Past Receptions

Past Receptions 

2016 Reception

The Henry Ford Health System Health Disparities Research Collaborative (HDRC) hosted the 6th HDRC reception on June 16, 2016. Abdul El-Sayed, MD, PhD, Health Officer for the City of Detroit and Executive Director of the Detroit Health Department was our invited speaker.

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed is an internationally recognized expert in population health policy, the social determinants of health, and health inequalities. Previously, he was a professor of Epidemiology at Columbia University, where he directed the Columbia University Systems Science Program and Global Research Analytics for Population Health. Dr. El-Sayed earned his PhD from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and his MD from Columbia University as a Soros Fellow. His writings on urban health policy have been published in The New York Times, The Guardian, CNN, Al-Jazeera, The Hill, Project Syndicate, and The Huffington Post.

Please click here to view the slides.

2014 Reception


The 5th Annual HDRC Reception took place on October 16, 2014. Dr. Bruce Link of Columbia University was our featured speaker. Dr. Link is the Co-Director of the Health and Science Scholars Program, Director of the Psychiatric Epidemiology Training program and a professor of Epidemiology and Sociomedical Sciences at the Mailman Scholl of Public Health.

The annual reception was a slightly different than it had been in the past. This year, we spent breakfast, lunch and dinner with our invited guest and also heard from other local speakers. These speakers included, Jianhui Hu, research associate from Henry Ford Health System, and Peter Hammer, director of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights and Professor of law. Both speakers presented on topics that were thought provoking and informative.

The reception climaxed at the Buerki Auditorium, where Dr. Link presented his talk entitled: “Social Conditions as Fundamental Causes of Health Disparities”. After the lecture, the guests asked questions then mixed and mingled in the lobby while enjoying hor d’ourves and beverages.

2010 Reception


The HFHS Health Disparities Research Collaborative hosted its third annual reception on February 26, 2010 at Henry Ford Health System Main Campus.

The invited speaker was Dr. Anne Beal, MD, MPH, the President of the Aetna Foundation - the independent charitable and philanthropic arm of Aetna Inc., and formerly the Assistant Vice President for the Program on Health Care Disparities at the Commonwealth Fund. During her presentation Dr. Beal spoke about "The Future of Racial & Ethnic Health Disparities Research".

Dr. Beal holds a B.A. from Brown University, an M.D. from Cornell University Medical College, and an M.P.H. from Columbia University. She completed her internship, residency, and NRSA fellowship at Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. She has been a reviewer for the Health Systems Research study section of the Agency for Health care Research and Quality (AHRQ), and a co-chair of the Health care Disparities Technical Advisory Panel for the National Quality Forum (NQF) Ambulatory Care Measures' Project. Her research interests include social influences on preventive health behaviors for minorities, racial disparities in health care, collection of race/ethnicity data, and quality of care.

2009 Reception

In January 2009, Dr. David R. Williams, PhD, was the guest speaker for the HDRC's Second Annual Reception. Dr. Williams spoke to HDRC researchers at Henry Ford Health System on the topic of "Social Disparities in Health and How to Effectively Address Them." He is the Florence and Laura Norman Professor of Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health and Professor of African and African American Studies and of Sociology at Harvard University. Dr. Williams is an internationally recognized authority on social influences on health. His research has focused on trends and determinants of socioeconomic and racial disparities in health, the effects of racism on health and the ways in which religious involvement can affect health.


His first 6 years as a faculty member were at Yale University where he held appointments in both Sociology and Public Health with the next 14 years at the University of Michigan where he served as the Harold Cruse Collegiate Professor of Sociology, a Senior Research Scientist at the Institute of Social Research and a Professor of Epidemiology in the School of Public Health. He holds a Master's degree in Public Health from Loma Linda University and a PhD in Sociology from the University of Michigan. Dr. Williams has held elected and appointed positions in professional organizations, such as the American Sociological Association, Academy Health and the American Public Health Association. Currently, he is a member of the of the MacArthur Foundation's Research Network on Socioeconomic Status and Health.

