City of Portland and UNE Co-Host 3rd Annual Maine Minority Health Conference June 4, 2013

PORTLAND – The City of Portland Minority Health Program in collaboration with the University of New England and Maine AIDS Education and Training Center (MEAETC), a division of Penobscot Community Health Center will host the 3rd Annual Maine Minority Health Conference on Tuesday, June 4, 2013 from 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at the University of New England’s Portland Campus at 716 Stevens Avenue.  The theme of the conference is “Health Equity & Accountable Care:  Patients, Populations, and Partnerships” and the conference is free and open to the public

According to conference coordinator Kolawole Bankole, MD, MS, OPIc, who is the Access Project Director/Minority Health Program Coordinator for the City of Portland, Health and Human Services Department,  Public Health Division, the symposium is open to all health care professionals, staff from community-based organizations, patients, clients and anyone interested in the care and treatment of minority patients. The goal of the conference is to provide a forum to present current research, information and trends in health equity and the Affordable Care Act and engage key stakeholders in discussion.

“In order to ensure that the Affordable Care Act is implemented to help reduce health disparities and enhance health equity, people need to be educated about health care reform and its impact on vulnerable minority populations,” said Dr. Bankole.  “This conference is designed to help raise awareness for all stakeholders about service provision and the importance of culturally sensitive health care delivery. This is an important and timely topic given the implementation of the Affordable Care Act beginning in January, 2014.”

Conference highlights will include an opening keynote by Cara V. James, PhD, and John Auerbach, MBA, on “The Affordable Care Act & Its Potential to Reduce Health Disparities;” a program overview of UNE’s CHANNELS project by Jennifer Morton, DNP, MPH, Leslie Brancato, MSW, and Shelley Cohen Konrad, PhD; presentations  on “Local, Population and Consumer Centered Care” by Joseph P. Ditre, Esq. and “Patient-Centered Primary Care” by Sarah Dubay, Med, MMEL; a luncheon keynote by Ann Lemire, MD on “Serving Vulnerable Populations” and a presentation by Pious A. Ali on “Youth and Health Equity.”

The University of New England is the lead partner and venue to host the 3rd Annual Maine Minority Health Conference due to its steadfast commitment to collaboration with community partners and engagement in community health initiatives as demonstrated through its Interprofessional Education, and cross-cultural health initiatives such as the CHANNELS project.

The Portland Public Health Division, part of the City’s Health and Human Services Department, is composed of seven programs: Chronic Disease Prevention, Environmental Health and Safety, Family Health, Health Care for the Homeless, Health Equity and Research, India Street Clinical Services, and Operations. The Division provides services from 12 sites throughout the City, but also manages projects that impact public health across Cumberland County and the state of Maine.

MEAETC is providing generous support with funding from the New England AIDS Education and Training Center project, funded by the U.S. Department of HHS, Health Resources and Services Administration.

Registration is required by May 30, 2013 and interested participants may contact Heather Foster at the Maine AIDS Education and Training Center at 207-990-3626 or

For additional information on the Minority Health Conference, contact Kolawole Bankole, MD at 207-874-8773 or