Cultural Diversity, Diversity Conferences

Press Release

  September 13-15, 2004
Rochester Riverside Convention Center

If You Want High Quality Health Care, It's Good to
Speak English, Be White, and Rich

Health Care Symposium Will Address Eliminating
Health Outcome Disparities

Rochester, NY--August 26, 2004--From child and adult immunizations to overcoming health disparities for the deaf and hard of hearing, these and other issues will be the center of discussion by physicians and health experts at " If You Want High Quality Health Care, It's Good to Speak English, Be White, and Rich." The Post Conference Symposium on health care wraps up the three-day Diversity 2004 Conference on September 15 in Rochester.

The Symposium will be held from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center. It is presented by the Greater Rochester Diversity Council and the Monroe County Health Care Diversity Task Force, which is dedicated to bettering the health status of the community by improving the cultural competence of health care systems, and eliminating disparities in health care outcomes. Topics will focus on helping caregivers and health care administrators and executives improve their understanding and skill in meeting the needs of an increasingly diverse population.

Andrew Doniger, MD, Monroe County Health Director and an organizer of the Symposium said, "There is a growing depth of expertise and research on this subject that we will share at this symposium. We hope this will in turn help health administrators and providers achieve measurable improvement in the health status of key segments of our population."

Speakers will address quality improvement, data collection and cultural effectiveness initiatives that can help them reduce disparities and provide effective and equal access to care. "One shouldn't have to be "white, rich and speak English to receive good quality health care," added Dr. Doniger, emphasizing the title of the Symposium.

David Satcher, MD, PhD, 16th Surgeon General of the United States will deliver the opening keynote address and later meet with area health care leaders. Dr. Satcher is Director of the National Center for Primary Care at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia. As Surgeon General and Assistant Secretary for Health, he spearheaded the development of Healthy People 2010, which included the elimination of racial and ethnic disparities in health as one of its two goals. He was personally responsible for initiating the effort to look at the disparities in health outcomes as a priority nationally.

Doreen Z. Mouzakes, Senior Diversity Consultant for Aetna, will be the featured luncheon speaker and talk about How Cultural Differences Impact Health Care: Sharing a Global Experience. Before joining Aetna, Ms. Mouzakes was Director of Diversity Development for Save the Children, the international relief and development organization.

Sessions & Speakers
1:30 - 3 p.m. - Quality Management to Overcome Disparities in Health Outcomes I
  • Eliminating the Disparity in Children's Immunizations in Rochester: Peter Szilagyi, MD, MPH, Department of Pediatrics, University of Rochester Medical Center
  • STD/HIV Program, University of Rochester Medical Center: Addressing Disparities in Rates of Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Rochester; a Program Perspective: Patricia Coury-Doniger, RN, FNPC, Center for Health & Behavioral Training, Monroe County
  • Our Differences: Applying the Aetna Strategy to Reduce Disparities in Health Outcomes: Charles Peck, MD, Northeast Region, Aetna
1:30 - 3 p.m. Improving Cultural Competency in the Delivery of Health Care I
  • Building Cultural Competency in the Behavioral Health System: Lenore Reid-Rose, CCSI
  • Culturally Responsive Strategies Used in a Pediatric Weight Management Program: A Buffalo Experience: Cheryl Friedman, RN, MHA, Lifetime Health Centers
  • Monroe Plan for Medical Care, Placing Cultural Competency at the Heart of your Mission: the Journey from Vision to Reality: Robert Thompson and Alida Merrill
3:15 - 4:45 p.m. Quality Management to Overcome Disparities in Health Outcomes II
  • Eliminating Disparities in Adult Immunizations for Influenza and Pneumococcal Infection: Nancy Bennett MD, MS, Monroe County Health Department
  • Eliminating Disparities Between Commercial Insurance and Medicaid Managed Care: Joe Stankaitis, MD, MPH, Monroe Plan for Medical Care
  • Overcoming Disparities in Managed Care in New York State: Foster Gesten, MD, MPH, Office of Medicaid Management, New York State Department of Health
3:15 - 4:45 p.m. Does Anyone Hear Me? Deaf People in a Hearing Healthcare System
  • Overcoming Health Disparities for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing: The National Center for Deaf Health Research: Thomas Pearson, MD, PhD, Department of Community and Preventive Medicine, University of Rochester Medical Center
  • Primary Health Care for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Patients: Timothy Malia, MD, Lifetime Health Centers
  • Research Findings on Health Care Services for the Deaf: Steven Barnett, MD, Dept. of Family Medicine, University of Rochester Medical Center
5 - 6:00 p.m. - Networking Reception with Presenters

Registration & Fees
Visit to register online or download the conference brochure and registration form. Or, contact Barbara Cutrona,, 585-224-2727.

The cost to attend is $150 per person ($125 for Greater Rochester Diversity Council (GRDC) Members) and $100 for students of GRDC member schools. This includes the opening keynote, choice of concurrent sessions, lunch, and a networking reception with the speakers. To find out if your company is a GRDC member, visit

Monroe County Health Care Diversity Task Force Members
Aetna, African-American Health Task Force, Association of Independent Health Centers, Bausch & Lomb, Coordinated Care Services, Excellus, Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency, Hispanic Health Task Force, Monroe County Department of Health, Monroe Plan, Unity Health, University of Rochester Medical Center and ViaHealth.

Greater Rochester Diversity Council
The Greater Rochester Diversity Council (GRDC) has organized some of the nation's highest attended workforce diversity conferences. The GRDC's mission is to be a catalyst to enhance professional development, understanding, promotion and management of diversity as an essential part of business success. Its primary focus is to create a learning community within the business world to address diversity and its benefits. Members include more than 45 of the area's largest employers and leading educational and not-for-profit organizations.


Media Contact
Jean Dalmath

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