RALEIGH, NC – The North Carolina Legislative Black Caucus Foundation (NCLBCF) is hosting a two-day summit to discuss the Economic Impact of Health Disparities across the state on Friday, January 7 and Saturday, January 8 in the Andrew’s Center on the WakeMed Raleigh Campus.
Currently, North Carolina minority citizens struggle with a higher incidences of uncontrolled diabetes, un- or under-treated HIV/AIDS infections, and substance abuse and mental health issues. Demonstrated health disparities include:
ï African Americans are 1.0 more likely to suffer from heart disease deaths than Caucasians.
ï African Americans are 1.5 times more likely to die from a stroke than Caucasians.
ï African Americans are 2.0 times and Hispanic/Latinos are 0.6 times more likely to die from diabetes related death than Caucasians.
ï African Americans and American Indians are 2.5 times more likely to die from kidney disease than Caucasians.
ï African Americans and Hispanic/Latinos are 3.0 and American Indians children are 2.5 times more likely to live below the Federal Poverty Level than Caucasians.
ï Between the ages of 18-64, African Americans are 20 percent and Hispanic/Latinos are 65 percent times more likely than Caucasians to not have health insurance.
These health disparities are estimated to cost the state millions of dollars and result in a significantly lower quality of life for affected citizens.
“This Summit will help address the significant difference and inequity that exists in minority populations,” commented Alma Adams, PhD, North Carolina House representing Guilford County and chair of the 2011 North Carolina Legislative Black Caucus Foundation Health Summit.
Adams continued, “Congressional and state leadership, community partners, healthcare providers, business leaders, and citizens alike, must work together to identify strategies that promote health and well-being for racial and ethnic minorities; and develop a strategic action plan to reduce the economic impact of these disparities in their respective communities.”
Speakers for the Summit include:
• Jeff Engle, MD, State Health Director, NC Division of Public Health
• Cedric Bright, MD, President Old North State Medical Society
• Anita Brown-Graham, JD, Director, Institute for Emerging Issues, North Carolina State University
• Brian Smedley, PhD, Vice President, Director of Health Policy Institute Joint Center for Political & Economic Studies
• Paul Cunningham, Dean and the Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs at the Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University
• Laura Gerald, MD, MPH, Executive Director, NC Health and Wellness Trust Fund
• Bill Atkinson, PhD, President & CEO WakeMed Health & Hospitals
• Alma Adams, PhD, Chair, NC Legislative Black Caucus Foundation
• Congressman G.K. Butterfield, U.S. House of Representatives, 1st District NC
• Julianne Malveaux, PhD, President, Bennett College, North Carolina
“Timing of this Summit is critical as the North Carolina legislature is slated to begin discussing budget cuts to help fill an estimated $3.7 million gap. Before cuts are made to any programs aimed at narrowing health disparities gaps, it is important that our legislators and citizens fully understand the impact of health disparities on our state so educated decisions can be made about the programs and services we choose to fund,” Adams concluded.
About the North Carolina Legislative Black Caucus Foundation, Inc.
The North Carolina Legislative Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. (NCLBCF) is a 501(c)(3) organization established in 1986. The Foundation has a 21-member board that drives its success. Thirteen of the NCLBCF board members (62%) are private (non-legislative) citizens. The remaining eight (38%) are members of the NC Legislative Black Caucus. The Foundation has implemented sound organizational systems to ensure that the Foundation operates with the highest levels of efficiency and effectiveness.