ORLANDO – In celebration of Black History Month, the Orange County Health Department (OCHD) will be hosting its annual Black History Month Workshop which, this year, will focus on the importance of research to find better ways to treat and cure diseases. This year’s theme is Standing Together: Public Health Community-Driven Research Among African-Americans.
During this year’s event, the health department will be launching a partnership with Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU). The Orange County Health Department (OCHD) endeavors to become an academic health department (a “learning community”), in which, its primary goal is to use a team based approach to develop partnerships between academic centers, community agencies, and private and public health entities in order to expand four key areas: core service deliveries, research, teaching/education, and informatics.
“One of the goals is to get more people of color involved in clinic trials, said Orange County Health Department Director Dr. Kevin M. Sherin. “Clinical trials are monitored for safety and they may just save a life.” OCHD is the only health department without university affiliation in the state of Florida certified by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to conduct clinic trials. Currently the health department is conducting 3 clinical and community behavioral trials to increase access to health care, assure quality of care, and reduce health care costs. FAMU and OCHD have agreed to oversee collaborative teaching, training, and research activities in health department clinics and the Orange County community in conjunction with the university’s mission. OCHD also plans to develop and/or expand relationships with other local universities and medical schools.
Our distinguished speakers this year are Cynthia Hughes Harris, Ph.D., Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs of Florida A & M University, and Florida State Senator Gary Siplin.
The workshop will be held Friday, February 24, 2012 from 11:30am – 2:00pm at the Orange County Health Department Central Auditorium at 832 W. Central Boulevard, Orlando. The workshop will include some historic and cultural presentations and displays.
The month long celebration of Black History Month began in 1976. The purpose of Black History Month is two fold - to educate non-black Americans about African American History and its culture and to instill among African Americans pride in their heritage.