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Combating Discrimination in Health Care and Fighting Health Disparities in Greece and the United States

May 27, 2021 @ 9:00 am - 10:30 am

Rutgers’ School of Communication & Information and School of Health Professions in collaboration with Hellenic Mediterranean University are hosting a virtual symposium on May 27. During the open session (9 to 10:30 a.m. EDT), faculty members from different disciplines and professional backgrounds, including communication, nutrition and dietetics, nursing, and social work, will give short presentations on their research related to discrimination in health care and health disparities in Greece and the United States. A reaction panel will kick off a Q&A session and conversation among all attendees.


The agenda includes:

• Introductions and presentation of the Hellenic Mediterranean University-Rutgers partnership:

Konstantinos Petridis and Kleio Koutra, Hellenic Mediterranean University

Matthew Matsaganis and Riva Touger-Decker, Rutgers University


• Research presentations (alphabetical order):

Nursing Practice Environment and Employee Silence Regarding Patient Safety: The Mediating Role of Experienced Professional Discrimination
George Kritsotakis, Hellenic Mediterranean University

Psychosocial Needs of People Living in Extreme Poverty and Introducing Brief Interventions: The Case of Crete Region in Greece
Maria G. Papadakaki, Hellenic Mediterranean University

Understanding the Impact of Engagement with Cancer (Mis)information among Latino Facebook Users
Yonaira Rivera, Rutgers

Cancer Screening Among Garifuna Women
Lois Rockson, Rutgers


• Reaction Panel, Q&A, and Discussion
A panel of Rutgers faculty will initiate a Q&A session, during which all audience members will be able to ask questions of the presenters. All participants will be given an opportunity to have a dialogue on the issues raised by the research projects presented and their implications, and to identify top priorities for future research, teaching, professional practice, and policymaking.


Related information:

Research from across the globe speaks to the many determinants of health disparities that disproportionately affect a range of populations, including women, individuals with low socioeconomic status, ethnic and racial minorities, immigrants and refugees, people with disabilities, and individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. Health inequalities can be attributed to a wide variety of factors, including discrimination, which is the focus of a study being conducted by the host organizations.

Existing research demonstrates that discrimination has been associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease among African American men compared to American men of European descent; a higher incidence of depression among women who identify as lesbian versus women who identify as heterosexual; and various psychosomatic problems among immigrant minority students in Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden. Existing research also has demonstrated that health disparities and discrimination are difficult but not intractable problems, and offers examples of policy, educational, and other types of interventions designed to eliminate them both, as well as their deleterious effects on individuals, communities, and populations.

This symposium is being developed as part of the International Academic Partnership Program in Greece (IAPP-Greece). IAPP-Greece is an academic incubator program sponsored in 2020 by the Greek Ministry of Education, the U.S. Department of Education, the Institute of International Education, and the Fulbright Foundation, among other organizations, designed to promote international collaboration between U.S. and Greek institutions of higher education. Both the Hellenic Mediterranean University of Athens and Rutgers are IAPP-Greece participants.


Online via Zoom

Advance registration required by May 24. Free and open to the public. For more information, contact Riva Touger-Decker, associate dean of global affairs in the School of Health Professions, at