During this webinar, Dr. Altha Stewart will discuss healthcare disparities in both general and behavioral health treatment systems and past efforts to reduce or eliminate them. Recent events have served to highlight a continued lack of awareness and understanding of the significance of social and environmental factors (e.g., structural racism) as it relates to improving the quality of mental health care, especially for communities of color.
Dr. Stewart will include a review of the work of advocates such as Bebe Moore Campbell to create a space for inclusion of these issues as people with mental illness and families began taking a more active role in making necessary changes in the treatment system. She will offer suggestions for better understanding and addressing of these issues, given the current events related to the two pandemics, COVID-19 and structural racism.
Dr. Altha J. Stewart is Senior Associate Dean, Community Health Engagement at UT Health Science Center-Memphis, Chief of Social/Community Psychiatry, and Director, Center for Health in Justice Involved Youth. She served as the 145th President of the American Psychiatric Association, the first African American ever elected to this position. Prior to this she served for decades as CEO/Executive Director in large public mental health systems in Pennsylvania, New York, and Michigan.
A native of Memphis, Dr. Stewart received her medical degree from Temple University Medical School, completing her residency at what is now Drexel University. She has received honorary degrees from Regis College (MA) and Christian Brothers University (TN). She is past president of the Black Psychiatrists of America, Association of Women Psychiatrists and American Psychiatric Foundation, and recipient of the Black Psychiatrists of America Lifetime Achievement Award.
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