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April 21 Creighton Conference Looks at Health Care Disparities

April 21 Creighton Conference Looks at Health Care Disparities

Health care experts and community leaders will gather for a one-day conference on April 21 that explores what can be done to lessen health care disparities that contribute to a higher incidence of certain cancers in some ethnic populations.

The conference, entitled “Addressing Health Disparities: Focus on Cancer,” will be held at Creighton University Hixson Lied Science Building, 2500 California Plaza. There is no fee but registration is required.

The conference’s goal is to inform health care providers about the role of ethics, public health and clinical cancer management in addressing health disparities.

Keynote speaker will be Funmi Olopade, M.D., professor of medicine and director of the Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics at the University of Chicago. She will speak on “Improving Medical Management of Cancer to Avoid Health Disparities.”

In 2005, Olopade, a Nigerian American, received a prestigious fellowship from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for her groundbreaking work in translating findings on the molecular genetics of breast cancer in African and African-American women, thus “increasing improved outcomes for millions of women of African heritage at risk for cancer.”

According to the American Cancer Society’s “Cancer Facts & Figures 2006,” African Americans overall are more likely to develop and die from cancer than any other racial or ethnic population. The death rate from cancer among African American males and females is 40 percent and 18 percent higher, respectively, than their white counterparts for each of the major cancer sites – colorectal, male lung, female breast, and prostate. Other minority populations generally have higher rates for cancer of the uterine, cervix, liver and stomach.

Among the factors contributing to the disparities include low income, lifestyle, health care access, language barriers, racial bias and stereotyping.

The April 21 conference is sponsored by Creighton’s Health Sciences-Multicultural and Community Affairs and the Creighton School of Medicine’s Preventive Medicine Department and Continuing Medical Education Division.

To register, call (402) 280-5659 or (800) 548-CMED or register online at cme.creighton.edu; seating is limited. Continuing medical education credit is available.