The Health Disparities Working Group (HDWG) is facilitated by Dr. Byron Kennedy and Candice Lucas with program support from Judith Bauman. HDWG is part of the Facing Race, Embracing Equity (FR=EE) Initiative, developed to advance community action in response to the exhibit "Race: Are We So Different?" at the Rochester Museum and Science Center. Rather than duplicating existing efforts, FR=EE’s Working Groups were explicitly designed to promote action through collaboration and meaningful community engagement. HDWG members asserted that it was crucial to establish mutually respectful relationships prior to engaging in the work itself. The absence of such a relationship between patient and provider was linked, in part, to deleterious health outcomes for people of color. Rather than use the term ‘cultural competence’ as an endpoint, HDWG members emphasized the importance of practicing ‘cultural humility as a means of engagement – both for individual provider/patient interactions and for public health efforts. The work of HDWG is ongoing and workshop participants are encouraged to become Champions of Access and Equity by becoming involved.
Judith Bauman is a community advocate, working with the FR=EE Initiative as a coordinator for the Health Disparities Working Group. Ms. Bauman has an extensive history of collaboration with communities of color in several health-related areas and currently serves as a representative on the African American and Latino Health Coalitions of the Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency. She is deeply committed to social justice and practices cultural humility to promote thoughtful action toward mutually identified objectives.
Dr. Byron Kennedy is the director of the Monroe County Department of Public Health. Previously, Byron worked for the California Department of Public Health, the local health departments of Sacramento and San Francisco, CA, as well as at the California State Legislature on health policy issues, including a statewide community health initiative. Byron is Board Certified in Preventive Medicine and graduated from Yale University, where he received his MD, PhD, and Masters in Public Health (MPH) degrees, with doctoral training in epidemiology. He has published papers in the areas of chronic disease treatment, tobacco control, overuse injury, aging, and health disparities. He is an avid, year-round bicycle rider, enjoying both on-the-road and bike trail terrains.
Candace Lucas is the director of community health services at the URMC Center for Community Health. In this role, Lucas directs the operations of multiple community-based outreach programs aimed at improving the health status of Monroe County residents through the promotion of physical activity, nutrition, cancer screenings and healthy lifestyle workshops. Lucas also co-facilitates the Race and Health Disparities Working Group for the Facing Race=Embracing Equity Initiative.