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Forum Aims to Disrupt Legacy of Mistrust & Disparities in Health Care

Published Date:
A recent study by ‘Governing’ magazine listed Springfield as one of the nation’s most segregated cities. It cited factors such as neighborhood housing and the median income gap between white and African American families. Research shows that the social determinants of health ─ economic factors such as having a job, a stable home and access to transportation ─ can have as much of an impact on a person’s well-being as seeing a doctor regularly. If bias is added to the mix, the chance for a positive patient outcome is decreased.
SIU School of Medicine will host a community forum addressing some of the practices that lead to health inequities at 9 – 11 am, Wednesday, February 13, at HSHS St. John’s Hospital Dove Conference Center in the Prairie Heart Institute, 619 E. Mason St. The Alonzo Homer Kenniebrew, MD Forum on Health Inequities and Disparities provides an outlet for community members to have an open and honest conversation about trust, race and health. Guests will work together to recommend actionable solutions and strengthen community partnerships. HSHS St. John’s Hospital, Memorial Health System and the SIU Foundation are underwriting the cost of the annual forum. Area activists, social service providers, and the general public are invited.
Discussion will include input from Dave McIntosh, PhD, chief inclusion and diversity officer at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. McIntosh is delivering the keynote speech at the Alonzo Homer Kenniebrew, MD, Presentation on Health Inequities and Disparities, “Authentic and Critical Conversations on Race, Health and Patient Care,” at the Memorial Center for Learning and Innovation, 228 W. Miller St., at 5:30 pm Tuesday. The forum is named after Dr. Alonzo Kenniebrew, the first African-American physician in the United States to build and operate a private surgical hospital. The New Home Sanitarium in Jacksonville, Illinois, was established in 1909. Kenniebrew founded the hospital because he was refused admitting privileges at area hospitals.
“The presentation and community forum honor the legacy of Dr. Kenniebrew as a trailblazer and humanitarian in the region and continue his work of fighting inequities,” said Wendi El-Amin, MD, associate dean for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at SIU School of Medicine.
To reserve your seat at the forum, please contact Christine Sulmers at

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