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CBM & AAC Host Annual Summit and Newsmaker Luncheon

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By California Black Media (CBM)

A statewide media advocacy group, hosted its 5th Annual Summit and Newsmaker Luncheon in partnership with the League of California Cities African American Caucus on Thursday, May 17, 2012 at the Holiday Inn, downtown Sacramento from 11:30am to 2:00 pm. This informative and empowering conference was attended by media publishers, media representatives, entrepreneurs, non-profit representatives, and other dignitaries.

This year’s program focused on African American health disparities and featured an all-star panel including Dr. Bill Releford, Founder of the Releford Foot and Ankle Institute in Los Angeles, Robert Phillips, Director of Health Programs at the Sierra Health Foundation in Sacramento and Lydia Bourne, Lobbyist and Policy Consultant at the California Black Health Network in Sacramento. Dr. Bill Releford is a podiatry surgeon and Founder of the Releford Foot and Ankle Institute. Dr. Releford is also the Founder of the Black Barbershop Health Outreach, a program that visits Black barbershops across the nation to conduct free health screenings including diabetes, prostate and high blood pressure testing. Dr. Releford has made appearances on the The View with Barbara Walters, ABC News, CBS News, and Dr. Drew's daytime television show.

Robert Phillips oversees the development and implementation of the health unit as the director of health programs at the Sierra Health Foundation, an organization that supports health related activities across northern California. Prior to his post, Mr. Phillips was a senior fellow, director, and senior program officer at The California Endowment where he led a number of efforts to improve the health of young men of color including health care reform and health advocacy. Lydia Bourne has served in the health sector as a Registered Nurse. She is also a health educator, program developer and administrator. She currently serves as managing partner of her governmental relations firm, Bourne & Associates. She has met with past California governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gray Davis to advocate for better health initiatives on behalf of the African American community and successfully influenced key legislation.

Moderating the African American health panel was Tommy Ross, President and CEO of Pinnacle Strategy Group and producer of the 2011 film “Church: The Movie” starring Darius McCray (Family Matters) and Joseph Phillips (The Cosby Show), which appeared on BET. The panelists disseminated critical information regarding the status of African American health. Dr. Releford spoke about cardiovascular disease and why Blacks are so vulnerable to diabetes. He also spoke about his findings as the facilitator of the Black Barbershop Health Outreach tour. He said he was motivated to initiate the outreach program as a result of the large number of African American limb amputations.

Ms. Bourne analyzed various public policies and legislation affecting African Americans’ access to healthcare and Mr. Phillips spoke about the effect of race and place on African American health. Mr. Phillips made a very profound statement when he said, “Tell me your zip code and I can tell you how long you’re going to live.”

At the conclusion of the program, a special presentation was given to Justice Vance Raye, the Presiding Justice of the 3rd District Court of Appeal of California, Dr. Bill Releford, the Founder of the Black Barbershop Health Outreach and Releford Foot and Ankle Institute and James Sweeney, Principal of Sweeney & Association. These individuals were selected as CBM’s 2012 Newsmakers for their demonstration of quality leadership and their commitment to the communities they serve throughout their respective organizations and associations. For more information about CBM and the 2012 Annual Summit and Newsmaker Luncheon, you may contact Ashley Jones at (951) 682-2664.

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