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“Eliminating Racial & Ethnic Health Disparities”

The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center will open its 2018-19 seminar series Friday, Sept. 14, from noon to 1 p.m. in the Iris S. and Bert L. Wolstein Research Building auditorium.

The event will feature Stephen B. Thomas, professor of health services administration and director of the Maryland Center for Health Equity at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Health. He will present “Eliminating Racial & Ethnic Health Disparities.”

Learn more about the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center Seminar Series.

About the speaker

Thomas is co-director of the Master of Public Health, Health Equity degree program. He also is founding director of the Maryland Center for Health Equity, a National Institutes of Health and National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities-designated Center of Excellence on Race, Ethnicity and Health Disparities Research, at the University of Maryland in College Park.

Thomas has certificates in bioethics and a proven record of success with engagement of racial and ethnic minority populations in biomedical and public health research.

In 2012, he was a member of the Maryland Health Quality and Cost Council’s Health Disparity Work Group; the final report was translated into legislation and passed into law as the Maryland Health Improvement and Disparities Reduction Act of 2012.

In 2014, Thomas was appointed to the Maryland Health Care Commission, an independent regulatory agency whose mission is to plan for health-system needs, promote informed decision-making, increase accountability and improve access to quality care.

Thomas has extensive experience in overcoming barriers associated with the legacy of the syphilis study done at Tuskegee and conducting scientifically sound and culturally tailored community-based interventions designed to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities to achieve health equity. He is co-investigator on NIH m.Health grant, Health ePeople study designed to gather cardiovascular data from study participants through devices such as smartphone apps, ECG smartphone cases and portable blood pressure cuffs, with a goal of enrolling 1 million participants.

He serves as grant-reviewer for the NIH Health Disparities and Equity Promotion Study Section Healthcare Delivery and Methodologies Integrated Review Group Center for Scientific Review.

Thomas believes building trust between researchers and health disparity populations is key to increasing participation of underrepresented minorities in clinical and public health research.