School of Professional and Continuing Studies


Health Disparities Conference Offers Free Health Screenings to Community

The Sixth Annual African-American Nursing History Conference will address health care disparities, health care equity and health care promotion through awareness and action by providing free health care screenings.


ST. LOUIS – January 15, 2013 – The College of Nursing at the University of Missouri–St. Louis is proud to present the Sixth Annual African-American Nursing History Conference on February 15, 2013, from 8:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. at the J.C. Penney Conference Center on UMSL’s north campus. The conference’s theme is “Health Disparities – Call to Action” with a renewed focus on diseases such as cancer (breast, colon, prostate, cervical), HIV/AIDS, lupus, sickle cell, Crohn’s disease, alcohol and substance abuse, kidney and heart disease, diabetes and obesity, and their impact on the African-American community.

“Each year the conference continues to have the support of the St. Louis community,” said Director Vanessa Loyd, PhD (c), RN, Professional & Continuing Studies and assistant professor with the College of Nursing at UMSL. “As an organization that is committed to improving health care in the St. Louis community, the College of Nursing is inviting you to support this event through participation.”

The conference features keynote speakers from the St. Louis community, including Melba Moore, St. Louis City Health commissioner and Dr. Delores Gunn, director of the St. Louis County Health Department. Past conferences focused on health disparities with a variation of themes; however, none focused on the “Call to Action.”

As a way to increase awareness and decrease the disparities in the community, the conference site will offer free health screenings to the community. Health screenings include: weight, blood pressure, HIV/AIDS, glucose, kidney, cholesterol, prostate, asthma, sickle cell, mental health, vision and EKG. No registration or fee is required.

“Minorities have higher incidences of chronic diseases, higher mortality and poorer health outcomes,” Loyd said. “To address health care disparities, health care equity and health care promotion, it takes organizational community involvement by increasing awareness and action. Among the disease-specific examples of racial and ethnic disparities in the United States, the cancer incidence rate in African-Americans is 10% higher than that of Caucasians. Additionally, adult African-Americans and Latinos have approximately twice the risk as Caucasians of developing diabetes. Minorities also have higher rates of cardiovascular disease, HIV/AIDS and infant mortality”.

Individuals interested in attending the conference must register for the conference. The registration fee is $30, which includes a continental breakfast and lunch. Please note that participants do not need to register and pay a fee to take part in the free health screenings. The fee is only for access to the conference speakers.

The registration deadline is February 10, 2013. To register or for more information visit the or call (314) 516-5655.

About the University of Missouri–St. Louis School of Professional & Continuing Studies

The University of Missouri–St. Louis Division of Continuing Education provides courses, programs, conferences, and events that fulfill degree completion, professional development and personal enrichment goals for the lifelong learner. For more information, please visit