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Fendy Mesy
Special Projects Coordinator
(202) 806 – 4037

Sandra Wills Hannon
(240) 888-9736

Howard Hosts "The Health Care Discussion: People, Environment, and Policy"

Washington, D.C., April 20, 2010 – Howard University has confirmed the speakers and content line-up for the April 27 symposium entitled The Health Care Discussion: People, Environment, and Policy, which brings together the top scholars, policy makers and activists to share the latest and smartest discussions current pressing health care issues.

The Symposium comes at a time when world events such as the celebration of Earth Day and parts of Northern Europe’s skies have lingering cloud of ash from a volcano in Iceland. Discussion in the panels of physicians, scholars, policy makers and activists will focus on the impact of environmental determinants of health. While current reports on the ash cloud has focused on the financial consequences and traveler inconvenience of a closed airspace on the continent, the Symposium will focus on environment impact on individual’s health.

Registration to the event is open at

The Health Care Discussion symposium is the first symposium produced by The Howard University Initiative on Democracy, Markets, Communication, and Technology. The Symposium will be held April 27 at the Armour J. Blackburn University Center at Howard University. The Symposium will be from 8:45 AM to 12:00 PM, with a luncheon from 12:15 PM to 1 PM. The Symposium is designed for all scholars, policymakers and activists to examine the interchange of democracies, communication and technology on managing and offering health care alternatives. The Symposium proceedings will be published in a white paper later this year.

Panels for this Symposium will include the following:

• People: Winners and Losers in the Health Care Debate
• Environment: Understanding Environmental Determinants of Health
• Policy: Politics and Economics of the Health Care Debate

Among the federal agencies, businesses and non-governmental organizations represented at the Symposium are: Howard University, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Council of La Raza, the Children’s Defense Fund, Merck Childhood Asthma Network, AETNA, the US Department of Energy, the AFL-CIO and more.

Keynote speakers will include John Rother, AARP Executive Vice President and Vice Admiral Adam Robinson, Jr., US Navy Surgeon General as well as Alvin Thornton, Ph.D., Howard University Chair of the Presidential Commission on Academic Renewal and James H. Wyche, Ph.D., Howard University Provost and Chief Academic Officer.

Among the panelists are: Okianer Christian Dark, J.D., Howard University Association Dean of the School of Law,
Jennifer Ng’andu, National Council of La Raza Deputy Director, Health Policy; Pam Shaw, Children’s Defense Fund Consultant and General Counsel; Melinda Downing, US Department of Energy Program Manager, FloYd Jr. Malveaux, M.D., Ph.D., Merck Childhood Asthma Network, Inc. Executive Director, Mohit Ghose, Aetna Vice President of Public Affairs, Kelly Ross, AFL-CIO Health Policy and Specialist and more.

The Health Care Discussion Symposium is a much-anticipated information-packed event. As a product of the new Howard University Initiative on Democracy, Markets, Communication, and Technology, it is funded by the Initiative’s $150,000.00 grant awarded by the Carnegie Corporation in New York. The Corporation awarded the grant to Howard University to create a new think tank to facilitate national and international research on complex national and international issues. This landmark project provides venues for ongoing interdisciplinary research, bringing the best minds in research and public policy development to discuss critical issues of citizen participation in government decision making, transparency and the economic implications of global technologies.

Jannette L. Dates, Ph.D., Dean of the University’s John H. Johnson School of Communications and one of the grant administrators, said this grant provides the vehicle to facilitate interdisciplinary discussions featuring national and international thought-leaders. “Perhaps at no other time in history have major issues of health had both national and global ramifications," Dates said. "In this last recession, certainly we have learned just how interconnected and global we are. We no longer have the luxury of looking for solutions to complex issues in a vacuum.”

About the John H. Johnson School of Communications
The Howard University John H. Johnson School of Communications has produced many outstanding professionals in communications including: Janice McKenzie Crayton, President of Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Atlanta, Keisha N. Brown, senior vice president and general manager, LAGRANT Foundation, Depelsha Thomas-McGruder, senior vice president, Business Operations & Strategy, MTV Networks, Genelle Niblack, vice president, Clear Channel Radio Sales, Constance Cannon Frazier, vice president, American Advertising Federation (AAF), Fredricka Whitfield, CNN news anchor; Vicki Mabrey, ABC Nightline (formerly of CBS 60 Minutes II); Isabel Wilkerson, Pulitzer Prizewinning journalist formerly at The New York Times; and Lesli Foster, news anchor at WUSA, Channel 9.

About Howard University
Founded in 1867, students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, two Truman Scholar, 21 Fulbright Scholars and 10 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on-campus African- American Ph.D.s than any other university in the world. For more information about Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit the University's Web site at
About the Carnegie Corporation of New York
The Howard University Initiative on Democracy, Markets, Communication and Technology is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Created by Andrew Carnegie in 1911, the Carnegie Corporation mission is “to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding.” The Corporation’s funding is to assist Howard University to showcase its faculty and other experts to discuss the interdependence of democracy, markets, communication, and technology to immediate, complex issues that are of challenge to America and across the world.
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