Institute of Medicine (IOM) Roundtable on Health Disparities
Healthcare Georgia Foundation recently funded an Institute of Medicine (IOM) Roundtable on Health Disparities. The Roundtable, a series of national and regional convenings on health disparities featured an Atlanta symposium.
Through the Roundtables, the IOM seeks to raise the visibility of racial and ethnic health disparities, promote the development of programs to reduce disparities, foster leadership to effect change and track promising activities and developments that could lead to reducing or eliminating disparities. Healthcare Georgia Foundation focused on child and adolescent health disparities at the Atlanta symposium.
The full-day event took place on January 24, 2008, at Morehouse School of Medicine's Louis W. Sullivan National Center for Primary Care Auditorium.
Socioeconomic conditions are known to be major determinants of health at all stages of the life course from pregnancy, childhood, and adulthood. Life course epidemiology has added a further dimension to our understanding of the social determinants of health by showing an association between early socioeconomic conditions and adult morbidity and mortality, and adult health related behaviors. Consequently, there are sensitive and critical periods of development, such as the prenatal period and early childhood that present opportunities to influence health. Yet we know that simply intervening in the health system is insufficient to influence health early in the life course; community-level approaches to impact key determinants of health are also critical.
Realizing that important foundations of adult health are laid prenatally and early in childhood, distinguished local and national speakers:
- Described the evidence linking early childhood life conditions and adult health.
- Discussed the contribution of early life course to observed racial and ethnic disparities in health.
- Highlighted successful models that engage both community factors and health care that impact life course development.
- Facilitated discussion among stakeholders in community, academia, health care, business, policy, and philanthropy.
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The Institute of Medicine provides independent, unbiased, evidence-based advice to policymakers, health professionals, industry, and the public.
The Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine’s mission is to develop a diverse group of public health leaders, foster and support leadership strategies, and influence policies and practices toward the reduction and ultimate elimination of disparities in health.