12th National Conference on Health Disparities (Non-CHLP)

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June 19, 2019 to June 22, 2019

The theme of the 12th National Conference on Health Disparities is: Reducing Health Disparities through Sustaining and Strengthening Healthy Communities. Building on previous NCHDs, which have identified specific areas of concern, including the social determinants of health, the upcoming conference will sharpen the program’s existing focus on mental and behavioral health issues – most notably the recognition and treatment of mental illness as a means of reducing violent and/or deadly, outcomes, often by gun violence or drug overdose.

Why is this a vital and potentially impactful course to pursue?

  • An average of 96 Americans are killed daily as a result of gun violence in America, based on statistics compiled by the advocacy group, Everytown for Gun Safety.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC): Drug overdoses killed 63,632 Americans in 2016. Nearly two-thirds of these deaths (66%) involved a prescription or illicit opioid. The number represents a 21.5% increase over the previous year.
  • The CDC also reports that suicide rates increased in nearly every state from 1999 through 2016. Mental health conditions are often seen as the cause of suicide, but suicide is rarely caused by any single factor.

While the 12th NCHD will take an even closer look at mental health issues, it will continue its important work in such areas as: Human Trafficking as a Public Health Issue; Climate Change and Catastrophic Weather Events, and the Social Determinants of Health, including poverty, environmental stressors, educational attainment, housing and air and water quality. This year's NCHD will continue its longstanding effort to identify and support the next generation of leaders in healthcare with the Undergraduate and Graduate Student Forum.