By Crystal Baity
GREENVILLE, N.C. (Jan. 19, 2011) — East Carolina University and communities are working together to reduce disparities, improve minority health and solve health problems, which is the focus of the seventh annual Jean Mills Health Symposium Feb. 4 in Greenville.
The keynote speaker will be Dr. William C. “Bill” Jenkins, adjunct associate professor of epidemiology in the Morehouse School of Medicine and senior fellow with the Institute for African American Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Jenkins served two decades as supervisory epidemiologist in the National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and managed its Minority Health Activities Program. He managed the Participant Health Benefits Program which assures medical services to the survivors of the Tuskegee syphilis study. Jenkins also served as an expert on minority issues in disease transmission as chief of the research and evaluation statistics section in the Division of Sexually Transmitted Diseases Prevention and as manager of the National Minority Organizations HIV Prevention Program.
Jenkins’ presentation, “Community Participatory Research: Myths and Realities,” begins at 9:15 a.m. Friday, Feb. 4 in the Greenville Hilton, 207 SW Greenville Blvd., Greenville.
Luncheon speaker will be Barbara Pullen-Smith, director of the N.C. Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities in the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.
The symposium will feature more than 20 recognized experts on the principles of community engagement: mutual benefits, collaborative relationships and empowerment. Presentations will focus on the scholarship of engagement and on service to the community with an engagement model addressing health disparities and minority health.
The event is sponsored by the ECU College of Allied Health Sciences in collaboration with the ECU Medical & Health Sciences Foundation, Pitt Memorial Hospital Foundation and Eastern Area Health Education Center.
Jean Elaine Mills earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1977 and a master’s in public administration with a concentration in community health from ECU in 1984. She died from breast cancer in 2000.
Amos T. Mills III, Jean’s brother, created the symposium in an effort to keep her spirit of discovery and community outreach alive.
Individuals requesting accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act should contact the Department for Disability Support Services at least two weeks prior to the event at 252-737-1016 (voice/TTY).