NMA To Host National Colloquium on Black Health

male and female doctor giving a high five to each other(BlackDoctor.org) — The National Medical Association (NMA) in conjunction with the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NCBSL) will host the Thirteenth National Colloquium on African American Health on March 24th – 27th, in Washington, DC.

The 2012 theme, All Advocacy is Local: The Roadmap to Health Equity, captures the focus of the NMA on equipping its State and Local Societies to increase their health advocacy action across the country. NMA continues to assert itself as the major force for health equity in the United States by creating forums, like the colloquium, which foster effective dialogue between physicians, advocates, state officials and federal entities as they seek to address the unique health policy challenges that face the nation.

“The NMA continues to exert leadership in the area of health policy and to advocate for pressing issues for all US citizens but particularly vulnerable populations with rampant health disparities,” stated Cedric Bright, MD NMA President. “NMA doctors take care of patients on a day to day basis but we realize that physicians must also take an active role in advocacy from the White House to the State House and in our local jurisdictions. Our13th Annual Health Policy Colloquium continues to equip the physicians and leaders who attend with the tools to be effective health advocates.”

This year’s NMA Annual Health Policy Colloquium occurs at a pivotal time in this nation’s history. The United States Supreme Court will be hearing oral arguments on the Affordable Care Act during the Colloquium week, and the planned Colloquium agenda will feature sessions discussing topics relevant to this historic debate.

Several high level and notable participants are expected to attend the weekend long conference which features presentations by numerous medical experts, policy makers and industry leaders. The Colloquium will include issues such as: Health Equity and Social Determinants of Health, The Affordable Care Act and its implementation, health disparities in various diseases/conditions, the need for increased minority participation in clinical trials, and other important issues that impact millions of lives.

“We are excited about the energy and commitment that our physician leaders from across the nation are bringing to the nation’s capital,” said Dr. Bright. “We will end the colloquium with visits to Capitol Hill and have scheduled meetings with elected officials as we directly advocate for the patients that we serve. Physicians will be clad in their white coats as we walk the halls of the capital as a reminder of our commitment to this sacred profession and the trust that our patients give us with their very lives.”

This event is part of a strategic agenda of the NMA which continues to advance and advocate for the elimination of health disparities. The NMA will announce the launch of a major hepatitis C campaign during this year’s Colloquium. This major undertaking is a yearly focus of the NMA and is supported in part by organizations/companies who continue to demonstrate their commitment to ending health disparities by standing with the NMA. Pfizer Inc., Eli Lilly and Company, AstraZeneca, Abbott Laboratories, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Allergan, Inc., Novo Nordisk and Boston Scientific Corporation; the NMA hopes that other corporations and organizations will join them in their ongoing health advocacy initiatives.

The NMA will continue to advocate for underserved patients and will maintain this dialogue during NMA’s Convention slated for July 28 through August 1, 2012 – New Orleans, Louisiana. The NMA hopes that other organizations will join them in their ongoing health initiatives which focus on minorities.