Pharmacists take Lead in Addressing the Improvement of Health Outcomes though Interprofessional CollaborationsSunday, June 23rd, 2013
Health disparities are well documented as significant concern that represents the disproportionate burden of chronic illness and access to quality health care of an increasingly diverse population. Dr Johnnie Early, Dean School of Pharmacy here at the University of Toledo was among national key opinion leaders who participated in the Sixth Health Disparities Conference sponsored by the College of Pharmacy at Xavier University of Louisiana. Other key opinion leaders participating in the conference included keynote presentations by Dr John Ruffin, Director, NIH-National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities, and Dr J Nadine Gracia, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Health US Department of Health and Human Services.
The Sixth Health Disparities Conference attracted a national audience to share strategies on achieving health equity including eliminating health disparities, as well as improving health services and population health education. The conference highlighted the growing pool of evidence-based practices, attitudes and practical strategies that facilitate the ongoing interprofessional, organizational, and cultural competences and health literacy issues including understanding the root causes of health disparities and identifying where those causes exist in our various communities.
Dr Kathleen Kennedy, Program Chair and Dean of the Xavier University of Louisiana College of Pharmacy stated “Reducing the differences in health where affected by race, ethnicity, or economics can be achieved with increased public awareness and an understanding of which groups are most vulnerable. “ Dr Kennedy continued by saying “the problems must be addressed with interventional strategies that include patient and provider programs related to both health and social programs, and more broadly, access to economic, educational, employment, and housing opportunities in order to achieve equity.”
One of the plenary sessions titled “The Importance of Evidence-Based Practice and Research: Achieving Equity and Improving Outcomes” discussed strategies where evidence-based practices and research could be utilized to achieve improved health outcomes across the healthcare disciplines. The session fleshed out the strategies which involved evidence-based clinical care and its relationship to interprofessional research. The moderator for this session, Dr. Johnnie Early and the panelists provided an interactive and informative forum from the pharmacist, nursing and physician provider perspectives to address the value of interprofessional responsibilities and how they strategically improve health outcomes.
The conference attracted more than 300 attendees and nearly 200 scientific, policy and population science presentations from across the country, including the US territories of Puerto Rico and United States Virgin Islands. Dr. Early has served on the planning committee, abstract committee and as moderator for a number of the conferences sponsored by Xavier. More information about the conference is available at http://xula.the1joshugroup.com