SC State’s Brooks Health Center Reaches Into the Community to Fight Minority Health Disparities

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Minority Health DisparitiesSC State’s Brooks Health Center will host its annual Minority Community Health Summit for the Orangeburg community. This year’s health summit theme is: “It takes a Village to Fight Health Disparities.”  This event will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Mar. 5, 2011 in the Belcher Hall fourth floor auditorium, located on the campus of SC State University. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. This event is free and open to the public.  Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided.

According to, the top 10 health disparities that affect minorities are: heart disease; cancer; stroke; diabetes; unintentional injury; homicide; chronic lower respiratory disease; Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV); nephritis, an inflammation of the kidney and septicemia, a multiplication of the bacteria in the bloodstream, producing a powerful toxin.

The Minority Community Health Summit will address some of these health challenges that impact racial and ethnic populations in South Carolina and examine current efforts to improve access to and the quality of health care in the Orangeburg area. “The mission of the Minority Community Health Summit is to educate our students and the local community so that we can fight health disparities among our youth,” says Pinkey Carter, director of Brooks Health Center.

Throughout the Minority Community Health Summit, an array of health disparity workshops will take place, such as:  “Making Healthy Relationship Choices;” “Tips, Lips, Hips and Fingertips;” “You are what you eat;” Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Human Papillomavirus (HPV);” “Coalition Building” and “HIV Among African-American Men.”

Dr. Monnie Singleton, a ‘78 graduate of SC State University, currently serves as the medical director of Brooks Health Center. Singleton feels that it is extremely necessary to address health disparities that are silently stealing the lives of our loved ones. “I am excited about this conference and of its potentialities. It does, indeed, take a village mentality to address our health concerns,” stated Singleton. “We must rely upon the collective wisdom, knowledge, resources, encouragement and inspiration of our community and be willing to invest at a personal level to improve our health and the health of our community,” Singleton continued.

SC State’s Peer Health Advocates are thrilled about the Minority Community Health Summit and feel that it would create awareness for all members of the Orangeburg Community. “The Health Summit will do great justice to the Orangeburg Community. Health disparities in African-American families are issues that need to be addressed,” says Kendra Elder, president of Peer Health Advocates, a student organization on the campus of SC State University. “Students and local members of the community can unite and be empowered. By attending this Health Summit, attendees will leave inspired to help better themselves and others.”

The luncheon speaker for the Minority Community Health Summit will be Dr. Carl E. Jones, assistant vice president for the Office of Student Success and Retention. Jones is an SC State alumnus. He completed undergraduate studies at SC State in 1976, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology with a minor in French.  Jones obtained his Master of Arts degree in educational psychology and measurement and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in counseling and human development from Atlanta University in Atlanta, Ga.  Maintaining a 4.0 grade point average throughout his doctoral studies, he was named “Top Graduate Student” in the Atlanta University Center by CenterPoint magazine.  He was also named “Outstanding Student” in both the Atlanta University School of Education and the Department of Counseling and Psychological Services.

Orangeburg community partners, responsible for combating health disparities and developing new tactics to assist with research efforts, will also have exhibits displayed on the fourth floor of Belcher Hall. Community partners include: the Minority HIV/AIDS Council, Ryan White, a Hope Health representative, SC State’s Program of Nursing, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), CC SPERE/CEOC, members of the Eta Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and the University of South Carolina (USC) Institute for Partnership to Eliminate Health Disparities.

For additional information about the Minority Community Health Summit, contact Pinkey Carter at (803) 536-7055, or the Brooks Health Center at (803) 536-7053.