Health and Health Education Symposium

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Health and Health Education Symposium

In order to achieve these goals, it is imperative that stakeholders and thought leaders work collectively to achieve equitable healthcare and optimal health outcomes for underrepresented populations, as well as preeminent education and research opportunities for students. To that end, and in celebration of the inauguration of President Maurie McInnis, this mini-symposium — presented as an interdisciplinary and collaborative effort from several schools within the Health Sciences Center — will discuss the panel’s efforts to reduce such disparities.

Jennie Williams

Racial and Social Determinates of HealthHector E. Alcalá, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor, Department of Family, Population and Preventive Medicine, Program in Public Health

Dr. Williams’ research focus is cancer chemoprevention/chemotherapy. She investigates the chemopreventive/therapeutic properties of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NO-NSAIDs) and formulated derivatives as well as novel natural agents against cancer ignition and progression. Concurrently, she addresses the underlying genetic/regulatory causes associated with cancer racial disparity — a major health concern in this nation. As such, Dr. Williams’ group assesses social influences, the dysregulation of gene expression, and aberrant DNA methylation as factors influencing racial health disparity in incidence and mortality rates of cancers. The overall actionable goals of these positions are to enhance diversity through active recruitment and retention, generation of diversity awareness in research, and improvement of culture competency in the workforce. Dr. Williams also serves as assistant dean for student diversity at the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University and associate director for diversity, equity and inclusion for the SBU Cancer Center.

Story Highlights

  • That healthcare practice, health outcomes and health research disparities adversely affect underrepresented groups (including but not limited to, race/ethnicity, physical ability, LGBTQIA+, age, geographic location, etc.) has been well researched and established. Eliminating disparities in healthcare and health outcomes requires an understanding of the determinants of disease, causes of health disparities, and effective interventions for prevention and treatment.

  • Erasing Health InequalitiesJennie Williams, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Family, Population and Preventive Medicine

Hector Alcalá

Dr. Alcalá studies the impact of early life adversity on health. In particular, he examines how adversity impacts cancer risk and known correlates of cancer like smoking, cancer screening and use of other preventive health services. Dr. Alcalá’s research also focuses on health disparities, with a strong focus on racial and ethnic disparities. This work explores differences between broad racial categories, examines how policies have impacted these disparities, and examines the heterogeneity that exists within racial and ethnic groups. In this research, he has investigated a variety of outcomes including access and utilization of healthcare, arrests, tobacco use and dietary behaviors. 

Creating Inclusive and Equitable Learning SpacesRobbye Kinkade, MPH, CHES, DrPh(c), Clinical Assistant Professor, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, School of Health Technology and Management Robbye Kinkade

In the initial phases of Stony Brook University’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) plan, Ms. Kinkade was appointed director of the “Responding to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion” (R.E.D.I.) project. She was responsible for the overall development, management and coordination of the two-year pilot project. Central to the initiative was the development of a safe and brave space, such that facilitation of implicit bias and cultural consciousness could be discussed for any of SBU’s administrators, faculty and staff. Ms. Kinkade has worked in collaboration with key stakeholders both on and off campus to develop additional department-specific DEI programs and training curriculum. She also has many years of professional experience in public health education and training. As a public health educator, she has worked with the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) the Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA), as well as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). She has presented both nationally and internationally and is currently a doctoral candidate at the State University of New York’s Downstate Medical College, School of Public Health. Her research addresses the importance of creating participant-perceived “brave and psychologically safe spaces” during DEI training. Ms. Kinkade is a clinical assistant professor in the School of Health Technology and Management and director of the school’s DEI Office. Promoting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Stony Brook MedicineAdam Gonzalez, PhD, Founding Director, Mind-Body Clinical Research Center, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry

Adam Gonzalez Adam Gonzalez is a licensed clinical psychologist and founding director of the Mind-Body Clinical Research Center. He is an expert in cognitive behavioral treatment for mood and anxiety disorders, dialectical behavior therapy, relaxation/mindfulness-based treatments and behavioral medicine. His program of research focuses on understanding the interplay of cognitive, emotional and behavioral health factors that may affect physical and mental health, as well as disease management among chronically ill populations.

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Visit the Inauguration website for more information and events. In addition to his responsibilities with the Mind-Body Clinical Research Center, Dr. Gonzalez is also co-director of the Stony Brook University Consortium Pre- and Post-Doctoral Training programs in clinical psychology and co-director of the Center for Disaster Health, Trauma & Resilience.