The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Gillings School of Global Public Health (link)

 Your guide to minority health-related activities
at UNC-CH and elsewhere 

17th Annual Summer Public Health Research
Institute and Videoconference on Minority Health


Health Equity: Progress and Pitfalls

Presentation slides and handouts

Krista Perreira, Ph.D. [bio]

"Childhood Migration and Well-being: A Framework for Understanding the Opportunities and Challenges" [slides] [handout]


Nearly one quarter of children in the US are children of immigrants. They are the fastest growing segment of the child population. Poor childhood health contributes to lower socioeconomic status in adulthood. Subsequently, low socioeconomic status among parents contributes to poor childhood health outcomes in the next generation. This cycle can be particularly pernicious for vulnerable and low-income minority populations, including many children of immigrants. And because of the rapid growth in the numbers of immigrant children, this cycle also has implications for the nation as a whole. By promoting the physical well-being and emotional health of children of immigrants, health professionals and policy makers can ultimately improve the long-term economic prospects of the next generation. This presentation reviews current data on educational and health disparities by race-ethnicity and immigrant generation, provides a framework for understanding these disparities, and discusses the role of public policy in promoting eduation and health equity.


  1. Krista M. Perreira and India J. Ornelas. The Physical and Psychological Well-Being of Immigrant Children. In: Immigrant Children, vol. 21, no. 1, Spring 2011 (and other articles in that issue), The Future of Children, Princeton University.

Marilyn Aguirre-Molina, Ed.D., M.S. [regrets] [bio]

Missing the forest for the trees: Ignoring inequities when addressing minority health disparities" [not presented]


If policy and decision makers, as well as practitioners, continue to view health disparities as discrete health problems or diseases that can be ameliorated by teaching individuals to change behaviors, or by improving access to medical care, we will continue to miss the forest for the trees. Addressing disparities requires an understanding of inequity and the underlying etiology and environments that create and/or fuel them. That is, progress cannot be made without tackling the social determinants of health, as well as the construct of race in our society. This presentation will present and deconstruct select chronic diseases where inequity is at the root. Lessons learned from working with the front-line (community organizations) will be shared.


  1. Acevedo-Garcia, et al., (2003). Future Directions in Residential Segregation and Health. Am J Public Health (link)
  2. Advancing Health Equity: "A Guide Of Next Steps For Action" (2008) Office Of Minority Health & Public Health Policy, Virginia Department Of Health (link)
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health Disparities and Inequalities Report United States, 2011 (link)
  4. Principles and Basic Concepts of Equity and Health (October 1999) Division of Health and Human Development, PAHO-WHO
  5. World Health Organization (2003). Social Determinants of Health: The Solid Facts. 2nd ed. Edited by Richard Wilkinson and Michael Marmot. Copenhagen, Denmark: The World Health Organization (link)

Jeffrey A. Henderson, M.D.,M.P.H. [bio]

Toward a Future of Good Health and Wellness: Inequities in American Indian and Alaska Native Health [slides] [handout]


Although once thought to be protected from most chronic diseases, American Indians and Alaska Natives are impacted by some of the most dramatic population health disparities in the United States, including disparities in cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and chronic liver disease. Recently ascertained cancer incidence data - the most complete and accurate ever produced for this population - reveals that, for nearly every leading tumor type for both men and women, an American Indian/Alaska Native population group has both the highest, and the lowest, cancer type incidence rates.

A myriad of historical and contemporary forces are responsible for fostering and continuing the health inequities experienced by American Indians/Alaska Natives. Historical poverty and joblessness within many Tribes, dramatic underfunding of the Indian Health Service, a lack of meaningful capital lending in most Native communities, and the poorly-described consequences of a wide range of environmental injustices pose great challenges to efforts to remedying these health inequities. Nevertheless, many of these inequities are the focus of a variety of efforts, including those mounted by the Black Hills Center for American Indian Health, a small community-based, tax-exempt, research-intensive organization founded in Rapid City, South Dakota in 1998.

Brian D. Smedley, Ph.D. [bio]

Building Stronger Communities for Better Health: Moving from Science to Policy and Practice [slides] [handout]


Racial and ethnic health inequalities are persistent and span from the cradle to the grave, in the form of higher rates of infant mortality, chronic disease, disability and premature death among many racial and ethnic minority groups. A large volume of research demonstrates that these inequities persist even after socioeconomic factors such as income and education levels are considered. The Affordable Care Act will--if fully implemented and funded--address many of these inequities, particularly those sensitive to the financing and delivery of health care. Many public health researchers, however, believe that a fundamental factor underlying these inequities is residential segregation, which powerfully shapes access to health resources, risks, and life opportunities. Racial and ethnic minorities are more likely than whites to live in segregated, high-poverty communities, communities that have historically suffered from a lack of health care investment. Many of these communities also face a host of health hazards such as high levels of air, water and soil pollution, and a glut of fast food restaurants and liquor stores and have relatively few health-enhancing resources, such as grocery stores where fresh fruits and vegetables can be purchased, or safe parks and recreational facilities where residents can exercise or play. Many affected populations also face barriers to health care services, which further increases risks born by segregation and poverty concentration. This talk will outline several community-level policy strategies supported by research and "practice-based evidence" that address the disinvestment typically seen in highly-segregated, high-poverty communities.


  1. (link)

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Videoconference information

    Archived webcast available now
    Background resources for this topic
    Behind the scenes - broadcast producer O.J. McGhee at work (YouTube)
    Broadcast information (webcast)  
          Register to view the Internet broadcast (webcast) (and see the link to the broadcast)
          Find a viewing site near you
    Comments from participants
    Credits and acknowledgements
    Evaluation report (docx) (pdf)
    Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
          Presentation slides and handouts
          Publicity materials (flyers, poster, email announcement)
    Speaker biographies
    Sponsorship and endorsements
    Previous Videoconferences in this series
    Annual Minority Health Conference led by the Minority Student Caucus
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Minority Health Project| Department of Epidemiology
UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health
2104D McGavran-Greenberg, CB#7435 | Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7435
Phone 919-966-7436 | Fax 919-966-2089| E-mail

Last updated: 5/25/2011, 6/1,2,7,8,9/2011 by Vic