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San Diego Forum Examines Role Of Race In Medicine

KPBS Investigative Reporter Amita Sharma speaks with Camara Jones, president of the American Public Health Association, and Rodney Hood, president of the Multicultural Health Foundation, about a public forum which hopes to tackle the issue of racial disparities in health care.

San Diego Forum Examines Role Of Race In Medicine

GUESTS:

Rodney Hood, president, Multicultural Health Foundation

Edith Mitchell, president, National Medical Association

Camara Jones, president, American Public Health Association

Transcript

Event Info

What: “Racism: Let the Cure Begin”

When: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation at 404 Euclid Ave., San Diego

Cost: Free and open to the public

Tuesday is World Aids Day and African-Americans are the racial group most affected by HIV, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Racial and ethnic disparities in health care is an ongoing concern and a San Diego town hall meeting Tuesday night tackles the question: What role does racism have on health care disparities?

The public forum, titled “Racism: Let the Cure Begin,” is being organized by the San Diego-based Multicultural Health Foundation. Organizers said the goal is to have an 'informed and candid' conversation about the role of race in medicine and discuss possible solutions.

Camara Jones, president of the Public Health Association, told KPBS Midday Edition on Tuesday that racism is the root cause for health disparities.

"We're having this discussion to talk about racism — not as an individual flaw," Jones said. "It's a system of structuring opportunity that unfairly disadvantages communities."

Rodney Hood, president of the Multicultural Health Foundation, has practiced medicine in San Diego for 40 years. He said health inequity is when an outcome is unnecessary or unjust based upon different factors.

"Poverty is one (factor)," Hood said. "Where you live is another. What is not discussed enough is race, racism and discrimination. It's been well-documented over many years."

Jones said the nation can reach a fair health care system by focusing on three areas: creating principles, recognizing historical injustice and providing resources to those in need.

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