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Health Professional Students Focus on Addressing Health Disparities with Week of Activities


Left to right: Shannitta Bridgers, Stephanie Manning and Tara Wiggins, all DDS students at UNC-Chapel Hill's School of Dentistry, were on hand to greet those attending the National Primary Care Week kickoff. They are committee members for the week, and other members, not pictured, are UNC-Chapel Hill students Jordan Hinkle (pharmacy), Ayanna Bradshaw-Sydnor (dentistry), Joshua Evans and Erica Pettigrew (medicine) and Andre Brown (public health). Committee advisers are Dr. Jonelle Grant and Dr. Eugene Sandler, dentistry; and Alan Brown, AHEC. Left to right: Shannitta Bridgers, Stephanie Manning and Tara Wiggins, all DDS students at UNC-Chapel Hill's School of Dentistry, were on hand to greet those attending the National Primary Care Week kickoff. They are committee members for the week, and other members, not pictured, are UNC-Chapel Hill students Jordan Hinkle (pharmacy), Ayanna Bradshaw-Sydnor (dentistry), Joshua Evans and Erica Pettigrew (medicine) and Andre Brown (public health). Committee advisers are Dr. Jonelle Grant and Dr. Eugene Sandler, dentistry; and Alan Brown, AHEC.

UNC-Chapel Hill health professional students representing all disciplines are this week taking part in a series of activities focused on highlighting the importance of primary care – and, particularly, its impact on and importance to underserved populations.

National Primary Care Week, which began Nov. 13 and goes through Thursday (Nov. 16), is an annual event that offers health-care professionals a chance to discuss their careers within generalist and interdisciplinary health care. Themed “Addressing Health Disparities: Healing the Nation,” the week kicked off Nov. 13; and the 2006 North Carolina Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) Program Primary Care Awards were announced at the kickoff event.

Ian Nelligan, a second-year student in the School of Medicine, received first place; and Kim Hammersmith, a third-year DDS student, received second place. The awards recognize exemplary UNC-Chapel Hill students studying dentistry, medicine, pharmacy or public health.

Here are other activities during the week:

  • Wednesday (Nov. 15): “Addressing Health Disparities: Improving Access to Dental Care in North Carolina,” room 030, Brauer Hall, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Dr. Janet Southerland, clinical assistant professor in the School of Dentistry’s department of dental ecology, will speak. The sponsor is the School of Dentistry.
  • Thursday: “Disparities Diagnosis: Implications for Conducting Community-Based Participatory Research Among Marginalized Communities,” room 2005, Michael Hooker Research Center, 11 a.m. to noon. The sponsor is the School of Public Health.

Lunch will be provided at the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday events. Nationwide, the National Primary Care Week effort is funded by the Bureau of Health Professions’ Division of National Health Service Corps and Division of Medicine and Dentistry and managed by the American Medical Student Association (AMSA Foundation).

UNC-Chapel Hill’s week is sponsored by the schools of dentistry, public health and pharmacy, N.C. AHEC and the N.C. Dental Foundation



Posted: 04/23/2010