The Microbes and Social Equity working group and The University of Maine Institute of Medicine present an inaugural symposium on “Microbes, Social Equity, and Rural Health,” which will be held June 14–18 via Zoom. The symposium highlights recent investigations into beneficial and detrimental instances of microbial exposure, in the context of how social policy may mediate or deepen disparities between and within populations. In addition to invited presentations on thematic sections, each section will involve a discussion session using smaller breakout groups, to facilitate conversations and brainstorming between attendees. These groups will be arranged around smaller themes or research questions, and group members will identify knowledge gaps for future research, as well as list actionable steps that can be taken using existing research to promote equitable social policy. Ideally, meeting attendees will gain knowledge, collaborators and connections, and a path forward for turning their research into evidence-based policy to support public health.
All events are free but registration is required.
Session leaders: Michael Friedman and Sue Ishaq
The human microbiota is a mediator between social determinants of health and health outcomes. Social determinants, such as racism, sexism and social class position are power relations that shape human microbial communities by providing access and exposure to varying biological factors. In turn, shifts in such communities are associated with distinct health outcomes. This opening session will introduce the concept of microbes and social equity, and open the discussion on how to create change.
Session Speakers (some pending):
Kate Darling, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Sociology at University of Maine, Augusta
“Advocating for COVID equity by addressing misinformation, mistrust, and lack of access during COVID-19”
Jessica Ottero, Ph.D., Community Health Education Specialist at Mayo Clinic
Prior to this session, you may want to watch these recorded talks:
- “An Indigenous Micro- to Meta-Narrative: Microbes and Social Equity,” Dr. Nicole Redvers, ND, MPH. Feb. 10, 2021.
- “The Global Microbiome: microbes and public health beyond biology,” Amber Benezra, Ph.D. March 10, 2021.
For full program and registrations details: umaine.edu/medicine/seminars-2/