February 25, 2010

WSU Boonshoft School of Medicine Global Health Symposium to explore health care disparities at home and abroad

Keynote speaker Evan Lyon, M.D., to discuss experiences in Haiti and health consequences of war and political violence

DAYTON, Ohio—The recent devastating earthquake in Haiti brought home the vast disparities in access to health care around the world. Even before the earthquake, Haiti had the highest rates of infant and maternal mortality in the Western hemisphere, and 60 percent of its population lacked access to basic health care services. While Haiti is an extreme example, disparities in access to health care occur all too often worldwide, including in our own hometowns.

Learn more about the disparities in health care at home and abroad at the fifth annual Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine Global Health Symposium on Thursday, March 4. The event's keynote speaker, Evan Lyon, M.D., is a hospitalist on the faculty of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and an associate physician at its Division of Global Health Equity, and an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Lyon will speak on "Health Disparities: Foreign and Domestic" from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Dayton Masonic Center, 525 W. Riverview Ave., Dayton.

Lyon has worked in Haiti since 1996, providing health care services in rural clinics. He returned to Haiti following the earthquake as a volunteer to help rebuild the country's largest training hospital, which was destroyed in the quake. Lyon focuses on community-based approaches to HIV and TB treatment, providing primary care in resource-poor settings and management of chronic disease using community health workers.

Lyon received an M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 2003 and completed residency training in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in 2007. Lyon is also an editor of the Journal of Health and Human Rights.

Beyond working to provide care in poor communities, Lyon conducts research and advocacy work focused on economic, social and political inequality; the health consequences of war and political violence-with particular emphasis on the Iraq war; the right to health care and popular, community-based responses to global health problems.

The Global Health Initiative (GHI), which organizes the symposium, was established by WSU Boonshoft School of Medicine students to promote the understanding of global health issues and how they impact the U.S. The organization's mission is to expose medical students to the health care issues facing people in other countries and immigrants to the U.S., and to inspire greater compassion, social justice and empathy within Wright State's future physicians.

The Global Health Symposium annual event not only raises awareness about global health issues, but also serves as a fundraiser for medical students to help offset the cost of international travel to serve and learn abroad.

The evening will feature hors d'oeuvres, dinner and a silent auction. The event is open to the public. Admission is $50 for the general public and $25 for students. For more information, or to RSVP, contact Nicki Crellin at (937) 775-2972 or nicki.crellin@wright.edu.