Tuesday, December 18, 2007

New Course at ECU - "Ethnic Health & Health Disparities"

I am looking forward to teaching my brand new Distance Education course - Ethnic Health and Health Disparities - MPH 6008-- because it will provide students with graduate training the abilities and knowledge to address national and local ethnic health and health disparities issues.

During the course, students will focus on accomplishing the following objectives:

  • Identify and assess the major health issues associated with specific ethnic and health disparity populations in the state and country.
  • Describe ethnic health and health disparity issues, including unique and important features.
  • Apply principles and strategies derived from public health and medical anthropology toward planning, implementing, and evaluating specific ethnic health and health disparities intervention programs.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Today, I presented my book's topic at East Carolina University for the Office of Institutional Diversity's program entitled, " Intersections of Culture & Health." On the program, there were two other faculty at ECU who presented their research studies highlighting the importance of culture and health.

Although the audience was a bit smaller than anticipated, the questions from the audience were very interesting and intriguing. In fact, I noticed there is still alot of interest in the issue of African American preferred "Body Images" and how this influences whether a person perceives themself as overweight or just "thick," or "full-figured" (maintaining a healthy weight). Indeed, there is a growing interest in the issues of body image and I believe that I will have more to say about this issue next year! (hint, hint).

In the meantime, if you want to hear my thoughts on African American body image, feel free to download my Podcast on my website -- http://www.newblackculturaldiet.com/

It was a delight to present my book's major topics to the audience and it was refreshing to reconnect with the faculty at ECU.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Interview on Journey to Wellness Show with Dr. Mary Harris

A couple of days ago, I completed a telephone interview with Dr. Mary Harris -- host of the CNN Radio Network show called Journey to Wellness. The Journey to Wellness.com show specializes in the production and dissemination of health care information targeted to ethnic minorities. The founder, President & CEO of Journey to Wellness -- Dr. Mary Harris -- states on her website that, "our goal is to inform, inspire, and enable African Americans to take charge of their health."

I wholeheartedly agree with her show and enjoyed the opportunity to share my book -- Food Choice and Obesity in Black America: Creating a New Cultural Diet and the relevant issues of -- The New Black Cultural Diet -- with her audience.

I believe my interview and adjoining article will appear on her website in August. So check out the website and show -- Journey to Wellness (www.journeytowellness.com) and let me know what you think.

As always, send me an email at: administrator@newblackculturaldiet.com or visit all the new happenings with the New Black Cultural Diet at: www.newblackculturaldiet.com

Monday, June 11, 2007

Presenting to the "Pediatric Healthy Weight Forum" at East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine

Earlier today, I presented my book's topic -- "Food Choice and Obesity in Black America: Creating a New Cultural Diet," for the physicians, faculty, interns and health care professionals associated with the Pediatric Healthy Weight Forum at East Carolina University's Brody School of Medicine in Greenville, NC.. It has been one year since my book was published (May 2006) and I am still delighted to see the interest in my book's topic!

Although it was a relatively small crowd attending, my talk was on satelite to another campus here in North Carolina. Yet despite the turnout during this summer event, the questions from the audience were very good because it focused on how to implement many of my suggestions from the book to individual African American patients -- particularly kids and adolescents.

My overall suggestion from the several questions highlighted the importance of "taking time to get the input and feedback from your individual patient and working around his/her preferences of body image, food selections, food preparation and exercise/physical fitness." Oftentimes, the perspective of the individual African American patient is slightly different from the health care provider thereby we must be respectful of their beliefs, preferences and sociocultural conditions and attempt to work from that orientation.

As with all of my presentations, I enjoyed the experience and the opportunity to share the major themes of my book to another audience that has great interests in this area of medical and health care as it relates to the African American population.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Presentation at the 2007 NC AHEC Future Leaders in Health Care Conference

It was a delight and pleasure to present as a plenary speaker at NC AHEC Future Leaders Health Conference on May 19th in Durham, North Carolina. The audience consisted of 9th, 10th, 11th & 12th graders who excelled in academics throughout the state of North Carolina and those who have an interest in the health care field. There were over 200 students in the gymnasim of North Carolina Central University this day.

My session was entitled, "Health Promotion and Disease Prevention," so I presented the major themes from my book -- "Food Choice and Obesity in Black America: Creating a New Cultural Diet." The young audience was very receptive to the major themes of my presentation and even the adults assisting the students during this day asked questions and gave their own personal stories about health, fitness, dieting, food preferences and body images. In fact, several adults said that we as African Americans can obviously do more for ourselves when we decide to do for ourselves. I wholeheartedly agreed.

Overall, the event was very positive, the energy was upbeat and I appreciated being apart of this conference at North Carolina Central University. I want to thank the organizers for inviting me early in January to be one of the plenary speakers of this event.

