Posts filed under ‘Access to Health Care’

2008 Summer in the City Series Schedule

The Summer in the City Series, a joint program of the Center for Community Health and the Department of Community and Preventive Medicine, has released its schedule for 2008.  The series consists of lunch-hour discussion on a variety of public health topics.

Unless noted, the discussions are from 12:00 to 1:00 PM and are held in Room K-307 in the Medical Center and include a light lunch.  The schedule is as follows:

July 8: Health-e-Access: Using Technology to Increase Care for Children

Ken McConnochie, M.D., MPH, director, Health-e-Access Telemedicine Network and professor of Pediatrics (Please note that this session only is scheduled 12:15 to 1:15 pm)

July 15:  Nourishing our Neighborhoods

Chris Hartman, co-manager, South Wedge Farmers’ Market

Eleanor Coleman, Southwest Area Neighborhood Association

Katrina Korfmacher, Ph.D., community outreach coordinator; research assistant professor, Environmental Health Sciences Center

July 22: Creating Urban Villages in the Rochester Children’s Zone (RCZ)

Ellen Lewis, interim team leader, RCZ

Rev. Glenn Alexander, pastor, Holy City International Church of God in Christ; board member, RCZ; Sector 10 Co-Chair, North East Neighborhood Alliance

July 29: Teen Smart Driving: What Parents Should Know

Anne Brayer, M.D., associate professor of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics

Lynn Babcock-Cimpello, M.D., associate professor of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics, co-directors, Injury Free Coalition for Kids of Rochester

For more information: or 276-3056


July 1, 2008 at 1:39 pm 1 comment

Health Disparities in Rochester: What Needs to be Done

In a follow-up to the previous post (Report Details Disparities in Care), Nancy Bennett, M.D. and Wade Norwood have written a piece that appeared in today’s Democrat & Chronicle. Bennett is director of the URMC Center for Community Health and Norwood is director of Community Engagement for the Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency.

The piece (which appears below) addresses the underlying factors behind disparities in our community, the progress that has been made, and the challenges that remain.

Spread good health to all corners of Rochester

Dr. Nancy Bennett and Wade Norwood

In the World Health Organization’s comparison of the health of nations, the United States ranks 24th, below most industrialized nations. However, the United States spends more per capita, and our expenditures are rising faster than those in any other country. While the reasons for this paradox are many, one critical factor is the persistence of health disparities based on race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status.

To improve our country’s health, we must improve the health of our most vulnerable populations. While we all are cared for by the same health systems, white suburban populations enjoy relatively good health, but poor urban and rural populations do not.

One example of these horrible inequalities was reported this month by the Dartmouth Atlas Project: African Americans are more likely to suffer leg amputations than white people.

The reasons for such differences are complex.

  • African Americans have higher rates of obesity and smoking, putting them at greater risk for diabetes and peripheral vascular disease, heightening the risk of amputation.
  • African Americans are likely to have poorer access to primary and specialty care, which might improve the management of chronic disease, thus preventing complications.
  • African Americans often have poorer access to advanced surgical alternatives to amputation.

Although these differences may be related to the adequacy of insurance, studies have shown that differences remain even when coverage is equal. We need to understand, through public health and health services research, the complexities of this pathway so that we can eliminate inequalities.


June 18, 2008 at 2:35 pm Leave a comment

Report Details Racial Disparities in Care

The Dartmouth Atlas Project has released a report titled Disparities in Health and Health Care Among Medicare Beneficiaries.  While disparities in care are generally associated with race and socioeconomic factors, the Dartmouth report reveals that geography also plays an important role.  The report examines geographic disparities in the rates of leg amputations (a complication of diabetes), screening for breast cancer and diabetes, the prevalence of primary care physicians, and ambulatory care vs. hospitalization rates. You can read a NY Times article on the report here.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation used the data in the report as a platform to announce $300 million in new grants to fight health disparities.

The Democrat and Chronicle reports on the Rochester numbers in the report (full article after the jump) and notes that that while progress has been made in areas such as immunizations and mammograms, disparities in diabetes care remain.  According to the most recent Monroe County Adult Health Survey, 20 percent of African Americans in the county have diabetes – more than twice the number of whites and Latinos.


June 9, 2008 at 12:20 pm 1 comment

Conference on Racial Disparities in Health

A day long conference, titled “Health Disparities: How Will Rochester Bridge the Racial Divide?” will be held on May 1st.   The conference is being presented by Perinatal Network of Monroe County and the Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency with funding from the NYS Department of Health, Division of Family Health.

Rochester’s Health Divide:  Why is it that on virtually every measure of health, African Americans and Hispanics fare worse than their white counterparts? How can we bridge the divide when biology, environment, and behavior are all both cause and consequence of poor health? Join us for a discussion of the ways in which health disparities are manifest in our community and the life course basis for many of those disparities.  We will explore the cultural factors that influence both patient and provider behavior and how these factors contribute to disparities in health status and health care experiences.  Most importantly, we will engage the community in identifying what we – public and private institutions, employers, health and human service providers, and individuals – must do to reduce and ultimately eliminate health disparities based on race. The result of this conference will be a community plan that sets specific goals and mobilizes resources to achieve them. Come and be part of the solution!

The conference will be held Thursday, May 1, 2008, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Airport located at 911 Brooks Avenue in Rochester.  Presenters include Patricia Brantingham, Executive Director of the Perinatal Network and Wade Norwood, director of the Department of Community Engagement for the Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency.

There is no charge for attending this conference and there is plenty of free parking. However, space is limited and registration is required. Continental breakfast and lunch provided. Please respond to:, Phone: 546-4930, ext 215 or Fax: 546-3021.

April 18, 2008 at 3:22 pm Leave a comment

A Decision to Keep a Practice in the City

Great article in Sunday’s Democrat and Chronicle about Lisa Harris, MD — an associate professor of medicine affiliated with Highland Hospital — and her decision to keep practicing in the City of Rochester.

Doctor practices to serve the city

The last thing Lisa Harris wanted to do was open her own medical practice.

The daughter of retired City Court Judge Roy King, one of the first black lawyers to practice in Rochester, said she saw her father “working really hard, really long hours for years.”

But now Harris’ one-doctor practice, Temple Medical, located in downtown Rochester’s Temple Building, is 5 years old.

“There’s probably one day a month when I say, ‘Why in the world (did I do this?)’ But it’s like your baby,” said Harris, 46, of Penfield. “I love practicing medicine, I love the science.”

Harris specializes in pediatrics and internal medicine. She also is a clinical associate professor at University of Rochester and medical staff president at Highland Hospital.

A graduate of the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Harris was practicing at Highland Family Medicine when it moved from its South Avenue location in 2003. Wanting to continue in an urban setting, she said: “It was either leave Rochester or private practice.”


April 14, 2008 at 2:47 pm 1 comment


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