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Pritzker Administration, IDPH to host 2023 Illinois Minority Health Conference in Bloomington December 4 & 5

IDPH-led Conference will Feature Keynote Address from U.S. Census Bureau Director Robert Santos

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced today that the Keynote Speaker for the state’s upcoming 2023 Minority Health Conference on December 4 and 5 in Bloomington will be Robert Santos, Director of the U.S. Census Bureau. Other speakers include IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra, the Mayor of Bloomington, Mboka Mwilambwe, and Southern Illinois University professor Jeremy Allen, an expert on structural racism.

“Eliminating health disparities in Illinois is one of the key priorities of my administration, and the 2023 Illinois Minority Health Conference is an important step in this process,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “We know that to achieve our goal, it is critical we work together and bring in the voices of those in our communities who are on the front lines in this ongoing battle to eliminate the unacceptable health disparities that disproportionately affect our Black and Brown communities.”

The conference at Illinois State University is designed to share knowledge on health disparities and social justice issues; build competencies among healthcare professionals; and develop collaborations with service providers and community partners aimed at more effectively serving minorities and other disadvantaged communities in Illinois.

“I’m honored to participate in the 2023 Illinois Minority Health Conference, emphasizing the Census Bureau’s commitment to delivering accurate, timely and relevant data,” said Robert Santos, Director of the U.S. Census Bureau, who will appear virtually at the in-person conference. “By collaboratively understanding and addressing health disparities for people of color, we aim to meet the unique concerns and needs of minority communities. Leveraging Census Bureau data and resources, like our 2020 Census demographic data map viewer, opens doors to valuable insights that can drive positive change and foster a healthier, more equitable future.”

“The Illinois Department of Public Health is dedicated to addressing health disparities in every community across our large, diverse state,” said IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra. “As we write new chapters in the story of public health post-pandemic, we are prioritizing our data processes, community engagement, and programs to strengthen health equity efforts across all aspects of public health. The 2023 Minority Health Conference will feature the work of innovative leaders in this effort, headlined by our keynote speaker, Director Santos of the U.S. Census Bureau. I am excited to partner with him and other leaders across the country to build brighter futures for Illinois’s Black and Brown communities.” 

Currently, four in ten Illinoisians are from racial and ethnic minority populations. However, disease burdens such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, stroke, HIV, substance abuse, infant mortality, and COVID-19 infection and deaths rates remain higher among these populations. Working with its broad array of partners in the healthcare and social service provider community, IDPH continues to work towards stopping health disparities, accelerating health equity, and making Illinois a stronger and healthier state.

Allen, lecturer in Sociology at SIU, is expected to provide history and context regarding structural racism and its influence on established systems and to discuss how systemic racism influences every part of our world.

Click HERE to find out more and to register for the 2023 Illinois Minority Health Conference.

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