2008 Reception

In January 2008, The Health Disparities Research Collaborative celebrated their First Annual Reception at Henry Ford Health System with distinguished speakers, Dr. Marvella E. Ford, PhD, who spoke on the topic of "Conceptualizing and Categorizing Race and Ethnicity in Health Services Research" and Dr. Rick A. Kittles, PhD, who presented Genetic Ancestry and Disease: Implications for Health Disparities Research.

Dr. Marvella Ford, Ph.D.

Dr. Ford is an Associate Professor of Biostatistics, Bioinformatics & Epidemiology at the Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine and is the Associate Director of Cancer Disparities at Hollings Cancer Center (HCC ), in Charleston. She developed a program to enhance community outreach efforts to address the critical problem of cancer disparities in the region. Dr. Ford is a renowned researcher and behavioral scientist with extensive experience in conducting cancer screening studies in diverse populations of older adults. She has a strong track record of obtaining peer-reviewed federal funding to conduct these studies. She graduated from Cornell University in 1986 with a BS in Human Service Studies and earned her Master's in Social Work, Master's in Social Psychology, and PhD in Social Work and Psychology from the University of Michigan. Her Postdoctoral Fellowship in Public Health and Aging was also completed at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Rick A. Kittles, Ph.D.

Dr. Rick A. Kittles is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Section of Genetic Medicine at the University of Chicago. His research focus is to formally evaluate genetic mechanisms involved in complex diseases. His work entails thoughtful understanding of how genetic variation is structured across human populations and how that variation contributes to inter-individual variation in disease susceptibility and other phenotypes such as drug response and skin color. His interests also include biological and socio-cultural issues related to "Race" and health disparities and the utility of admixture mapping for genes for common traits and disease in African Americans and Hispanic Americans. Prior to working at the University of Chicago, Dr. Kittles received his BS in Biology from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1989 and went on to earn his MS in Biology from the State University of New York, Brockport. He completed his doctoral work in Biology at George Washington University.

Additional Past Events

November 11, 2015: Webinar- “Methods and Application for Health Disparities Research”

The next presentation in the series is scheduled for November 11th 2015, when our invited speaker will be Albert Levin, PhD, Genetic Epidemiologist for the Public Health Sciences department of the Henry Ford Health System (HFHS). Dr. Levin will present “Nocturnal asthma and the importance of race/ethnicity genetic ancestry, and the early life microbiome”. The lecture will take place at HFHS-Education & Research Building 2055 at 12:00pm. To register, please visit and search by date for Health Disparities Research Collaborative

December 8, 2015: Webinar- “Methods and Application for Health Disparities Research”

The next presentation in the series is scheduled for December 8th 2015, when our invited speaker will be Melody Eide, M.D., physician scientist for the Henry Ford Health System (HFHS). Dr. Eide will present “Implementation Science for Health Disparity Research”. The lecture will take place at HFHS, in the Education & Research Building, 2055 at 12:00 p.m.

October 16, 2015- 2015 Global Health Symposium: Sustainable Solutions to Improve the Health and Lives of the Underserved at Home and Abroad

Hosted at Henry Ford Hospital

This second annual symposium will focus on sustainable solutions to improve the health and lives of the underserved at home and abroad by examining best practices for sustainable programs, interventions, and innovations.

Prominent international, national, and local experts will share their knowledge and experiences with symposium participants.Following the success of last year’s inaugural symposium, participants will again play an integral part in the exchange of information through poster and slide presentations, interactive panel discussions, and networking opportunities.

This symposium is open to all faculty, clinicians, administrators, students, residents, fellows, pharmacists, nurses, and other health professionals interested in global and local health.

For more information about the symposium and abstract submissions, please contact the GHI at or call (313) 916-2628.

Quality Improvement and Healthcare Disparities, November 10, 2014.

David Nerenz, PhD presented a talk entitled Quality Improvement and Healthcare Disparities in the HFHS Buerki Auditorium. The lecture can be viewed on the CME website via the CME portal. Search “David Nerenz” in the advanced keyword search bar.

Spring 2014 HDRC Member Meeting

The meeting took place on March 27, 2014 at One Ford Place. In attendance were 37 health professionals from HFHS. Kurt Metzger provided information about the resources available at Data Driven Detroit. At this meeting, participants were able to apply for membership to the HDRC and sign up to contribute to the HDRC Annual Report.

The IOM Roundtable on Population Health Improvement- Public Workshop

The IOM Roundtable on Population Health Improvement is holding a public workshop on the roles and potential of communities in improving health. The workshop will feature speakers from communities across the United States who work with a variety of partners to tackle critical issues related to the social determinants of health. The workshop will be begin at 8:00 AM PST on April 10, 2014 in Los Angeles and will be webcast.

To sign up for the meeting or webcast click here.

Michigan Public Health Training Center
University of Michigan School of Public Health
1415 Washington Heights, Suite 2700
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2029
Phone: (734) 615-9439
Fax: (734) 763-7976

NIH Health Disparities Seminar: Obesity Among Middle School Students – March 20, 2014 (3:00pm - 4:30pm)
The SNaX Study: A Community-Academic Partnership to Address Obesity Among Middle School Students

The seminar will be made available in the NIH Video archives and on the NIMHD website after the seminar.

Location: NIH Campus Clinical Center, Building 10, Masur Auditorium 10 Center Drive Bethesda, MD

Presentation Overview:
Current policies target schools as key settings in which to address disparities in child obesity. Interventions to improve the school nutritional environment have shown encouraging results for reducing body mass index, decreasing sugar-sweetened beverage consumption, and increasing fruit and vegetable intake. However, few interventions have been developed and tested for feasibility and effectiveness in partnership with key stakeholders in large school districts. In this session, Dr. Laura Bogart will discuss the development and results of Students for Nutrition and eXercise (SNaX), a 5-week middle-school-based obesity-prevention intervention that combines school-wide food environmental changes, multimedia, encouragement to eat healthy school cafeteria foods, and peer-led education. She will describe the formation and maintenance of the partnership with the participating school district, the Los Angeles Unified School District, as well as relevant community stakeholders; review the results of the randomized controlled trial; and discuss the policy impact of the research and program dissemination activities.

Urban Health Issues: Impact of the Affordable Care Act Symposium - April 4, 2014

Nancy Schlichting, CEO, will give the keynote presentation.

Innovative Approaches to Youth Health: Engaging Youth in Creating Healthy Communities

The Minority Health Conference aims to raise awareness regarding health disparities and to mobilize students, academics, researchers, and community members to take action for change. This year's theme will focus on research and practice-based interventions that actively engage minority youth to improve their health and the health of their communities.

The 16th William T. Small, Jr. Keynote Lecture

Gail C. Christopher, D.N., Vice President of Program Strategy at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Dr. Christopher's keynote will kick off an exciting day, with multiple breakout sessions and speakers, including featured speaker Dr. Michael Yonas, Director of Research, Evaluation and Engagement at Allegheny County Department of Human Services.

When: Friday, February 28, 2014, 8:00 am - 4:30 pm (broadcast at 2:00 - 3:30 pm EST).

Where: William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education
100 Friday Center Drive Chapel Hill, NC 27599

If you are unable to attend in person, you can join us online by viewing the William T. Small, Jr. Keynote Lecture webcast and participate in a live Q&A session with Dr. Christopher following the lecture. Viewers will be able to ask questions via email, Facebook, and Twitter. Please register in advance. The broadcast will be recorded for later viewing.

Interested in hosting a partner conference? Partner conferences arrange for a group viewing, as well as additional activities that may include a discussion, speakers’ panel, or additional presentations at their school or organization. UIC’s partner conference is now in its 6th year!

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