Nurse leader to host international conference on racial and health inequalities

Influential nurse leader Yvonne Coghill will co-host the inaugural conference of the NHS Race and Health Observatory on July 7-8, 2022.

The conference entitled Race, Racism and Health will be moderated by Ms Coghill and Professor David Williams, a specialist in public health at Harvard University.

Ms. Coghill qualified as a nurse in 1980 and has worked in the field of mental health nursing and medical visits.

Her final role, before retiring after 43 years with the NHS, was as Director of the Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) program for NHS England.

She is a faculty member of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and Special Advisor on Race and Health at the Observatory.

“It is imperative that this work be prioritized globally”

Yvonne Coghill

The two-day conference will feature keynotes, panel discussions, podcasts and a Q&A session, moderated by a range of health experts including academic scientists, practitioners, researchers and educators.

Ms Coghill, Professor Williams and Dr Kamran Abbasi, editor of the British medical journal, will chair the sessions of the conference.

Key themes the conference will cover include maternal and newborn health, Covid-19 sickle cell disease and racial equality in the healthcare workforce.

Ms Coghill said: “This is an important moment for the Observatory as we explore and share the global impact of race and racism on health outcomes.

“It is imperative that this work be prioritized globally and that together we share replicable learning outcomes and solutions to address the persistent racial inequalities in health that our global Black communities disproportionately suffer from. , Asians and other ethnic minorities.”

Dr Habib Naqvi, director of the NHS Race and Health Observatory, welcomed the opportunity for health systems to “share, learn and adopt better ways to improve access, health care experience and outcomes for our diverse communities”.

Meanwhile, Professor Williams said that while it has not been possible to apply what works in one county to another, “we know there are common strategies that could be applicable across- beyond national borders”.

He continued forcefully that the “status quo will no longer suffice”.

“One should not look the other way when the equivalent of a jumbo jet of black people die every day in the United States solely because of the color of their skin, or when indigenous people from the Amazon to New Zealand suffer illnesses that unnecessarily define their lives,” he added.

Professor Williams concluded that there was much to be done and the lessons would be shared with leaders around the world.

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