July 17, 2002
HEALTH DEPARTMENT TO HOST PUBLIC FORUM
WITH FORMER U.S. SURGEON GENERAL
“What we want to do is to continue to open up the dialogue between groups which have never had any sort of dialogue before,” said Cheryl Emanuel, community health administrator with the Mecklenburg County Health Department.
That emphasis on partnerships and dialogue will be the centerpiece of Saturday’s public forum. Panel members, including Mecklenburg County Health Director Peter Safir, representatives from Carolinas Healthcare System, Presbyterian Hospital, State government, local medical societies and area clergy will answer questions and encourage the community’s commitment. Dr. Satcher will offer closing remarks and a call to action.
The Health Department has taken the lead in conducting a series of “Community Think Tank Dialogues” surrounding the issue of health disparities. These dialogues brought together partners from various sectors of the community including representatives from health care, business, minority affairs, faith communities and the private sector to assess the community’s ability and willingness to tackle the issues surrounding health disparities. Since then, these “Partners” have defined four critical areas in addressing health disparities: access to care, cultural competency, advocacy and building partnerships.
There is no pre-registration for Saturday’s health forum. Questions from the public will be welcomed during this moderated discussion which will be broadcast live on WBAV (101.9FM).