Former PA Secretary of Health: Public and Private Investment Approaches Carry Potential for Eliminating Health Disparities

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Related Panel to be Convened at Fourth Annual National Conference on Health Disparities, in Philadelphia

The Fourth Annual National Conference on Health Disparities

Using Public and Private Equity Investment to Strengthen and Sustain Our Communities: Can we strategically invest our way out of health disparity and into health equity?

According to Dr. Calvin B. Johnson, former PA Secretary of Health, there have been far too few meaningful, public discussions with regard to the substantial economic costs being borne by the U.S., as a result of its lengthy pattern of race – and gender – based health disparities. Johnson is planning to address that issue and the ability to eliminate disparities by investing in businesses, communities, and people, specifically, when he leads a panel, titled “Using Public and Private Equity Investment to Strengthen and Sustain Our Communities: Can we strategically invest our way out of health disparity and into health equity?”, at the Fourth Annual National Conference on Health Disparities, November 12, 2010, at 2:45pm, at the Philadelphia Marriott Hotel.

The panel will be comprised of five healthcare and investment community professionals, including Osagie Imasogie, Phoenix IP Ventures, LLC; Steven Sanders, Strategic Investment Partners, LLC; Dr. Arjumand Siddiqi, University of North Carolina; Dr. Denis Cortese, former CEO, Mayo Clinic; and Dr. Owen Garrick, chief operating officer and director, HOV Clinical Research.

The Urban Institute, in a September 2009 report, estimated that disparities among African Americans, Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites had cost the health care system $23.9 billion, in that year. Medicare, alone, according to the Institute, faced costs of an extra $15.6 billion, while private insurers incurred $5.1 billion in additional costs, due to elevated rates of chronic illness among African Americans and Hispanics. Over the 10-year period from 2009-2018, the total cost of healthcare disparities is expected to approximate $337 billion, according to the Institute.

According to Dr. Johnson, “The causes of disparity in health and health care are complex and multi-layered. The effects of health disparities have been shown to be far-reaching and long-lasting. More recently, with the documentation of the economic impact of healthcare disparities, there is a growing recognition of the significant economic costs related to them, in addition to the physical and social costs.” He continued, “In our session, at the National Conference, in Philadelphia, we will explore potentially effective, yet underutilized, strategic investment approaches that may be effective tools in eliminating health disparities.”

About the Fourth National Conference on Healthcare Disparities
The Fourth National Conference on Health Disparities has been organized in conjunction with the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust and the Tri-Caucus Health Taskforce chairs.

The event is being supported by the Medical University of South Carolina, Morehouse School of Medicine, Lincoln University, Cheyney University, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Drexel University of Public Health, Temple University and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc.

Co-Supporters include: PhRMA, the Alliance for Digital Equality, the U.S. Department of Energy, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Lilly, Health Partners and AmeriHealth Mercy Family of Companies.

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