhodes College, and served as lead evaluator of the Just Care Family Network, a counseling system for youth with emotional or behavioral challenges.

For more details and registration information, contact the CHEER project manager, Brandi Franklin, PhD, MBA, at 901-448-1982 or visit: http://www.uthsc.edu/ CHEER/healthy_village_2011/.

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