Date: October 8, 2004
Contact: Michael Hopkins
Phone: (708) 534-7090
Fax: (708) 534-8399
For Immediate Release
University Park, October 8, 2004 – People who are not white males may be at risk when their physicians prescribe medication. That is because funding, research, pharmacology and every benchmark for what represents quality health care have historically centered on one gender and one group: males of European origin. It is a critical flaw in the development of health care services and programs – in the United States and beyond.
In today’s health care environment, that historical focus has left its legacy: marked disparities in the type and quality of care culturally diverse groups receive when they seek medical attention.
Governors State University is working to change that.
GSU will host the latest in its continuing series of workshops on culturally competent health care on Friday, October 15, from 8:30 a.m. to noon, in Sherman Music Recital Hall. The workshop, “Delivering Health Care in a Multicultural World – Ethnic Pharmacology: A Neglected Area of Cultural Competence,” will be presented by Dr. Josepha Campinha-Bacote. Bacote is a leading scholar and practitioner on issues involving transcultural health care and mental health.
The workshop is free and open to health care professionals, students, and the public.
Explaining the importance of the workshop, Dr. Linda Samson, dean of the College of Health Professions at Governors State, said, “A simple lack of ethnic and cultural awareness has a significant impact on patient care. For example, some Asian patients metabolize certain anti-anxiety drugs more slowly than a white person would, so they require smaller doses. And Asians as well as Hispanics often respond to lower doses of anti-depressants than whites.”
Samson added that African Americans may be misdiagnosed or over-prescribed medications because of what are known as “drug polymorphisms,” which are differing responses to drugs predicated on genetic factors.
Samson added that the workshop arises from the Governors State University’s comprehensive approach to researching and eliminating health disparities in the south suburban region.
The university is a Center for Excellence with the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities, a department of the National Institute of Health, and is funded through a Centers of Excellence in Partnerships for Community Outreach, Research on Health Disparities and Training – known more colloquially as Project EXPORT – grant.
“This region is one of the most diverse in the nation,” Samson said. “So addressing cultural competence in health care is a natural outgrowth of our position as a resource for the community and as an educational institution for the health professionals who serve the community.”
Through Project EXPORT, Governors State has partnerships across the south suburban area. The ultimate goal is to create a research infrastructure through the south suburban university that will sustain research in the variables that cause health care disparities, directly improve the cultural competence of health care professionals in the region, and, perhaps most important, create community intervention strategies that will eliminate those disparities.
For more information about the workshop, contact Governors State University’s College of Health Professions at (708) 534-5000, extension 5489.