A Blueprint for Change: 3rd National Leadership Summit on Eliminating Racial & Ethnic Disparities in Health


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February 25-27, 2009: Third National Leadership Summit - A blueprint for change

Last week, we attended the Office of Minority Health’s (OMH) Third National Leadership Summit on Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health, this year’s largest gathering of public health professionals working to reduce health disparities. We were thrilled that OMH leadership dedicated three sessions to technology and new media! These sessions highlighted the need for information on new media, the use of new media by communities of color, and how to incorporate new media into communication planning.

  • offered a pre-summit workshop, “Using New Media and Communities of Color.” The workshop emphasized the importance of planning your new media strategy, and was based on information from NTEN’s We Are Media Exit Disclaimer two–day training. Participants represented diverse public health interests, including AIDS, cancer, family planning, and occupational health, and they came from as far away as American Samoa. They reflected what we have found to be true among many HIV providers—some were just learning the basics of new media, while others were already implementing new media strategies and were able to share their experiences and lessons learned. Many of these participants highlighted great examples of new media use. (To view our slides on slideshare from our presentation, click here. Exit Disclaimer)
  • Miguel Gomez, Director of, participated in a panel on “Innovative Media Strategies for Addressing Inequalities in Health” with Rachel Poulain of the PBS series, Unnatural Causes Exit Disclaimer, and Candace Muggerud from the GoodHealthTV Exit Disclaimer web-based tool for Native Americans. View his slides on Slideshare Exit Disclaimer or in last week’s post.
  • OMH’s Miryam Granthon facilitated a session on “Opportunities for HIT (Health information and Technology) and Underserved Communities” that distilled President Obama’s vision to computerize health records in the next five years.

The turnout for these presentations exceeded our expectations. It was encouraging to see so many people interested in using new media to reach communities of color. We look forward to continuing the dialogue and learning from our colleagues. We have an obligation to help our colleagues understand new media because, as the statistics show, Americans at risk for HIV and other diseases are using online information to help them make decisions about their health and their behaviors.

Do you know of any upcoming new media training opportunities that might interest our readers? Please let us know!



  1. With technology getting advanced, its nice to see it being integrated all along even in spreading awareness about health. A good thing to organize a workshop like this.

  2. Hello Everyone~
    I would like to begin to say that this was the first Summit that I attended and it was amazing. The workshop that I found most useful (connected with the most with) was called, “Beyond the Myth: New Media Use and Communities of Color”. In this workshop I learned that it is very important to be up to date or current with media resources. The “KNOWIT” campaign was introduced and I thought this is a brilliant idea. The “KNOWIT” campaign promotes the use of cell phone to identify HIV local testing sights in the vicinity of the zip desired. What a novel idea!!!! One places the word KNOWIT – 566948 in the send part of the text and in the body of the text message one types in the zip code desired, the text is sent. Instantaneously one will receive the testing site in the nearest location. THAT IS FANTASTIC!!!! Immediately I thought I can take this information and apply it to my HIV health and awareness presentations. I serve as a HIV/AIDS Health Educator serving the Colleges/Universities communities in New York City and the state of New Jersey. Most college students own cell phones, and I thought why not incorporate this new media technique in spreading awareness? The Tuesday following The Leadership Summit, I implemented the “KNOWIT” campaign and found that the students were energized by this concept. There was a massive wave of students’ texting the desire zip code and instantaneously receiving local testing sites. You guys ROCK!!! Words can’t express how grateful my students and I are for this media resource idea. Thanks for this information.
    Jacqueline Bourdony

  3. Great and nice information. Thanks for sharing.
    I like your blog and keep posting…

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