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College of Pharmacy to host Health Disparities Awareness Day

By Allie Lewis

Bringing attention to differences in access and availability of healthcare across socioeconomic groups, the University of Rhode Island’s College of Pharmacy will host a Health Disparities Awareness Day April 6.

The event will highlight health disparities in Rhode Island, as well as the rest of the country. It will help provide a platform for discussion and “address recommendations for public health measures and policies, as well as changes in medical practices,” according to Kelly Matson, clinical professor in the URI College of Pharmacy.

Sam Friedman, director of the Institute of Infectious Disease Research at the National Development and Research Institute, will deliver the keynote address. Friedman was chosen because of his work in social research needs of HIV/AIDS, Matson said.

“His work of social factors, social networks and HIV, the impact of economic and political crises on HIV risk, and socioeconomic and policy predictors of HIV and its prevention gives importance to the efforts being made to persons affected by HIV and AIDS, both nationally and globally,” Matson said.

Additionally, students from within the colleges of the Academic Health Collaborative (Pharmacy, Nursing and Health Sciences) will have an opportunity to present their own work in the field. Students were invited to submit their abstracts to the host committee for review. The top three student submissions will be presented.

“Submissions were reviewed for set criteria including healthy disparity definition, its current epidemiology, existing measures to address the disparity and their effectiveness, and novel recommendations needed,” Matson said.

The student poster session is scheduled for April 6, 1-2 p.m. in the Avedisian Hall foyer, immediately followed by Friedman’s keynote address in Chaffee 271. The chosen students are scheduled to present their work at 3 p.m.

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