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Conference Session Descriptions


The Indian Health Pathway: A primer for Indigenous health

9:15-10:15 a.m. | Plenary Session

American Indian and Alaska Native communities have significant health inequities rooted in the social determinants of health. A strategy to ameliorate the effects of these inequities is to train medical students to care for these special populations.  The University of Washington’s School of Medicine established the Indian Health Pathway in 1992 in efforts to prepare our nascent physicians to care for Indigenous patients throughout our region, which encompasses Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. This session will discuss the practice of this program in the hopes it may be useful for other academic medical institutions wishing to train their medical students to work with indigenous communities experiencing significant health inequities.

Presenter: Jason F. Deen (Blackfeet), M.D., associate vice chair for equity, diversity and inclusion and assistant professor, Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, University of Washington

Community Engagement Roles for the Biomedical Workforce: Perspectives from Members of Local COVID-19 Response Task Forces

12:30-1:30 p.m. | Plenary Session

An interprofessional panel will explore the impacts of community engagement during COVID-19. During this interactive panel, presenters will share their personal journeys with community engagement to reduce health disparities. They will also share promising practices for improving health equity in the midst of a public health crisis. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn from leaders in the Greater Houston area community who are actively involved in endeavors to build healthier communities. Participants will receive information about how to become engaged with community stakeholders while balancing their well-being and personal and professional obligations.

Toi B. Harris, M.D., Associate Provost, Center of Excellence in Health Equity, Training and Research Principal Investigator/Program Director, and Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Pediatrics & Family and Community Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine & Member, Fort Bend County COVID-19 Mental Health Task Force


Keila Lopez, M.D., Director of Pediatric Cardiology Transition Program, Texas Children’s Hospital, Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine & Member, City of Houston Health Equity Response Task Force

Asim Shah, M.B.B.S., Chief of Psychiatry, Ben Taub Hospital, Harris Health System, Executive Vice Chair and Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine, Member, City of Houston Health Equity Response Task Force & Chair, Fort Bend County COVID-19 Mental Health Task Force

Jean Raphael, M.D., M.P.H., Section Chief for Academic General Pediatrics and Director of the Center for Child Health Policy and Advocacy, Texas Children’s Hospital, Associate Professor and Associate Vice Chair for Community Health, Department of Pediatrics & Center of Excellence in Health Equity Training and Research Associate Director for Health Equity, Baylor College of Medicine

Design and Testing of Mobile Health Applications to Improve Non-Communicable Disease Health Literacy among Vulnerable Populations in India

3:15-4:15 p.m. | Concurrent Session 1

Our multidisciplinary international team collaborated to build culturally appropriate mobile health [mHealth] applications [apps] to improve noncommunicable disease [NCD] health literacy among vulnerable populations in India. During this interactive presentation, learners will explore social Innovation collaborative methods used by researchers and industry professionals from the US and India representing nursing, medicine, art, business, statistics, computer sciences, information technology and animation.  During this presentation, the apps will be demonstrated and the audience will use interactive co-creation methods to make recommendations for improving the apps including generation of ideas for dissemination and sustainability.

Presenter: Shelby L. Garner, Ph.D., RN, CNE, associate professor, Louise Herrington School of Nursing, Baylor University & Julia Hitchcock, M.F.A., Professor of Art and Medical Humanities, Baylor University

Fostering Professional Identity Formation Using Social Justice Curricula

3:15-4:15 p.m. | Concurrent Session 2

In residency education, there remains an unmet need to strongly link multicultural education to social justice - the premise being that all human beings are equal and deserve equality in healthcare.  Furthermore, developing a mindset of cultural praxis in residency allows for fostering early engagement into integrating advocacy skills into longitudinal clinical practice. Fostering skills in social justice has been noted to promote the amelioration of health disparities and advocacy skills fosters the continual development of one’s professional identity. Although curricula are emerging on how to develop a mindset of cultural praxis through social justice curricula, the ability of trainers to help residents connect multicultural curricular themes to social justice can be quite challenging, especially in the context of professionalism. 

Presenters: Audrea Burns, Ph.D., associate program director, Pediatrician-Scientist Training & Development Program and assistant professor, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine & Parag N. Jain, M.B.B.S., assistant professor, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine