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[June 3, 2011]                                                  

Second Caribbean Healthcare Summit to Be Held at SUNY Downstate, June 9

SUNY Downstate Medical Center will host the Second Annual Caribbean Healthcare Summit, Thursday, June 9, 2011, from 8:00 am to 2:30 p.m., in the Alumni Auditorium, 395 Lenox Road, Brooklyn, New York 11203. Sponsored by the Brooklyn Health Disparities Center in collaboration with APC Community Services and other organizations, the theme of the summit is “Health Disparities in the Caribbean Community,” with a focus on autoimmune diseases and sleep disorders.

This summit for healthcare professionals will provide information on health disparities faced by Caribbean people and how to engage the community in optimal healthcare practices. CME Credits are available. Call Janice Emanuel-Bunn for further information: 347-715-3956.      

Participants include Keynote Speaker Carla Boutin-Foster, MD, director, Center of Excellence in Disparities Research/Community Engagement, Weill Cornell Medical College; K. Aletha Maybank, MD, MPH, assistant commissioner, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; S. Sam Lim, MD, MPH, associate professor of medicine, Emory University School of Medicine; Samir Fahmy MD, FACP, medical director, Sleep Disorders Center, SUNY Downstate; Ewa Koziorynska, MD, Sleep Disorders Center and Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, Downstate; Girardin Jean Louis, PhD, research director, Sleep Disorders Center, Downstate; Ellen Ginzler, MD, MPH, chief of rheumatology, Downstate; Olga Dvorkina, MD, Division of Rheumatology, Downstate; Mona Pervil Ulysse, MD, chief of rheumatology, Interfaith Medical Center; and Jenny Cabas-Vargas, MD, rheumatology fellow, Downstate.

Workshops will be conducted by David Cort, PhD, Department of Sociology, University of Massachusetts; Wilma Waithe, PhD, RD, New York State Department of Health Office of Minority Health; Beverly Lyons, PhD, LMSW, RD, CDN, Long Island University; Yadia Hinds, MHA, CDN, CLC, director, WIC Program, Woodhull Hospital; Gabrielle Kersaint, MSPH, executive director, Brooklyn-Queens-Long Island Area Health Education Center; and George Casimir, MD, Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center.

This conference was organized in response to health disparities challenging the Caribbean-American community, such as:

·    Blacks are three times as likely to experience severe sleep apnea as their white counterparts.
·    33% of Blacks interviewed considered snoring to be normal, relative to 20% of whites.
·    Ethnic and cultural factors influence rates of insomnia problems.
·    Approximately 60-90% of patients with sleep apnea disorders are obese.
·    Sleep loss, often a secondary result of sleep apnea, is associated with obesity, diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease.
·    82% of men and 93% of women with sleep apnea in the United States remain undiagnosed.
·    Women — particularly African-American, Hispanic-American, and Native-American women — have a higher risk for some autoimmune diseases.
·    Sarcoidosis is an autoimmune disease affecting African Americans ten times more often than other races.
·    The estimated number of adults in the United States with fibromyalgia is between four and eight million. Nine out of ten people with fibromyalgia are women.
·    Lupus is much more common in women than in men — nine out of ten cases occur in women.
·    It is estimated that about 2.1 million Americans have rheumatoid arthritis. The disease occurs in women two to three times more often than in men.


Co-sponsors of the conference include APC Community Services, Brooklyn Health Disparities Center, Cicatelli Associates, Nate’s Pharmacy, State Senator Eric Adams, Kings County Hospital Center, NYCDOH/NYSDOH Office of Minority Health, Caribbean American Nurses Association, and National Haitian American Health Alliance.



SUNY Downstate Medical Center, founded in 1860, was the first medical school in the United States to bring teaching out of the lecture hall and to the patient’s bedside. A center of innovation and excellence in research and clinical service delivery, SUNY Downstate Medical Center comprises a College of Medicine, Colleges of Nursing and Health Related Professions, a School of Graduate Studies, a School of Public Health, University Hospital of Brooklyn, and an Advanced Biotechnology Park and Biotechnology Incubator.

SUNY Downstate ranks ninth nationally in the number of alumni who are on the faculty of American medical schools.  More physicians practicing in New York City have graduated from SUNY Downstate than from any other medical school.