Latest news:

Watch the Video About Us.



Special Notice: Conference Cancellation/Discontinuation

The Annual Health Disparities Conference at Teachers College, Columbia University--as well as the certificate program--have been cancelled and discontinued, due to the university eliminating the staff of our sponsor (Center for Educational Outreach and Innovation). We enjoyed a successful four year conference run (’06-’09) and thank you for your support. To watch videos of the last ’09 conference, go to:

What follows, below, remains as archival material, until this website undergoes a major reorganization.



Mechanisms for Providing Training

Training that arises from research findings being practically applied is made available through both the Annual Health Disparities Conference and a soon to be launched Certificate in Health Disparity Reduction—an 18 credit course sequence with a menu of 1-3 credit course options (also available for non-credit). Both indicate how an important focus of the RGDH includes providing training that aims to reduce and eliminate disparities in health care delivery and health disparities, overall. In this manner, the task of closing the inequities and disparities gaps, or moving from health inequity to equity in health, is viewed as necessitating a commitment to the wide dissemination of pertinent information through not only our consultation work, community-based media campaigns, and social marketing campaigns, but also through training.

The annual conference event and Certificate in Health Disparities Reduction serve the purpose of providing this essential training to health care providers—including the use of an on-line internet modality that ensures wide dissemination and broad access to this vital training both nationally and internationally. Plans include going beyond offering this new Certificate in partnership through the Teachers College Center for Education, Outreach and Innovation (CEO&I; the goal is to eventually acquire New York State Department of Education approval. See our website for updates.

The Annual Spring Conference Event

The 2007 spring Annual Health Disparities Conference is seen as central to the mission of the RGDH (held the second weekend, Friday and Saturday, of March each year). The RGDH puts out a call for papers in the Fall, seeking to attract researchers, practitioners, and community members to the annual spring conference event. In addition, selected keynote and invited speakers allow us to ensure that the conference event is a dynamic setting for the exchange of ideas, as well as for establishing a viable research agenda that will move the new burgeoning field of health disparities toward the identification of evidence-based approaches to health disparity reduction. For more information about the upcoming Spring 2007 Conference and to register, go to .

The Inaugural Conference Declaration, Theme, and Components

Toward this end, the first annual conference (March 10th and 11th, 2006) declared, consistent with its theme “The Decade of Health Disparity Reduction: Toward Evidence-Based Models.” The first 2006 conference not only called for a decade of research and practice to move the field of health disparities toward evidence-based models to close the gaps in health, but also sought to forge collaborations between health disparities researchers, practitioners, and community members, as well as between academic, community-based, and faith-based organizations. A community health fair held the Saturday afternoon of the conference is also a setting for forging collaborations and linkages with community members, while offering free health screenings and providing free health information. Thus, the annual conference is envisioned as a setting for building a range of vital collaborations.

Also, the conference is a setting for systematically developing/supporting vital regional, national, and international leadership dedicated to closing the health gaps. This includes mentoring the next generation of health disparities researchers/practitioners. Undergraduates, graduate students, and young professionals are encouraged to participate. A poster session is designed to attract doctoral students, new doctoral graduates, early career and other professionals.

More on the Joint Conference and On-line Course Offering               

The 2-day spring conference is also part of an optional online 10 week research course (available for credit or non-credit as continuing education credits), Research Seminar in Health Education: Health Disparities, providing students with a distance-learning opportunity to acquire the latest knowledge with regard to health disparities and approaches to their reduction. The initial five weeks of the on-line course—before the conference—serve to introduce students to key issues in the field of health disparities—building up to the two-day conference event. After the conference event, there are another five weeks of on-line course participation that includes analysis and reflection on the conference, as well as thoughtful development of a student’s expertise over subsequent weeks in one area, in particular, where disparities in health currently exist, as does a need to close the gap in disparities. There is a totally optional opportunity for attendance at a Wednesday 3:20-5:00 seminar, allowing additional in-person dialogue that assists individuals in developing and refining their personal research agenda, and in discussing key class topics, such as how to ensure research/interventions/practice/scholarship is culturally appropriate. We video-tape the Wednesday class seminar dialogue and post it on the class-web/internet, so those who do not attend the Wednesday 3:20-5:00 seminar have the opportunity to view it, and submit questions that they may want to have addressed. We are seeking continuing education hours/units for physicians (CMEs), psychologists, social workers, nurses, and health educators for these experiences—both the conference, course, and entire certificate program set of courses. See our website for updates.

The Concept of a Specialized Conference Tract

In 2006, a special HIV/AIDS conference tract sought to prepare Trainers to train HIV/AIDS Prevention Peer Educators in urban, African, and Caribbean settings. In 2007, there will be a special conference tract for health care providers (medical doctors, nurses, social workers, psychologists, health educators, counselors, researchers, and other health care workers, etc…) designed to expose them to (potentially) new: 1) knowledge with regard to the variety of evidence-based approaches to reducing health disparities; 2) attitudes/beliefs so multicultural sensitivity/competence begins to replace socially conditioned stereotypes that threaten professional-client communication/interaction during service delivery and research; and, 3) skills for deployment of culturally appropriate behaviors that enhance client motivation for change, teaching participants how to integrate the stages of change, motivational interviewing, and relapse prevention as an integrated brief intervention suited for health-care and research settings.

The Conference/Course Final Paper Requirement

Those who take the conference for 1 credit or the entire combined 10 week course and conference experience for 3 credits will submit a written paper. The paper allows students to self-determine the focus of their paper topic and nature of their learning experience—consistent with the high value placed on academic freedom, while exposing students/trainees to knowledge, attitudes/beliefs, and skills deemed consistent with the goal of reducing and eliminating health disparities.

The Upcoming March 10th-11th 2007 Second Annual Health Disparities Conference

See our website for updates. You may also contact the main conference sponsor, The Center for Educational Outreach and Innovation (CEO&I)  or 800.209-1245 for more information.