On March 9 to March 12, 2018, the National Medical Association (NMA) held its Nineteenth Annual National Colloquium on African-American Health at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. This event brought together health experts, the media, and government officials to discuss the health disparities for African-Americans.
The Colloquium offered an opportunity for health experts and community leaders to address pressing issues facing African-American patients and healthcare providers. This year’s Colloquium was titled, “The Urgency of Now: Creating a Culture of Health Equity,” and focused on implementing actions and policies that will quickly result in positive health outcomes for minority populations. During the Colloquium, stakeholders collaborated on solutions to address health disparities, access to essentials health services for patients, and how to increase the number of African-American physicians. They also explored a myriad of action items and policy solutions that would improve the health outcomes for minority populations throughout the nation. During the Colloquium’s awards ceremony, NMA honored leaders of health equity initiatives with signature NMA awards.
The National Black Caucus of State Legislators has a history of participating in this event. This year, NBCSL President, Rep. Gregory Porter of Indiana, contributed on a panel to discuss issues of health equity from the perspective of state and local elected officials. Pres. Porter was joined on this panel by the mayor of Grambling, LA, the mayor of Tuskegee, AL, and former NBCSL President, Mayor Catherine Pugh of Baltimore, MD. Other featured speakers included: NAACP President Derrick Johnson and National Urban League Senior VP for Policy Don Cravins on a panel discussing Health Equity as a Civil Rights Issue, media personality Roland Martin, Atlantic writer Van Newkirk, and POLITICO Health Care Editor Adriel Bettelheim.