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UMass Med School Students Kick-off the Unnatural Causes: Health Disparities Interest Group

UMass Med School Students Kick-off the Unnatural Causes: Health Disparities Interest Group

October 9, 2008

This past Tuesday, October 7th, a group of students from Worcester UMass Medical School got together to Kick-off the Unnatural Causes: Health Disparities Interest Group. Together they watched and discussed two episodes from the Unnatural Causes documentary series. There was a great mix of about 15 nursing and medical students. The panelists for the night included: Lauren A. Smith, Medical Director of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Meghan E.T. Patterson, Director of the Disparities Project at the Boston Public Health Commission, Elmer R. Freeman, Executive Director of the Center for Community Health Education Research and Service, Inc. and co-chair of the Disparities Action Network (DAN) and Marianne E. Felice, Professor and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

The two episodes shown at the event were When the Bough Breaks and Place Matters. After the screenings the attendees stayed for a discussion. Dayanne Leal, from Health Care For All, was the moderator in the discussion and the students demonstrated great passion for justice. The discussion topics were primarily around racism, the issue of high infant mortality rates in the city of Worcester, the role of doctors in decreasing racial and ethnic disparities and diseases disproportionably affecting minorities such as diabetes.

At the end of the night, the students who organized this event made sure to invite individuals to take action and become a part of this movement. If you are interested in learning more about what the students at UMass Medical School are doing, contact April Inniss at April.Inniss@umassmed.edu.

Dayanne Leal