Cross-disciplinary Conference on Family and Healthy U


Cross-disciplinary Conference on Family and Healthy U

Held  March 28, 2018

This conference built on past initiatives, including previous conferences that focused on the humanities as well as on cultural and linguistic diversity that we hosted in 2016 and 2017, respectively.

This conference, we focused on the central role of the family as a fundamental building block of society. Family narratives and dynamics, gender identities, kinship and social organization, race, literacy, household income, and sociolinguistic backgrounds all represent important aspects of the early input children receive. The influence of families in the lives of children plays a primary role in how children come to construct their understandings of identities, their roles in society, and the core expectations and values that guide their lives and interactions with others. Thus, families have a significant impact on children, from childhood into adulthood. 

The “Year of Healthy U” and this conference both represented a unique opportunity to convene experts to discuss the diverse roles families play in health and well-being, and to discuss how to make our communities safe and healthy for all While the presentations for the various panel discussions addressed many different aspects of family, we purposefully grouped presentations by complementary topics. They ranged from discussions of intimate partner violence and substance use to innovative projects in the ICU. Some examined family dynamics in healthy families – fathers of head start children, mothers communicating with their children about risky behaviors, and financial stress. Another set examined families coping with illnesses: parental cancer diagnosis and the effect on children, the impact of autism on families of color, mothers of children with autism, and the necessity of having follow-up treatment and hearing screenings for newborns. Others focused on caregivers of the sick– their health literacies, experiences, and unmet needs. Several took a narrative perspective to explore important topics such as COPD and adoption. Yet others took a step back and present on health from a community perspective, including urbanization in Ghana, culturally diverse campuses, health and human rights, indigenous languages and communications in Bolivia, and the impact of biodiversity on health. Lastly, there were others that focused on wellness - for example, the role of meditation in family relationships, spirituality and Egyptian Muslims, and teaching empathy. Information on conference program and sponsors can be found here (Link pdf 4)

• Link to Photos

Conference Keynote Speakers:
Dr. Debi Gilboa, MD
Dr. Sonja Lanehart, PhD 

Family and Healthy U Event Flyer

Conference Organizing Committee:
Abdesalam Soudi, PhD, Conference Chair (Linguistics)
Jeannette South-Paul, MD, Conference Co-Chair (Family Medicine)
Shelome Gooden, PhD (Linguistics)
Valerie Kinloch, PhD (Education)
Audrey Murrell, PhD (David Berg Center)
Christy Malone, MBA (David Berg Center)
Judy Chang, MD (Obstetrics, Gynecology, & Reproductive Sciences)
Scott Kiesling, PhD (Linguistics)

Department of Linguistics
Department of Family Medicine
Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, & Reproductive Services
School of Education
David Berg Center for Ethics and Leadership