Past Conferences

Empowering Communities to Create a Healthy Village

This conference will take place June 20-22, 2011 in Memphis, TN. The 2011 conference theme, Empowering Communities to Create a Healthy Village, celebrates CHEER’s mission to engage in community-based collaborations to conduct research and incorporate the role of community assets and personal economic efficacy. The purpose of this work is to drive healthy lifestyles for at risk and disadvantaged persons of every age and background, in families living in rural, suburban, and urban communities in Memphis and the Mississippi Delta region. Please visit the conference homepage here:

New Treatments, No Tricks: Recruiting Minority Populations into Clinical Trials

Select presentations from this seminar can be viewed below:

Health in the City: A Fresh Take on Food

On July 30-31, 2010, CHEER hosted its first local conference to address health disparities in healthy eating and food access. The conference targeted Mid-Southerners who want to make health a top priority. In Memphis, poor diet and difficulty accessing healthy food choices often lead to health issues such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity. This conference would inform participants on new ways to access healthy, affordable food that can improve health and reduce hunger in the city. Specifically, conference objectives were to:

  • Discuss food hardship and its impact on food choice
  • Discuss the links between food and health outcomes
  • Explain the paradox that obesity is prevalent in Memphis "The Hunger Capital"
  • Encourage healthy food choices by educating the community on new food resources
  • Promote public/private partnerships that establish equitable access to healthy foods
  • Explore incentives for incorporating food choice and healthy eating into medical practice recommendations

Community organizations, health care providers, neighborhood groups, policy makers, churches and media were invited to participate. One unique feature of the conference was a special cooking demonstration by Memphis native Bryant Terry, chef and author of "Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen" and "Vegan Soul Kitchen (VSK): Fresh, Healthy, and Creative African-American Cuisine."

Additionally, conference speakers represented a number of prestigious community organizations, public health and academic institutions, including Memphis Inter-Faith Alliance (MIFA), Memphis Food Bank, Healthy Memphis Common Table (HMCT), Grow Memphis, Memphis & Shelby County Health Department, University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), and LeMoyne-Owen College (LOC). A town hall panel of community and local government leaders completed the conference. More than 100 attendees left with beneficial information and new contacts for developing future partnerships to address food access and security.

CHEER’s inaugural conference was promoted through a variety of media channels. Conference announcements were displayed on the websites of University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), Healthy Memphis Common Table (HMCT), and Memphis Inter-Faith Alliance (MIFA). Students, faculty, and staff of UTHSC also received reminders through the campus listserves. In addition, press releases were sent to communications departments of every major healthcare center, including St. Jude, Methodist and Baptist Hospitals. The Memphis District Dietician Association sent a conference announcement to all members. Drs. Shelley White-Means and Brandi Franklin appeared on Channel 24’s Midday Show and WDIA’s Bev Johnson radio show to promote the conference. Moreover, our keynote chef and speaker Bryant Terry was featured on Channel 3’s "Live at 9" show to conduct a live cooking demonstration.

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