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APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing

Community health centers on the frontline in eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities

Elmer Freeman, MSW, Center for Community Health Education Research and Service, 716 Columbus Avenue, Suite 398, Boston, MA 02120, 617-373-5179, e.freeman@neu.edu, Brunilda Torres, MSW, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, 250 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02108, and Gisele Thornhill, MD, MPH, Critical MASS, Center for Community Health Education Research and Service, 716 Columbus Avenue, Suite 398, Boston, MA 02120.

The legacy of Dr. David Satcher, 16th US Surgeon General from 1998 to 2002 is the commitment of the Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Public Health Service to the elimination of racial and ethnic disparities in health and health care and once again community health centers find themselves on the front line in the struggle for health equity and social justice for vulnerable populations in our society. Believed to be the civil rights issue of the 21st Century, persistent disparities in the health and health care of racial and ethnic populations is most evident in the populations served by community health centers and there is a natural role for them to play.

The Center for Community Health Education Research and Service (CCHERS) is an innovative partnership of universities, an academic medical center, the city's public health commission and a network of fifteen “academic community health centers” that integrate teaching and research into their historic missions of service to the underserved in an effort to eliminate health disparities through health professions education and workforce development; community-based participatory research with vulnerable populations; and collaborative services for special populations. The presentation will focus on the work of the CCHERS to promote health workforce diversity through innovative pipeline and health professions education programs; create and establish community-academic research partnerships for understanding and reducing health disparities in racial and ethnic populations; and enhance the quality, and linguistic and cultural competency of community-based health services.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Community Health Centers, Health Disparities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No

Community Health Center Movement: 40 Years Promoting Social Justice and Health Equity for the Underserved

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA