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2012 Conference on Health: Health Policy and Health Inequities Program
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2011 Highlights

2012 NABJ Media Institute on Health: Health Policy and Health Inequities
March 29-31, 2012
Barbara Jordan Conference Center
The Kaiser Family Foundation
Washington, D.C.

Join us for the fourth annual Media Institute on Health: Health Policy and Health Inequities. There has never been a more compelling time to cover the health landscape. Whether you are a dedicated health beat reporter or health issues arise in your coverage of business, economics, housing, education or politics, exposure to these hot topics will help you build stronger stories.

Each session is designed to not only unveil data and information, but will help journalists build their contacts with powerhouse experts for future reporting. In addition, our Saturday journalists’ roundtable sessions are dedicated to helping attendees digest what they have learned, formulate story ideas and discuss innovative ways to present the information to viewers, readers and listeners.

2012 Schedule

THURSDAY, March 29

8:30 a.m.

Continental Breakfast

Opening Remarks

9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

Deciphering the Numbers

Covering health, health policy and health inequities involve data and statistics that often stand alone without easily understandable context. Experts will show ways to use numbers and other information when writing about and explaining key issues in health policy as well as offer tips on following the numbers to get to the heart of the health disparities story.

Presenter: Jennifer Kates
Vice President and Director of Global Health and HIV Policy
Kaiser Family Foundation 

10:30 a.m. – Noon

Diabetes in the Black Community: Working together for better health
Powered by Lilly

Diabetes is one of the most prevalent chronic illnesses that disproportionately affects people of color. This panel will address the latest health innovations to reduce the diabetes disparity for people of African descent and explore best practice programs that are being implemented to fill the gaps.

Moderator: Tyeese Gaines, M.D.
Health Editor News 


David M. Kendall, M.D.
Distinguished Medical Fellow, Lilly Diabetes, Eli Lilly and Company; Former Chief Scientific and Medical Officer of the American Diabetes Association

Janice Harris, RN, BSN, CDE
Program Director
Howard University Hospital Diabetes Treatment Center

Hal Smith, Ed.D. Vice President
Education and Youth Development
National Urban League

LaShawn Worsley McIver, M.D.
Policy Director
American Diabetes Association

Cedric Bright, M.D.
Assistant Dean of Special Programs and Admissions in the Department of Medical Education
UNC at Chapel Hill School of Medicine

12:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.      (LUNCH)

The Affordable Care Act: What’s new?

Two years ago at our NABJ Media Institute on Health, the country was on the verge of passing the historic and controversial Affordable Care Act. Policymakers, pundits, patients and presidential candidates are still debating its future. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in late March about the law designed to overhaul health care in America. How are states preparing for universal health care? What’s new with the groundbreaking legislation during this election year?

Moderator: Andrea King Collier
Black Woman’s Guide to Black Men’s Health 


Brian Smedley, Ph.D.
Vice President and Director
Health Policy Institute
Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

Anton J. Gunn, M.S.W.
Regional Director (Region IV Office, Southeast)
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Dave Chandra
Senior Policy Analyst
Health Policy Department
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Keysha Brooks-Coley
Associate Director of Federal Relations
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network

1:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. 

40 Years Later: Reflections on the Tuskegee Syphilis Study

It’s been four decades since the end of the infamous "Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male.” In one of the sorriest chapters in U.S. health history, poor black men in the rural South unknowingly lived with a curable infection – some for decades – in the name of research. The study lasted 40 years and 40 more years have passed since the unethical research was ended. Ironically, the study was so well managed, it became a teaching tool and helped change research practices for human experimentation. Still, Tuskegee also led to a cultural wariness about medical research. This panel explores how researchers are increasing black participation in clinical trials that could lead to more therapies tailored to African Americans and better results from what’s available in pharmacies.

Moderator: Cindy George
NABJ Parliamentarian & Conference Chair
Health Reporter
Houston Chronicle 


Alondra Nelson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology
Institute for Research on Women and Gender
Columbia Univeristy

Bill Jenkins, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Disease Transmission Specialist
Former Supervisory Epidemiologist at the CDC’s
National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention

Joyce E. Balls-Berry, Ph.D., M.P.E.
Psychiatric Epidemiologist
Director, Office for Community Engaged Research
Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minn.)

