2018 New Mexico Black Wellness Conference & Asante Awards

2018 New Mexico Black Wellness Conference & Asante Awards

The New Mexico Black History Organizing Committee (NMBHOC) is hosting the 1st Annual New Mexico Black Wellness Conference at the University of New Mexico on Saturday, March 24th. The all-day affair will provide diverse panels and rich discussions on the status of health and wellness in the African American community from a provider and patient perspective.

Founder and director of the NMBHOC, Cathryn McGill, explains that the conference “is designed to begin a conversation about what we’ve done well and what we need to improve upon to empower African Americans in the areas of personal responsibility and community roles as they relate to health and wellness.”

The conference will be held in the Health Sciences Center’s Domenici Building. The day begins with registration at 8AM and features several panel discussions including those on African American behavioral health, access to healthcare, and the history of medical research on black Americans. Panelists and speakers will include Dr. Stephanie McIver, UNM Director of Counseling Services at Student Health and Counseling; Professor Deleso Alford, JD, LLM, of the University of Central Florida’s College of Medicine; Dr. Jamal Martin, who teaches health equity to students at UNM’s School of Medicine; Dr. Sheldon Jordan, a research leader in late-stage Ebola vaccination; Dr. Stephanie Garcia, an emergency medicine physician and healthcare access specialist; Nina Cooper, whose post-graduate work in communication emphasizes health and culture; and Dr. Nancy Lopez, a UNM sociology professor specializing in intersectionality and healthcare disparities research. Several other local health profession luminaries will also be participating.

Ms. McGill is particularly pleased with the panelists’ involvement. “I’m constantly amazed at how generous the professionals are in our African American community. Even though they have rigorous, full-time positions, they’re always willing to give their time, talent, and treasure to further the needs of the greater community.”

The conference is free and open to the public and will include a continental breakfast and a working lunch, as participants attend topical breakout sessions and experience networking opportunities. Co-sponsors of the event include Presbyterian Healthcare Services, Con Alma Health Foundation, BlueCross BlueShield of New Mexico, and the County of Bernalillo.

Finally, the conference will conclude with the 4th Annual Asante Awards bestowed upon Dr. William McIver, a retired local surgeon whose career achievement in medicine and steadfast contributions to the community are storied and span almost six decades.

Ms. McGill encourages anyone interested in the vital topics of the day to attend. “Equity and inclusion is important in every domain, especially in the area of health and wellness.”

For additional information on this free event, please go to www.nmblackhistorymonth.com and proceed to the calendar and events sections.

If you’d like more information about the NM Black History Organizing Committee, or to schedule an interview with Cathryn McGill, please call (505) 407-6784 or email cathryn@nmblackhistorymonth.com

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