Check out my picture immediately after giving the talk in the gymnasium.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

On May 4th, I was invited to be the Keynote Speaker at East Carolina University's Master of Public Health Graduate Recognition Ceremony. The invitation came from the Masters Degree students and I was completely honored and surprised of their invitation. In fact, I was over-joyed yet uncertain as to whether I could deliver the type of speech that they deserved.

Although I initially did not know what "themes" that I wanted to leave the graduates with, it all came clear after a few days of contemplating my speech. My major themes of this Keynote Address were:

  • Leadership
  • A New Public Health
  • Follow Your Dream

Of course, before I highlighted these themes in my Keynote Address, I had to do something out-of the ordinary in a Keynote Address. What did I do? -- well, I brought in a couple of characters that I use in very special situations to express how they feel about a topic. Those characters are actually me -- playing the role of a couple very expressive individuals who have totally different personalities, language, and lifestyles. Fortunately, the students and audience enjoyed the characters and I felt relived!

Congratulations again to the 2007 MPH East Carolina University Masters of Public Health Graduates!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Presentation on the "New Black Cultural Diet" for Journalists meeting at North Carolina A and T - (Greensboro, NC)

Two days ago, I traveled to Greensboro, NC and visited the campus of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. It was my first time at NC A and T and I had a very enjoyable time before, during and after my presentation. I was invited to campus and the Institute for Advanced Journalism Studies to present my book -- "Food Choice and Obesity in Black America: Creating a New Cultural Diet," to a number of renowned journalists across the country in NC A and T's Institute for Advanced Journalism Studies.

I didn't know what to expect with this type of presentation, but it went very well. During and after my presentation, they asked a number of investigative questions and I believed that I answered all of their questions particularly about the New Black Cultural Diet (www.newblackculturaldiet.com). In fact, several of the journalists indicated that they will contact me later for follow-up interviews!

After my presentation, I joined the journalists for an Awards Luncheon entitled, "Vernon Jarrett Medical for Journalistic Excellence." The awards luncheon honored the late Mr. Vernon Jarrett - the nation's most prominent commentator on race relations and African American history. The honorees of this year's award were:

  • Mr. Les Payne,
  • Mr. Jeff Koinange
  • Mr. Byron Pitts

I had a very, very enjoyable time at the luncheon! I felt very much connected to many of the cultural issues highlighted during the awards luncheon. This awards luncheon was well presented and timely because of all the cultural African American issues in the media now!

I also have to give special recognition to the individual responsible for organizing the Awards Luncheon, Directing the Institute for Advance Journalism Studies at NC A and T and for Inviting me to give a talk to the journalists -- Mr. Dewayne Wickman! Thanks!! I also want to thank all of his assistants for helping me to give my talk!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Presentation at The 3rd Annual Jean Mills Health Symposium - Greenville, North Carolina - February 9th, 2007

It was my pleasure to participate in a new annual event associated with East Carolina University and Eastern AHEC entitled -- "The Jean Mills Health Symposium." This was the 3rd annual event which honors the memory of Jean Mills. Keeping the tradition continuing, Mr. Amos T. Mills, III sponsors the event in collaboration with East Carolina University, Pitt Memorial Hospital Foundation and Eastern AHEC. The symposium helps to address current health issues affecting African Americans and Hispanic Populations in eastern North Carolina. The symposium is designed to:

  1. Identify current issues in health disparities research;
  2. Describe current ECU research evidence in health disparities;
  3. Discuss the future directions of health disparities research at ECU;
  4. Provide networking opportunities for researchers, practitioners and community who are interested in reducing health disparities; and
  5. Apply health disparities research in practice to reduce health disparities and improve health services.

As Mr. Amos Mills, III emphasized in his message to the audience -- "We need to solve the problem of obesity.....because this relates to all of the major chronic health problems affecting the African American population.... it is a human problem."

There were several faculty presenters from East Carolina University including the Keynote Speaker -- Dr. James Johnson -- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

In the early afternoon, I gave my presentation during the session entitled, "The Impact of Obesity and Nutrition." This presentation focused on the major cultural health issues related to my book entitled, "Food Choice and Obesity in Black America: Creating a New Cultural Diet." I talked about how African Americans generally perceive health, body image, food, dieting, physical fitness, and exercise. Additionally, I presented my cultural health plan -- The New Black Cultural Diet -- to establish a lifestyle strategy that will be both effective and manageable.

The major objectives of my presentation were to:

  1. Provide health disparity data on overweight and obesity issues related to African Americans;
  2. Highlight one of my research studies showing the disparity in the African American population;
  3. Present qualitative data on African Americans' perspective related to body image, food preferences, and exercise/physical fitness.
  4. Engage the audience to view and understand these cultural health issues from the perspective of the African American.

I had a great time presenting to this audience and they were very receptive to the major themes from my book. In fact, several participants shared some very insightful cultural health information on how they are individually modifying and changing their dietary pattern and lifestyle pattern in order to live a better quality of life! This was very rewarding to hear and I enjoyed their participation immensely!

That's the latest from this Medical Anthropologist!! As always, Follow Your Dream!!