Doctors and clinicians from a wide array of specialties will offer their insights about the importance of preventive care at an upcoming community health forum in Hartford, featuring a keynote address by Dr. Jewel Mullen, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Public Health.
“Get Health Wise: The Benefits of Preventive Care” on Oct. 7, hosted by the Conn. Health I-Team, will give attendees the opportunity to hear presentations from doctors and clinicians at various health care stations. A panel discussion – with a question and answer period – will follow. Attendance is free and open to providers, community organizations and the public.
The forum runs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Artists Collective, 1200 Albany Ave., Hartford. Free parking will be available in the rear lot.
The event, which C-HIT is hosting in collaboration with ConnectiCare, will bring together experts who specialize in primary care, cancer, diabetes, obesity, heart health, behavioral health and nutrition to discuss the broad range of preventive services that are available at no cost to the insured.
The Affordable Care Act requires health insurers to cover preventive services such as annual wellness check-ups, cancer screenings and recommended immunizations at no cost to the health plan member. Many consumers, however, are not using the free services. They cite lack of knowledge or understanding, fear of what will be found and lack of a primary care physician as reasons not to seek care. The panel discussion will focus on the importance of preventive care services and start a conversation around how to get the people of Connecticut to take action.
“We want the residents of Connecticut to know what preventive care is covered by health insurance at no cost them,’’ said Dr. John Harper, vice president and chief medical officer at ConnectiCare.
“Unfortunately, some people still do not get the preventive care services that can help keep them well. We feel it is important for people to understand what is covered by their health plan and how to access the care that they need. Receiving the necessary preventive services benefits everyone in Connecticut. That’s why we wanted to be a part of this important event,” Harper said.
The panelists and their specialties include: Dr. Marilyn Katz, internal medicine, University of Connecticut Health Center (primary care); Rebecca Santiago, nurse and community health care navigator at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center; Dr. Anees Chagpar, director of the Breast Center – Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven Hospital (cancer prevention and screenings); Dr. Latha Dulipsingh, population management champion and director, Diabetes and Metabolic Services at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center; Sofia Segura-Pérez, associate director, Community Nutrition Unit, Hispanic Health Council (diabetes, obesity and heart health).
Panelists also include Jill Creamer, social worker and associate director of Children’s Community Based Services at the Wheeler Clinic; Dr. Michael Sernyak, chief executive officer, Connecticut Mental Health Center at Yale School of Medicine (behavioral health); and Teresa Athas, registered dietician and manager of worksite wellness at ConnectiCare (nutrition).
In addition to ConnectiCare, event sponsors include the Wheeler Clinic, the Connecticut Health Foundation, the Saint Francis Foundation, Women’s Health Connecticut, the Village for Families & Children, Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut, Qualidigm, and the Connecticut Hospital Association. Media sponsors are the Hartford Courant and CTLatinoNews.com. The event is supported by grants from the Knight Foundation and the Institute for Nonprofit News, and the Beatrice Fox Auerbach Foundation Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.
Attendees will hear from doctors and clinicians at health care stations from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m. A panel discussion will follow, beginning with a keynote address by Mullen. Light refreshments will be served.
Register in advance here.