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LEADING PUBLIC HEALTH SCHOLARS AND CLINICIANS TO ADDRESS DIVERSITY AND DISPARITY AT SEPT. 20-21 CONFERENCE IN NEW YORK

CONFERENCE LAUNCHING NEW INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC HEALTH SCIENCES AT
YESHIVA UNIVERSITY'S ALBERT EINSTEIN COLLEGE OF MEDICINE
& FERKAUF GRADUATE SCHOOL OF PSYCHOLOGY
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Institute To Sign Partnership Agreement With Public Health Foundation Of India -

First For NY Institution; Keynote Address By PHFI President

September 4, 2007 - (New York, NY) - With health care becoming a touchstone issue in the 2008 Presidential election, as the number of uninsured Americans has risen inexorably over the past few years because of soaring health care costs and deteriorating employment-based coverage, leading public health academics and clinicians will convene next month at Yeshiva University to address diversity and disparity in health care and related topics focused on understanding and eradicating chronic disease in the U.S. and across the globe.

The two-day conference, September 20 and 21 at the Schottenstein Center on the University's Beren Campus, 245 Lexington Ave. (at 35th St.), will also serve to launch the new Institute of Public Health Sciences. The Institute, a joint project of YU's Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, will sponsor conferences, conduct research, issue papers, and strive to find viable answers to such issues as obesity and other global health problems. This inaugural conference is co-sponsored by the American Psychological Association and YU's Center for Ethics.

At the conference, Institute leaders will sign a Memo of Understanding with their counterparts at the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI). The Memo - the first between the PHFI and a New York institution and the only one between the PHFI and any U.S. partner that has a primary social and behavioral focus on health and illness - will establish formal ties between the two entities, providing for faculty and student exchanges, joint education and research programs, and other initiatives designed to redress the limited institutional capacity in India for strengthening training, research, and policy development in the area of public health.

Dr. Srinath Reddy, PHFI President, will deliver the keynote address "Emerging Social Disparities in Cardiovascular Diseases in India" at the conference at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 20.

"This conference will have two purposes," said Dr. Sonia Suchday, co-director of the new Institute of Public Health Sciences and director of the Clinical Psychology (Health Emphasis) Ph.D. program at the Ferkauf Graduate School. "Participants will present the realities of health problems related to diversity, and generate a discussion about whether disparity is an inevitable by-product of diversity."

The focus of the conference, Dr. Suchday continued, is to highlight that "health care needs to be culturally synchronous in order for people to benefit from it. In a globalized world, unless cultural awareness is central to the promotion of health and prevention of disease, it is hard to reach people. Culture within this context is broadly defined and includes race, gender, ethnicity, geography (e.g. rural versus urban culture, southern versus northeaster culture), etc."

Added Institute Co-Director Dr. Paul Marantz, Associate Dean for Clinical Research Education and professor in the Departments of Epidemiology and Population Health and of Medicine at Einstein: "During the two days, participants will have ample opportunity to interact with experts in the field, who have spent their research careers working on health issues among diverse groups of people in terms of ethnicity, location, socio-economic status, lifestyles, and other factors."

Speakers include Dr. Ruth Macklin, professor of bioethics at Einstein; Dr. Elizabeth Brondolo, professor in the Department of Psychology at St. John's University; Dr. Craig Ewart, professor of psychology and member of the core faculty at the Center for Health and Behavior at Syracuse University; Dr. William Guerin, director of research at the Behavioral Cardiovascular Health and Hypertension Center at Columbia University; Dr. Evelyn Lewis, medical director at Pfizer, Inc. and principal investigator at the Center for Health Disparities Research and Education; Dr. Tracy Sbrocco, director of research at the Uniformed Services University Center for Health Disparities Research and Education Center; and Dr. David Schlundt, associate professor in the Department of Psychology at Meharry Medical College.

For more information on the conference, call Dr. Suchday at (718) 430-3856 or visit http://www.yu.edu/Ferkauf/ and look under current events.

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