Published August 3, 2022
Now in its fifth year, the Igniting Hope Conference is known in Buffalo and beyond for bringing together community leaders, community members, University at Buffalo faculty, and trainees from multiple UB schools to focus on addressing health equity and the social determinants of health. As Buffalo continues to deal with the aftermath of the May 14 mass shooting, discussing these issues and the road ahead is a vital necessity.
The 2022 conference, titled “Advocating in a New Reality: Breaking Barriers, Maintaining Resilience and Reconstructing a Community of Care,” will be held in-person on Saturday, August 13, at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (as well as concurrently via Zoom). Co-sponsored by the Buffalo Center for Health Equity, the University at Buffalo Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), and the University at Buffalo Community Health Equity Research Institute, Igniting Hope is supported by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences under award numbers R13 TR003486 and UL1 TR001412.
This year’s dual presentation — in-person and online — is a first for the conference. (Register here to attend or watch on August 13.)
“We want to ensure that all members of the community are able to access and enjoy Igniting Hope,” says CTSI Director Timothy F. Murphy, MD, SUNY Distinguished Professor and Director, UB Community Health Equity Research Institute.
Past conferences have drawn hundreds of attendees, as well as widespread media coverage and national attention. In May, faculty from the Jacobs School, School of Nursing, School of Public Health and Health Professions, and School of Architecture and Planning authored a paper published in the Journal of Clinical and Translational Science. The paper, titled “A community-university run conference as a catalyst for addressing health disparities in an urban community,” explained how the series has been able to develop and implement initiatives that are having a positive impact on social determinants of health in Buffalo.
“Igniting Hope is a local conference, but it has a national feel,” says Rita Hubbard-Robinson, JD, Chief Executive Officer, NeuWater & Associates, LLC; Associate Director, UB Community Health Equity Research Institute. “Our speakers are always phenomenal, and this year we are very excited at the level of talent that we have been able to draw. It puts our city and those who attend our conference in a position to learn from the brightest minds from around the country and the world — individuals who are at the cutting edge of ways in which we should be thinking.”
“In addition to keynote talks by national leaders in the field of health equity, a popular feature of the conference is always the breakout groups,” says Murphy. “These groups bring community and university groups into conversations to better understand the impact of social determinants of health that exist in our community.”
As noted in a University at Buffalo media release, conference breakout groups have spawned working groups that have begun to implement changes to mitigate some of the inequities in Buffalo. For example, a Fines and Fees working group contributed to a new state law and new policies that have reduced the disproportionate ticketing for traffic violations and resulting driver license suspensions for residents of East Buffalo.
“We have to create the community of care that we so greatly need, especially when thinking about those who have died, who have been traumatized, who have lost their lives from COVID, and who have had COVID and are experiencing a long haul disease,” Robinson says. “All of these things make it so important for us to have this conference.”
The full 2022 conference agenda is:
Plenary Session 1
Plenary Session 2
Plenary Session 3
Closing Plenary Session
Visit buffalohealthequity.org for more information or to register.