Loma Linda University School of Medicine’s Center for Health Disparities holds research symposium displaying students’ work
Lovell Allan Jones, PhD, professor in the department of health disparities research and director for the center for research on minority health at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, talks to the audience about “Eliminating Health Disparities through Science and Committed Service.”
On August 9, the Loma Linda University School of Medicine’s Center for Health Disparities Research held its first 2006 Health Disparities Research Symposium at Wong Kerlee International Conference Center.
The symposium was the culmination of seven weeks of study and research by students from area high schools, and both undergraduate and graduate students from colleges across the nation. Students presented their research from the summer through a display of posters, which showed the depth of their research to be more than a light-hearted activity, with topics as wide-ranging as traffic accident rates in communities to possible new treatments for hypertension and diabetes.
Carlos Casiano, a junior at Redlands Adventist Academy, displayed his poster on breast cancer research. This summer was his
Brandi Bravo, a junior at Bloomington High School, a participant in the Apprenticeship to Bridge College program, explains the research she did using geographical information systems to identify areas of high traffic accident rates to warn communities of the danger.
second year involved with the Apprenticeship to Bridge College program (ABC).
“The more you do it the more sense it makes,” says Mr. Casiano. “You start to integrate what you are doing to the other projects.”
The symposium continued with two keynote addresses given by visiting faculty Lovell Allan Jones, PhD, professor in the department of health disparities research and director for the center for research on minority health at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, and Gladys Escalona de Motta, PhD, chancellor of the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus.
Marino De Leon, PhD, director of the Center for Health Disparities Research at Loma Linda University, gave an overview of the program before the keynotes.
“The Center for Health Disparities Research
Shammah Williams, a student at Oakwood College and a participant in the Undergraduate Training Program, explains the 7-week research project on metabolic syndrome X and the possible impact it could have on treatments for hypertension and diabetes.
is a continuation of the efforts on campus to understand and eliminate the disparities found in health care,” said Dr. De Leon. “I hope you have been enjoying the celebration of science. We are committed to developing the new generation of scientists for this country.”
Dr. Jones from M.D. Anderson presented “Eliminating Health Disparities through Science and Committed Service,” opening with the comment that “I think we’ve gotten to the point in health disparities to end the niceties. Too many people are dying and have died to be nice about it anymore.”
Dr. Jones pointed out that the issue has been talked about since at least 1899. He noted that if all politics are local, then all health is local as well. He encouraged the students at the symposi
Gladys Escalona de Motta, PhD, chancellor of the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus, presents “The Role of Universities in Waging Scientific War Against Disparities in Health Care.”
um to make their “science connected to service.”
“Look at your studies in a holistic way, in a mutually beneficial way for you and the community,” said Dr. Jones.
Dr. Escalona de Motta from the University of Puerto Rico presented “The Role of Universities in Waging Scientific War Against Disparities in Health Care.”
“Disparity in health care is a reality, a fact,” she states. Her words of advice to the students were to “come up with simple, useful truths from your research.”
At the end of the addresses, the students from each of the four research programs (ABC, Undergraduate Training Program, Medical Training Program, and the Graduate Minority Development Program) were recognized for their summer’s work.
“What you are seeing right now in these students are the future doctors and scientists of this country,” remarked Dr. De Leon in closing.
By Preston Smith