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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- The Arkansas Minority Health Commission (AMHC) will host its 3rd Biennial Arkansas Minority Health Summit on Friday, April 18, 2014 at Philander Smith College's Kendall Science and Health Mission Center. The theme is The Economic Impact of Health Disparities: The Cost You Pay.

Dr. Joycelyn Elders, former United States Surgeon General, serves as the Honorary Chair of the Summit. Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe will provide opening remarks.

The Summit, which is free and open to the public, also includes:

· A plenary session panel discussion, moderated by television personality and Arkansas native T. J. Holmes, which includes Dr. Brian Smedley, Vice President and Director, Health Policy Institute, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, Washington, D.C.; Dr. Mick Tilford, Professor and Chair, UAMS Department of Health Policy and Management; and Dr. Darrell Gaskin, Associate Professor, Health Economics and Deputy Director, Center for Health Disparities Solutions, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University

· The release of findings of a new UAMS study on Arkansas' health economy

· A luncheon with guest speaker Dr. Camara Jones, Adjunct Professor, Rollins School of Public Health and Emory University, Senior Fellow with the Satcher Health Leadership Institute, Morehouse School of Medicine

· Continental breakfast

· Theme-related workshops

· Health-related vendor booths

AMHC, in partnership with UAMS, will present the study findings, which suggest that eliminating health disparities for Arkansas minorities would have resulted in a reduction of direct medical care expenditures of $518.60 million in 2010.

"One of the reasons we funded this study is to get a truer picture of the impact, economically, when drastic health disparities exist," said Idonia Trotter, Executive Director of the Arkansas Minority Health Commission.

"The study findings suggest that targeted interventions have the potential to generate significant benefits from reductions in both direct and indirect costs. I look forward to this tremendous panel discussion by some of the nation's foremost experts on what our Commission and other partners can do to reduce health disparities, and the cost burden associated, in our state."

Although the event is free, registration by April 15 at noon is required.

For more information and to register for the Summit, visit arminorityhealthsummit.com or call 501.686.2720. For press inquiries please contact Stephanie Jackson at 501.492.4900 or stephanie@designgroupmarketing.com.

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