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Healthcare Summit

Spelman College Healthcare Summit

Multidimensional Perspectives on Healthcare in the 21st Century
Thursday, Oct. 24 - Friday, Oct. 25, 2019

This summit will bring together faculty, notable alumnae and industry titans  in the healthcare and allied science industry. Registration is open to alumnae, faculty, staff, students and community members.

Online registration will close on Tuesday, Oct. 22, at 11:59 p.m. EST, however onsite registration will be available at the Summit.

Spread the word. We look forward to seeing you there.

Summit sponsorship opportunities are available.

Register Now  Speakers  Spelman's Healthcare Heroes

Schedule of Events

From big data to Black women's bodies, economic implications of healthcare, the drug epidemic and oral healthcare disparities, the Spelman College Healthcare Summit speakers will address a wide range of thought-provoking topics. Please click on the arrow on the right to expand the list of topics.

Thursday, October 24


11 - 11:50 a.m. | Sisters Chapel

SUMMIT LUNCHEON (Invitation Only)

12 - 1:30 p.m.


2:25 - 3:40 p.m. | Various Locations
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Oral Healthcare Disparities in the Black Community
Location: Science Center 232
The National Dental Association and the American Dental Education Association have addressed oral healthcare delivery in the Black community and found clear evidence that the availability of health professionals to meet the demands of underrepresented minorities remains a challenge. This workshop will explore the impact of oral care in the development of systemic conditions and diseases and ways that we, as a community, can work together to provide resources to improve overall oral health.

Moderator:  Dr. Na’Taki Osborne Jelks, C’95, Assistant Professor, Environmental & Health Sciences
Panelists: Dr. Zerita Buchanan, C’2010; Dr. Nitsa Gilbert, C’90; Dr. Lori Paschal, C’87

The Role of Big Data in the Biomedical Sciences
Location: Laura Spelman Multipurpose Room
Big data plays an increasingly critical role in healthcare prevention, diagnosis and treatment. During this workshop, experts in the field will discuss how health informatics and bioinformatics are used to enhance discovery in medical research. They will also address how the use of electronic devices in capturing important biometrics influences the way people engage with the healthcare community and can improve health outcomes in the general population.

Moderator: Dr. Aditi Pai, Co-director of Teaching Resource Center, Associate Professor, Biology
Panelists: Dr. Mentewab Ayalew, Vice Chair of Biology; Dr. Erika Brown, C’93; Dr. Mark Maloney, Professor & Chair of Biology; Kendal Whitlock, C’91; Dr. Raquel Hill, Associate Professor and Chair, Computer Information Sciences

The Drug Epidemic: The Politics of Discovery, Dissemination and Affordability
Location: The Beverly Daniel Tatum Suites Private Dining Room
Despite how the nation’s drug epidemic is often portrayed in the news media, this crisis is having a negative impact in communities of color, as well as mainstream America. Professionals in the pharmaceuticals industry and those who are developing cutting-edge treatments for some of the most challenging diseases will talk in this workshop about the complexities of drug availability to underserved communities and the politics and feasibility of having cutting-edge treatments available to the general population.

Moderator:  Dr. Leyte Winfield, Associate Professor of Organic Chemistry, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry Chair, Division of Natural Science and Mathematics
Panelists: Dr. Kecia Harris, C’91; Dr. Erin Searles, C’2003; Dr. Kenicia Walker, C’2015

The Social Determinants of Black Women’s Health
Location: Wellness Center Kitchen
Any discussion of Black women’s health must take into account the complexities that can limit the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of conditions that disproportionately impact Black women. During this workshop, academicians, healthcare policy experts, nonprofit leaders, and health practitioners will discuss key psychosocial, political, and economic concerns that impact Black women’s health and access to healthcare.

Moderator:  Dr. Cynthia Trawick, C’85
Panelists: Latecia Engram, C’92; Dr. Valerie Green-Amos, C’93; Dr. Loren Robinson, C’2003

Mental Health and Health Behaviors in the African American Community
Location: LLC II Auditorium
More than 60% of African Americans in the United States had a diagnosable mental health illness in the past year. During this workshop, academicians, psychologists and psychiatrists will share their perspectives on this pressing issue, discuss the key concerns that impact the mental health of individuals in the black community, and, specifically, the ways that the Spelman community can address those concerns at the local and national level.

Moderator:  Dr. Shani Harris, C’95, Associate Professor of Psychology
Panelists: Dr. Kanika Bell, C’97; Dr. Angela Farris Watkins, C’86, Associate Professor and Chair of Psychology; Dr. Fleda Mask-Jackson, C’73

The Demystification of Black Women’s Bodies:  In Search of Health Equity in an Era of Racism, Sexism and Gender Discrimination
Location: Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby, Ed.D., Academic Center Reading Room   
Intersectionality is defined as the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group; regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage. The healthcare of black women has been impacted by all three constructs. This workshop seeks to review the historical aspects of healthcare for women overall and how the nation’s conscious and unconscious labeling of black women have led to health inequities. The workshop will also discuss approaches to advocacy that seek to eliminate health disparities among underserved populations.

