Minority health conference to examine innovative approaches to youth health

Jan. 16, 2014

The 35th annual UNC Minority Health Conference, presented by the Gillings School of Global Public Health’s Minority Student Caucus, will be held Friday, Feb. 28, at The William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education, in Chapel Hill, N.C.


Dr. Gail Christopher


Dr. Michael Yonas

Gail Christopher, DN, PhD, vice president for program strategy at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, will deliver the William T. Small Keynote Lecture at 9:30 a.m. on the theme, “Innovative Aprroaches to Youth Health: Engaging Youth in Creating Healthy Communities.” 

Christopher is a nationally recognized leader in health policy, with particular expertise in issues related to the social determinants of health and health inequities. She is recipient of a number of awards for her distinguished contributions to public service, public education, and innovation and leadership in maternal and child health. 

At 1:30 p.m., Michael Yonas, DrPH, MPH, will deliver the third annual Victor J. Schoenbach Keynote Lecture. Yonas’ work focuses upon family support systems and the health and safety needs of homeless youth and families. He studies violence prevention and the impact of social and environmental stressors upon chronic diseases, particularly asthma.

comms_minority_health_graphicPanel discussions in the morning and afternoon will examine the power of peer-based education, youth-led advocacy for public health issues, the impact of the Affordable Care Act upon vulnerable youth; rural air pollution and children’s health, and mobilizing young activists through social media.

Attendees must register in advance, by Friday, Feb. 14, online at minorityhealth.web.unc.edu. More information, including the agenda and cost, is available in the conference brochure.

The UNC Minority Health Conference is the oldest and longest-running student led conference, attracting more than 500 students, faculty members, researchers, practitioners and community leaders each year. The conference provides a forum for public health professionals and students to explore issues facing minority populations, with the aim to improve the health status of those communities.

Gillings School of Global Public Health contact: David Pesci, director of communications, (919) 962-2600 or dpesci@unc.edu.