Lovell Jones, Ph.D.
Center for Health Equity & Evaluation Research
University of Houston/University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center 

3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Back to Black: Focusing on the U.S. HIV Epidemic at AIDS 2012

Attention to the HIV/AIDS epidemic began 30 years ago with an unknown illness in the white gay community and quickly bounced to the African continent. The return of the International AIDS Conference to U.S. soil after 20 years, hosted in the nation’s capital, offers a new opportunity to focus on the African American epidemic at its epicenter – Washington, D.C. The global stage will also give voice to the HIV surge in other U.S. populations: Black women, residents of the South, adolescents and older adults. This panel will teach participants to look beyond Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data to produce nuanced, balanced and engaging content across multiple platforms.

Moderator: Corey Dade
NABJ Region II Director
National Correspondent, NPR


Phill Wilson
Founder and Executive Director
Black AIDS Institute

Christopher Barnhill
Schools Engagement Manager
Metro TeenAIDS (Washington, D.C.)

Stacey E. Little, Ph.D, M.P.H.
Deputy Director
Center on AIDS & Community Health (Washington, D.C.)
Donald Alcendor, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Center for AIDS Health Disparities Research
Meharry Medical College

Risha Irvin, M.D., M.P.H.
Senior Advisor on HIV Policy & Media Programs
Kaiser Family Foundation

5:30 p.m.
Location: The Kaiser Family Foundation

FRIDAY, March 30

8:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast

8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

State of Black Women’s Health

Living up to images of strong black women with iron backbones and Teflon feelings may be causing some of the ailments disproportionately plaguing women of color – heart disease, obesity, stress, depression, diabetes, cancer, fibroid tumors, violence and preterm delivery. There is a health crisis plaguing women of all colors, but certain illnesses affect black women more chronically. This panel explores why black women bear the brunt of some diseases, illuminates underreported health challenges such as suicide and eating disorders and explains how making self-care a priority can improve families and communities overall.

Moderator: Maureen Bunyan
Anchor, NABJ Founder



Michelle A. Albert, M.D.
Director of Behavioral Neurocardiovasular Cardiology
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Harvard Medical School

Hilary Beard
Health Journalist & Co-Author
Health First! The Black Woman’s Wellness Guide

Michelle A. Gourdine, M.D.
Physician, Principal Author and CEO
Michelle Gourdine and Associates, LLC 

10:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. 

African-American Women's Reproductive Health and the 2012 Elections

This workshop will explore the reproductive health political landscape and the potential effect of legislative trends on health of African American women, who have higher maternal, breast-cancer and cervical-cancer death rates as well as higher incidences of unplanned pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS. This workshop will also help journalists identify story trends and new sources.

Moderator: Rehema Ellis
Education Correspondent
NBC News 


Vanessa Cullins, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A.
Vice President of External Medical Affairs
Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Dana Thomas, J.D.
Senior Policy Director
National Family Planning & Reproductive Health

12:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. (LUNCH)

First Food: Improving Children’s Lifelong Health Outcomes through Breastfeeding
Powered by The W. K. Kellogg Foundation

Studies suggest that babies receiving exclusive access to breast milk as their "first food” for the first six months of life have better health, educational and emotional outcomes. Support from the U.S. Surgeon General, the World Health Organization, American Academy of Pediatrics and others confirm that this gold standard of infant nutrition should be the norm but too often is not - especially for black women in America, where the exclusive rate of breastfeeding at six months is only 20 percent, compared to 40 percent among their whites counterparts.

This panel will explore how new laws to support working mothers, including the Affordable Care Act, as well as policies, educational initiatives and community-based supports are helping more women nourish their youngsters with breast milk. It will also inform the media on the cultural barriers and complexities of breastfeeding in the African American community and offer practical suggestions and story ideas on how the media can better cover this public health issue.

Moderator: Michel Martin
Journalists, Host- "Tell Me More"


Gail C. Christopher, D.N.
Vice President of Program Strategy
W. K. Kellogg Foundation

Diana N. Derige, M.P.H.
Program Officer
W. K. Kellogg Foundation

Kimberly Seals Allers
Author and Journalist
IATP Food & Community Fellow 

3:00 p.m.

Press Briefing on Health at the White House (Registrants Only, Security Clearance Required)

6:00 p.m – 8:00 p.m.

Reception hosted by the Washington Association of Black Journalists 
Location: The Hamilton- 600 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC

SATURDAY, March 31
At the National Press Club, 529 14th Street, NW - Washington, D.C. 20045

9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. (BRUNCH)

Speed Pitch Roundtable

Advocates address journalists by offering story ideas and sources.

10:30 a.m. to Noon (BRUNCH)

Journalists’ Roundtable

A session dedicated to helping attendees digest what they have learned, formulate story ideas and discuss innovative ways to present the information to viewers, readers and listeners.

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