Diabetes control focus of Hampton U. Black Family conference

By Kayla Johnson

On Wednesday, March 18, Hampton University will kick off the 37th Annual Conference on the Black Family.

This year's conference is hosted by the School of Pharmacy and the theme is "Controlling Diabetes: A Call to Action for Minority Families." The focus is on the problem of diabetes, heath disparities and diabetes management in communities.

"Our Dean would like for Hampton University's School of Pharmacy to become a leading pharmacy school to specialize in diabetes research and medications in the future and that is why this theme was selected," said Tiffany Hatcher of Alabama, a 2017 Doctorate of Pharmacy Candidate.

Wednesday night the conference begins with an opening ceremony and will be followed on Thursday with a series of panels, roundtables and luncheons. The last day of the conference will be held on Friday, March 20, with a closing luncheon featuring keynote speaker Rear Admiral Pamela Schweitzer.

Schweitzer currently serves as the chief pharmacy professional officer of the U.S. Public Health Service and assistant surgeon general. As chief pharmacy professional officer, Schweitzer is responsible for providing leadership and coordination of Public Health Service pharmacy programs and professional affairs for the Office of the Surgeon General and the Department of Health and Human Services.

"Due to her experience in the world of pharmacy and her federal government perspective, she is more than qualified to speak on this year's theme and the federal government's initiative 'Healthy People2020'," said Hatcher.

When asked if she would be attending the Conference on the Black Family, Margie Merritt, a junior strategic communications major, said, "Yes, I definitely am. Diabetes is very prominent in the African-American community so to have a conference focusing on something so crucial is great. It gives African-Americans the opportunity for open discussion on something that should be talked about a lot more."

The Annual Conference on the Black Family was formed when Hampton University President William R. Harvey saw a need for a consistent and formal dialogue to discuss important issues concerning the black family. The event has been serving the Hampton University community as well as the local community since 1978.

To register online for The 37th Annual Conference on the Black Family, visit http://events.hamptonu.edu/cbf/ or call 757.727.5071.

The writer is a student in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

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