Moderator:  Dr. Beverly Guy-Sheftall, C’66, Director of Women’s Research & Resource Center, Chair of Comparative Women’s Studies
Panelist: Dr. Vonda Ware, C’92

Narratives of the Unheard:  How Healthcare Manifests Itself in Current Literary Works
Location: Manley President's Dining Room
Modern fiction and nonfiction literary works include experiences of individuals who directly or indirectly have been engaged with the healthcare community. What stories do these current narratives tell—and what truths do they reveal and/or hide? In this workshop, experts in media and literature will identify and explore some of the ways that patient experiences are communicated through the written word.

Moderator:  Dr. Dana Lockhart
Panelists: Dr. Pushpa Parekh, Chair of African Diaspora and the World Program, Professor


3:50 - 5 p.m. | Various Locations
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The Intersection of Faith, Spirituality, and Health as a Construct of Healing
Location: Sisters Chapel Prayer Room
Faith leaders, faith communities, and faith-based organizations play a significant role in the care of individuals who are faced with insurmountable odds associated with their overall health, including influencing decisions about when, how, and with whom to seek healthcare guidance and support. This workshop explores how spiritualty, faith and religion intersect with the prevention and treatment of diseases in minority communities.

Moderator:  Dr. Rosetta Ross, Professor of Philosophy & Religious Studies
Panelists: Rev. Dr. Neichelle Guidry, Dean of Sisters Chapel; Camille Henderson, C’2015; Kimberlee Scott, C’92

Fact or Fiction? You Are What You Eat
Location: Wellness Center Kitchen
There is no shortage of advice, much of it not based in scientific research, about what to and what not to eat to be healthy. Yet, across healthcare disciplines, nutrition is cited as a key determinant in health and wellbeing. This workshop will discuss the myths, facts and questions associated with the consumption of specific foods and food types, including organic, vegan, and gluten-free, as well as traditional and ethnic diets.

Moderator:  Dr. Kimberly Jackson, Associate Professor, Chair of Chemistry & Biochemistry Dept. and Food Studies Program Director
Panelists: Dr. Anjanette Hogan, C’95; Dr. Lesley Williams, C’97

Lights, Camera, Action: How Television, Theater & Cinema Portray the State of Healthcare in the Black Community
Location: The Beverly Daniel Tatum Suites Private Dining Room
The entertainment media, including television, theater, film and multimedia productions, have been instrumental in bringing key historical and controversial healthcare issues to light in the black community. This workshop will address how these platforms can be used to enhance the overall prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases and promote the elimination of health disparities.

Moderator:  Professor Keith Bolden, Associate Professor, Theater and Performance
Panelists: Paige Simpson, C’2009; Jaunice Sills McSwain, C’2008

When and Where I Enter: Nursing Careers in the 21st Century
Location: Laura Spelman Multipurpose Room
In 1886, Spelman was the first institution of higher education to establish a nurses training program for black women, thus creating a professional career pathway for African American women in healthcare. Over the past 50 years, nursing has evolved and continued to be a hallmark in the delivery of healthcare in outpatient and inpatient settings. This workshop will explore the diversity of careers in nursing today, as well as advances in the field that have led to more autonomy and training of young professionals.

Co-Moderator:  Dr. Brenda Dalton, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs
Co-Moderator:  Dana Lloyd, Director of Health Services
Panelists: Chanell Huff-Cox, C’90; Kimberly Griffin, C’2001

The National Economy and its Impact on Healthcare Management in the U.S.
Location: LLC II Auditorium
Although the overall poverty rate has declined slightly in the United States over the past few years, people of color continue to face economic inequalities. In 2016, 8.8.% of whites were classified as poor, compared to 19.4% of Hispanics, and 22% of African Americans. Among households headed by women, 28.8% are poor, compared to 10.7% for all households, regardless of other factors. People who cannot afford basic necessities often cannot afford access to quality healthcare. In this workshop, industry executives and academicians will discuss the sociopolitical and economic factors that impact healthcare delivery, management, and interventions that seek to improve overall public health.

Moderator:  Dr. Marionette Holmes, C’90, Chair of Economics, Associate Professor
Panelists: Dr. Lisa Cook, C’86; Dr. Alison Graves-Calhoun, C’90; Dr. Jocelyn Hicks-Garner, C’97; Dr. Suneye Holmes, C’2004, Professor of Economics

The Politics of Environmental Sustainability and its Impact on Global Health
Location: Camille Oliva Hanks Cosby, Ed.D., Academic Center Reading Room
Whether framed as climate change or climate crisis, concerns about the impact of new and disruptive weather patterns on the sustainability of the environment and the sustainability of humankind are dominating conversations around the world. What is the impact of these changes on air, water and soil quality and human health and well-being? What should be done to ensure the future of the planet and its people? This workshop will discuss strategies for preparing the next generation of change agents and leaders in this area.

Moderator:  Dr. Fatemeh Shafiei, Chair of Political Science, Director of Environmental Studies Program, Associate Professor, Sustainable Spelman Committee Co-chair
Panelists: Dr. Jeanne Meadows, C’64, Chair of International Studies, International Affairs Center Director, Associate Professor; Ashley Umukoro, C’2010, Administrative Director, Wakefield Ambulatory Care Center; Dr. ‘Dimeji Togunde, Vice Provost for Global Education & Professor of International Studies


5:15 - 6 p.m. | Beverly Daniel Tatum Suites Dining Hall

Friday, October 25


8 - 9 a.m. | Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby, Ed.D. Academic Center Lobby


9 - 11 a.m. | Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby, Ed.D. Academic Center Auditorium

A conversation with President Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., and Tonya Lewis Lee, founder of Movita Organics.


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