California State University, Long Beach
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Conference To Raise Awareness On Latino Health Issues

Published: March 1, 2016

To help address health concerns of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing minority population, CSULB will host the 2016 Latino Health Equity Conference on Friday, March 18. The event will be held in the University Student Union ballrooms from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This conference, with the theme “Growing Healthy Cultures: Manteniendo Tradiciones Saludables,” aims to raise awareness and engage faculty, staff, students and the larger community in health equity research focused on Latinos.

The conference is hosted by the Hispanic Health Opportunities Learning Alliance (H2OLA), a project of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR)/CSULB Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation and Leadership Training. The H2OLA project provides Latino undergraduate and graduate students with academic training, mentoring and career development opportunities designed to motivate and prepare them for careers in health equity and research. Its aim is to widen the pool of minority applicants applying for advanced degrees which will ultimately impact health-equity opportunities in a positive manner for the most underserved.

“The Latino Health Equity Conference shares cutting-edge research impacting Latinos living in America, motivating students and professionals alike to take up the torch to make a difference,” said Mara Bird, Director of the Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation and Leadership Training and co-principal investigator, along with Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry associate professor Eric Marinez, of the Hispanic Health Opportunities Learning Alliance.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has cited some of the leading causes of illness and death among Hispanics as heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. Other health conditions and risk factors that significantly affect Hispanics are asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, HIV/AIDS, obesity, suicide and liver disease.

Attendees will hear introductory remarks from CSULB President Jane Close Conoley and Kelly Colopy, the director of the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services, and then have the opportunity to interact with national thought leaders to discuss strategies to improve Latino health equity and prepare students for advanced degrees.

Scheduled to attend the conference are health innovators Marilyn Aguirre-Molina, professor of Public Health, City University of New York School of Public Health and Health Policy; Hortencia Amaro, Dean of the School of Social Work at University of Southern California; Anna Napoles, professor and behavioral epidemiologist in the Department of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco; and Susana Ramirez, assistant professor of Public Health Communication, University of California, Merced.

In addition, 51 students from CSULB, CSU Los Angeles, CSU Monterey Bay, UCLA and USC are scheduled to present posters on topics related to health disparities and social, cultural and environmental factors affecting health.

For more information, visit the Latino Health Equity website, email chhs-h2ola@csulb.edu or call (562) 985-5312.

–Shayne Schroeder