Illinois Social Workers Conference Sept. 24-26 to Discuss Bridging Health Disparities

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The National Association of Social Workers Illinois Chapter will discuss bridging health disparities at its sixth biennial statewide conference scheduled Sept. 24-26 at the Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza.

The National Association of Social Workers Illinois Chapter (NASW/IL) (http://www.naswil.org) will discuss bridging health disparities at its sixth biennial statewide conference scheduled Sept. 24-26 at the Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza.

The conference theme 'Bridging Health Disparities: Help Starts Here,' is part of a national campaign by the profession (http://www.helpstartshere.org), focusing on the important role of social workers in health settings, according to NASW/IL Executive Director Joel L. Rubin, MSW. "Our members provide assistance in many different healthcare areas, including aging, mental health, child welfare, cancer, end of life, adolescent health, HIV/AIDS and family violence," said Rubin. "As such, they are concerned about what they can do to help eliminate health disparities, including racial and ethnic inequalities in medical treatment that persist for many - not only in Illinois and the United States, but globally."

Highlights of the event, open to social workers and the public, include:

  • Keynote speaker Michael E. Bird, MSW, MPH, former president of the American Public Health Association, the world's oldest and largest association of public health workers. With more than 25 years of public health experience - including 21 years with the Indian Health Service - his career has touched on medical social work, substance abuse, HIV/AIDS prevention and health care administration. His address at 9 a.m. Sept. 24 will focus on how to "Bridge the Gap" when it comes to health disparities in the United States.
  • The premier of Kevin's Room: Together (http://www.kevinsroom.org), the third and final installment of the acclaimed series that addresses the HIV/AIDS crisis in the African American gay community. The 90-minute video, produced by the Chicago Department of Health's Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Health, will air at 5 p.m. Sept. 24.
  • Workshops by human services professionals from Mexico City, focusing on the trends and challenges they face in dealing with child welfare, poverty, an aging population, and other national issues. The NASW/IL is hosting the delegation's participation in the conference.
  • A job fair with human services organizations and agencies promoting social work employment opportunities throughout Illinois.
  • Exhibits featuring more than 60 products and services of interest to social workers.

Participants can receive up to 19 Continuing Educations Units (CEUs) for attending the full three-day conference. Registration may be completed at http://www.naswil.org or by calling 815-753-6900.

A limited number of sponsorships and exhibitor spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis. For information, contact khillman@naswil.org.

About the NASW/IL
Based in Chicago, the 8,000-member NASW/IL is part of the National Association of Social Workers, the world's largest membership organization of professional social workers. With 150,000 members worldwide, the NASW works to enhance the professional growth and development of its members, to create and maintain professional standards, and to advance sound social policies.

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