September 27, 2005

Contact: Angela Heisel (505) 272-3651;Courtney Smith (505) 272-3690

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

On August 8-9, 2005 , the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) sponsored an invitational summit to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities, implement new research and a commitment to vulnerable populations. School of Medicine public health faculty member, Dr. Nina Wallerstein gave one of the plenary talks on community based participatory research and dissemination of evidence. "Data that are gathered with the community and grounded in the community's specific needs are essential for eliminating health disparities," said Dr. Wallerstein, who has devoted her career to research conducted in partnership with disadvantages populations.

S OPHE is a non-profit professional organization founded in 1950 to improve the health of all people. SOPHE's membership comprises more than 4,500 individuals with formal training and/or and interest in health education and health promotion.

Conferees identified critical research questions to help improve the health of ethnic and minority populations. A key objective is to break the structural barrier between health and lower-income populations and improve health literacy among minorities.

Summit participants also endorsed the need for more academic recognition and community-based participation.

SOPHE has the opportunity to take the disparities agenda forward. Transcripts of the presentations from the summit are available on the Kaiser Family Foundation website (http://www.kaisernetwork.org/healthcast/sophe/08aug05).