The Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) held its third and final virtual campus retreat of 2022 on Tuesday, April 26. The event was hosted by Indiana University and the theme was, “Impact of Sociology in Health and Wellness in Times of Social Change.”
Eliseo Perez-Stable, MD, director of the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities, was the keynote speaker. Perez-Stable oversees the National Institute of Minority Health Disparities and guides the advancement of science involving minority health and health disparities research.
“My presentation emphasized that social determinants contribute to poor health and health disparities and that we need a holistic approach to identify and address inequities,” stated Perez-Stable, who is recognized as a leader in Latino health care and disparities research. “Research has shown us that poor health outcomes are not only attributed to biological and behavioral factors, but there are other factors to consider, such as cultural, interpersonal, environmental, as well as structural discrimination.”
“Perez-Stable gave a terrific and highly informative talk on how the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities is working in many different areas to promote health equity through science,” said Joel Ybe, PhD, Indiana CTSI navigator for the Indiana University Bloomington campus. “It was important for the Indiana CTSI community and others to hear how the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities under the leadership of Perez-Stable has positioned itself at the leading edge of the science of minority health and health disparities.”
During the retreat, Mieke Beth Thomeer, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Alabama Birmingham, presented “How Family Matters for Health Disparities during the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Thomeer’s presentation included multiple examples of how the role of the family influences health disparities in times of great social, economic, and health crises, which are all amplified by the ongoing pandemic.
“I appreciated Mieke’s presentation because it was timely, given where we are and have been with the pandemic,” said Ybe, who is also a senior research scientist at IU School of Public Health-Bloomington and the Institute for Research on Addictive Behavior.