The National Medical Association (NMA) in conjunction with the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) will host the 16th National Colloquium on African American Health, March 8-11, 2014. This year’s theme, A Seat at the Table: Recognizing Essential Providers as Key Stakeholders, conveys NMA’s objective to equip its state and local societies with the resources and information to address the opportunities and challenges associated with disease states and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
While the membership of the NMA has unequivocally endorsed the ACA, we must be more engaged. You, as NMA members, have expressed the opinion that attempts to sabotage the act ignore the health insurance needs of millions of Americans, especially African Americans. NMA is working to encourage officials in states that have not accepted the Health Exchanges with expanded Medicaid, to revisit this decision. We are the trusted advisors needed to help explain this legislation in order to increase enrollment.
This year’s Colloquium provides NMA members and local and national leaders with the opportunity not only to acquire information, but also to discuss with state and national legislators how your state is implementing the Affordable Care Act. In addition to the ACA and its implementation, the Colloquium will explore other issues such as:
- Health equity
- Hepatitis C
- Congestive Heart Failure
- Sickle Cell
- Diversity in clinical research
More importantly, the Colloquium offers you an opportunity to dialogue with state and national legislators on what, if any, changes need to be made to ensure the participation of our members as providers in the networks that are established to take care of patients. Another issue that needs to be addressed is reimbursement based on static quality measures. Our patients are traditionally less healthy and reimbursement tied to outcomes may put us at a disadvantage.
We have an impressive array of speakers, which continues to expand. But, we need you to participate, especially if you are a leader in your local NMA Society. We need to exemplify strength and unity of purpose in order to ensure that our physicians have every opportunity to be a resource for all issues related to the health of this nation.
The Honorable G. K. Butterfield (D-NC) will be the keynote speaker and recipient of the Louis Stokes Health Policy Award.
Other speakers include:
- Vivek Murthy, M.D., MBA. US Surgeon General Nominee
- Nadine Gracia, M.D., M.S.C.E., Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health/US Department of Health and Human Services
- The Honorable Joe E. Armstrong, President, National Black Caucus of State Legislators
- The Honorable Barbara Lee (D-CA), Senior Democratic Whip
- The Honorable Donna M. Christensen (D-USVI), Director, Congressional Black Caucus Health BrainTrust
- John Ruffin, Ph.D., Director, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities/National Institutes of Health (invited)
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