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On April 1 a group of Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (GCSOM) students traveled with Dr. Vicki Sapp, GCSOM’s director for student engagement, diversity and inclusion to attend "Strengthening Latino Health: The 2019 Latino Health and Health Disparities Conference" held at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in Rochester, N.Y.

GCSOM students attending the conference were:

  • Amir Reza Pashmineh, a member of GCSOM’s MBS Class of 2019
  • Leen Jerjos, a member of GCSOM’s MBS Class of 2019
  • Elham Noori, a member of GCSOM’s MBS Class of 2019
  • Mustafa Zeybek, a member of GCSOM’s MBS Class of 2019
  • Kevin Viera, a member of GCSOM’s MBS Class of 2019
  • Erik Gamarra, a member of GCSOM’s MD Class of 2022
  • Angelica De Freitas, a member of GCSOM’s MD Class of 2022
  • John Piserchio, a member of GCSOM’s MD Class of 2022

The 2019 Latino Health and Health Disparities Conference convened individuals committed to addressing health disparities that impact Latino communities and offered an opportunity for researchers, practitioners and advocates to share emerging research, best practices and community perspectives that shape the agenda for Latino health and eliminating disparities.

The conference’s keynote speakers were David Acosta, M.D, chief diversity and inclusion officer at the American Associations of Medical Colleges (AAMC), who delivered a talk entitled, “Bridging the Cultural Divide to Advance Latinx Health and Influence Change,” and John P. Sanchez, MD, MPH, who discussed, “Intersectional Identity: Promoting the Health of Latino LGBTQ Individuals and Their Families.” Dr. Sanchez is assistant dean of diversity and inclusion and an associate professor, emergency medicine at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and an associate editor for the MedEd Portal, a journal of teaching and learning resources for medical schools.

Workshops included:

  • Commonly Encountered Dolencias (illnesses) and Remedios (remedies) in Caring for Latinx Communities:  What Every Health Care Provider Should Know
  • Doctor, que tengo qué? Collaborating with Interpreters to Overcome Barriers to Latino Healthcare
  • PrEParate Contra el VIH (PrEPare Yourself Against HIV)
  • MundoComm - Using Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to Address Maternal Health Challenges in Latin America
  • Post Hurricane Maria: Local Efforts
  • Understanding Suicide Prevention Research in Hispanic Communities
  • #p2p4PUR, a People-to-People Approach as a Humanitarian Effort Post-Hurricanes Irma and Maria in Puerto Rico
  • Opioid Use Disorder Treatment & Prevention in Latino Communities
  • Latinx Voices; Understanding the Mental Health Needs of Our Community
  • Immigration Enforcement Threat and Farmworker Labor Laws: The Effects of Macrosystem Stressors on the Health and Well-being of Farmworker
  • Pa'lante Siempre Pa'lante:  From Spoken Word to Publishing to Promote Latino Health
  • Diversity Within the Hispanic Community
Latino Health and Health Disparities Conference 2019
Seen from left to right are Amir Pashmineh Azar, Leen Jerjos, Mustafa Zeybek, Kevin Viera, Dr. Vicki T. Sapp, Elham Noori, Erik Gamarra, Angelia DeFreitas and John Piserchio.