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Portland Business Journal: Portland State hosts 'speed dating' for health advocates
Author: Elizabeth Hayes
Posted: February 28, 2014

The original story in the Portland Business Journal's Healthcare Inc. Northwest Publication is available here

Social determinants are often as key to a person’s health as their medical care. Which is why Portland State University is hosting a sort of “speed dating” event Friday for health advocates.

Researchers will present their work in five-minute blasts, almost like mini-TED Talks. There’s time for 20 minutes of discussion about the ideas as well. The Friday presentations will revolve around the interplay between social circumstances and health outcomes.

“There’s no doubt all these social factors end up having a huge effect on people’s health and health care, but it’s less clear what we can do about it,” said Christina Nicolaidis, director of PSU’s Social Determinants of Health Initiative, which supports and conducts community-engaged, interdisciplinary research, education and action to promote health equity.

“We’ve been trying to bring together people with similar interests but who are going about it in different ways,” Nicolaidis said. “We’re trying to create and support connections. There’s the potential for further collaborations and awareness of different ideas that haven’t been thought about.”

Nicolaidis said there will be a range of different disciplines represented, including faculty from local universities, community organizations, government agencies and local health systems.

Presentation topics include African Americans in health care, disability-related disparities in health, intergenerational living, access to hygiene resources and “Corn, Tortillas and Social Justice.”