Lecture series to honor one of Oregon’s first African-American physicians who practiced at Emanuel
The public is invited to the inaugural Dr. DeNorval Unthank Endowed Lectureship in Health Equity, honoring the late Dr. Unthank (1899-1977) on:
Feb. 28, 2018
7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
4222 NE 12th Ave.
Harvard sociologist, and pre-eminent scholar in the social determinants of health, David R. Williams, Ph.D., M.P.H., is the guest lecturer and will discuss “Getting to health equity.”
This community-facing lecture series was created by breast cancer surgeon Dr. Nathalie Johnson, the director of the Legacy Cancer Institute and her husband, Dr. William Johnson, president of Moda Health, to challenge the medical community to address health inequities and unconscious biases in our health care system.
In Oregon, members of underserved communities are more likely to be diagnosed with, and suffer disproportionately from, such chronic illnesses as asthma, diabetes, hypertension and HIV/AIDS and to die prematurely from these and other causes.
These broad, persistent disparities are neither mysterious nor pre-ordained. They are driven by factors that include unconscious bias in our health care system.
“It’s clear that our healthcare system still works far better for some than it does for others,” says Dr. William Johnson.
“And those others always seem to include the poor and the marginalized, the chronically underserved,” says Dr. Nathalie Johnson. “It’s imperative now that we all work, together, to make health equity the cornerstone of healthcare transformation.”
David R. Williams, Ph.D., M.P.H., is the Florence Sprague Norman and Laura Smart Norman Professor of Public Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Professor of African and African American Studies and Sociology at Harvard University.
His scholarship in the complex ways in which socioeconomic status, race, stress, racism, health behavior and religious involvement can affect health is internationally recognized. The Everyday Discrimination Scale he developed is among the most widely used measures of discrimination in health studies around the world.
"I believe that your race does not have to be a determinant of your destiny,” Dr. Williams said in his April 2017 TedMed Talk.
The idea for the health equity lecture began last spring with Brian Gibbs, Ph.D., vice president for Equity and Inclusion at OHSU, and John Hunter, M.D., CEO of OHSU Health System, when Dr. Hunter was interim dean of the OHSU School of Medicine. The two approached the Drs. Johnson to endow the lectureship.
“Health inequities in America are becoming recognized as the frontier of today’s Civil Rights Movement,” said Dr. Hunter. “Coming together with the Drs. Johnson, Legacy and Moda to raise awareness about these disparities and frame a call to action for addressing them is not only a good thing to do, it’s the right thing to do. We are excited to welcome Dr. Williams and grateful to the leaders and congregation of Maranatha Church for working with us to bring his message to the community.”
Legacy Health is joining Moda and OHSU as sponsors.
Photo: Dr. DeNorval Unthank courtesy of the Unthank family.
Photo: Courtesy of Drs. Nathalie Johnson and William Johnson.
Photo: Dr. David R. Williams used with permission from TEDMED.
For media inquires: Vicki Guinn, Legacy Emanuel, email@example.com, 503-413-2939
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