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GW’s Rodham Institute Hosts Third Annual Summit to Promote Health Equity in Washington, D.C.

Chelsea Clinton and Senator Chris Dodd spoke about “Celebrating Great Work in Our Community: Health Equity Success Stories” at the Third Annual Rodham Institute Summit, sponsored by CareFirst, AmeriHealth Caritas District of Columbia and Kaiser Permanente

WASHINGTON (Oct. 2, 2015) — Despite having access to world-class health care, Washington, D.C. suffers enormous health disparities. At today’s Third Annual Rodham Institute Summit at THEARC in southeast D.C., leaders from across the city came together to discuss how they can promote health equity and partner to bring compassionate and high-quality health care to all.

Speakers included Clinton Foundation Vice Chair Chelsea Clinton and Senator Chris Dodd.

“The Rodham Institute’s focus on forging partnerships among leaders and organizations in D.C. and teaching future and current health workers about health disparities is a step in the right direction in our fight to reduce health disparities and curable epidemics, such as obesity,” said Chelsea Clinton. “The work of the Rodham Institute closely aligns with my grandmother’s belief in the transformative power of education to achieve social change and with the work we at the Clinton Foundation and Alliance for a Healthier Generation feel so passionately about.”

As part of a panel discussion, Chelsea Clinton also discussed the work of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, founded by the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation, which works to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity and to empower kids to develop lifelong, healthy habits.

Community organizations, such as the United Medical Center, Unity Health Care, the University of the District of Columbia Nursing and Allied Health Programs, Family Matters of Greater Washington, Whitman-Walker Health, and the D.C. Department of Behavioral Health School Behavioral Health Program participated in panel discussions on delivering community-based care, educating future providers, and mental health in D.C.

The Rodham Institute, which is housed within the George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) and supported by the GW Medical Faculty Associates, seeks to apply the transformative power of education to help future and current health care providers achieve health equity in D.C. This year’s summit theme was “Celebrating Great Work in Our Community: Health Equity Success Stories” and highlighted the innovative work taking place to address health equity in the District. The Summit was sponsored by CareFirst, AmeriHealth Caritas District of Columbia and Kaiser Permanente.

“This summit was not only about celebrating the great work that's being done every day by silent heroes in our community that lifts people so that they can be healthier and able to lead happier lives. It's also about sharing and exchanging experiences and maximizing the collective work being done to improve our city's health,” said Jehan ‘Gigi’ El-Bayoumi, M.D., founding director of the Rodham Institute and associate professor of medicine at SMHS. “To hear about individual stories of people who have transcended incredible hardships and to learn about how various organizations address issues from food insecurity to mental health or HIV was truly inspiring.”

At the Summit, the Rodham Institute awarded $35,000 in grants to collaborations between community organizations and GW students or faculty that successfully demonstrated the potential for advancing the health and well-being of the residents of D.C.

Junior high and high school students who participated as part of the Rodham Institute’s Health Education and Leadership Programs, a comprehensive pipeline program designed to cultivate student interest in diverse health professions among underrepresented minority youth, presented posters. The students presented three social impact projects designed to promote health-related improvements in their own communities.   

Media: To interview Dr. El-Bayoumi or for more information about The Rodham Institute, please contact Lisa Anderson at lisama2@gwu.edu or 202-270-4841.

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The Rodham Institute:
The Rodham Institute was established in 2013 in honor of the late Mrs. Dorothy Rodham who believed passionately in the capacity for education to achieve social change. The Institute, housed within the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences and supported by the GW Medical Faculty Associates, seeks to apply the transformative power of education to achieve health equity in Washington, D.C. smhs.gwu.edu/rodhaminstitute

About the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences:
Founded in 1824, the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) was the first medical school in the nation’s capital and is the 11th oldest in the country. Working together in our nation’s capital, with integrity and resolve, the GW SMHS is committed to improving the health and well-being of our local, national and global communities. smhs.gwu.edu