Health Disparities Summit Focuses on “Building a Healthier Global Society”

The 2012 Science of Eliminating Health Disparities Summit, hosted by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the leadership of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) along with several other agencies, will be held from Wednesday, October 31 through Friday, November 2, 2012, in National Harbor, Maryland. As the leading scientific gathering on health disparities, the summit will gather thousands of individuals for hundreds of sessions and discussions with the theme of “Building a Healthier Global Society.” The HHS-wide endeavor involves a broad spectrum of federal government agencies with the unifying goal of eliminating health disparities.

Health disparities

Around the globe, millions of people face health disparities annually due to a variety of factors including inadequate attention to their physical or environmental surroundings or the circumstances in which they live, work or are born. BothU.S. and international partners are working to share best practices to eliminate health disparities, focusing on social determinants of health.

Summit goals

Among other goals, the summit will specifically focus on: (1) providing scientific evidence to inform immediate policies and actions to confront health disparities issues facing regional, national and global societies; (2) providing practical steps on how the scientific evidence for addressing health disparities could be translated into practice in different communities and global settings; and (3) publishing recommendations and findings that will contribute to the development of an integrated strategy for addressing national and global inequality. The summit, which was first held in 2008, will bring together professionals, advocates, community stakeholders, government leaders, academics and members of various professions and will work to integrate science, policy and practice.