Conference targets minority health issues

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - By Elizabeth Vowell – email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Developing leaders and eliminating health disparities: that's the goal of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Black Nurses Association.

In their second annual leadership conference being held in Gulfport, the group hopes to arm nurses from all over Mississippi and surrounding areas with new ways of spreading health education.

"We need a united front. The staggering statistics of obesity in our children HIV, infancy mortality, diabetes, the key word is prevention. We need to be united in our efforts to eliminate health disparities," said keynote speaker Deidre Walton who is the Vice President of the National Black Nurses Association.

Not only is the conference a great opportunity for nurses to network and pickup new ideas, organizers said it's a great chance to bring attention to important issues.

Even Governor Haley Barbour got involved in by issuing a proclamation that declared November 12, 2010 Minority Health Awareness Day.

The conference includes keynote addresses from some of the top health care professionals in the field, including the Assistant Surgeon General Rear Admiral Clara Cobb.  There is also a major focus on giving these minority nurses the tools they need to address minority health issues.

"In our minority community we don't talk about health. We don't share with our kids. We need to be talking more about health care issues so you really know what we are in line for," said the MGCBNA President Rometrius Moss.

Organizers hope that each nurse can share the message that in healthcare, prevention and education can save lives.

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