Recently, I gave a Keynote Address at the 2018 Louisiana Health Summit in Baton Rouge. The topic was health disparities and as I began to prepare my speech, as always, all of the issues associated with it began to surface as is the case, when I was writing my book about the same topic. There is intensity and passion that arises when I talk about this topic, because I know that it is time to fix this problem now. Louisiana by the way, is the state where currently 37,000 people in Nursing Homes (elderly and disabled) will receive notice that they may be evicted from those homes. This is a gut wrenching example of health disparities as the loss of care for our poor and elderly people is particularly harsh and a significant indication of why health disparities must be solved now!
I began talking about health disparities when I was a young graduate student, and I'm still as fired up about it today. The title of my speech below was "From Health Disparities to Health Equity: The What, The Who and the Need For Community Mobilization Now." This video provides excerpts form my Keynote Address where insight is provided regarding health disparities, cultural competency, health literacy, the digital divide, marginalization, food injustice and beyond. After you watch it, perhaps you will agree, that this problem, and associated issues and concerns are priority matters in terms of resolution.
Following the Keynote Address, I held a book signing and had the opportunity to speak with many attendees, one-on-one. The conversations were good and from the heart as we tried to connect on issues that matter pertaining to health disparities, with a focus on solutions. My heartfelt praise goes out to the Louisiana Center for Health Equity, headed by Ms. Alma Stewart, and her dedication towards health equity as she invited me to serve as the Keynote Speaker for her organization's summit. It is my hope that I won't need to continue to talk about this issue for the rest of my life because it will be resolved. When I painstakingly wrote my book, along with the chapters provided by my contributing authors, my thought was that each time a person acquires it for themselves or for their organization, there is the possibility of another person/organization taking this matter to heart and moving towards solutions as the book is entitled Health Disparities, Diversity and Inclusion: Context, Controversies and Solutions. Let's not waste more time. #LetsTalkAboutSolutions. The time is now!
Dr. Patti Rose and Ms. Alma Stewart, Executive Director of the Louisiana Center for Health Equity
Dr. Thomas Durant (Professor Emeritus, LSU), Dr. Patti Rose and Ms. Alma Stewart, Executive Director for the Center for Health Equity