YSN hosted a full lecture hall of students, faculty, staff, and guests as Daniel E. Dawes, Morehouse School of Medicine's Executive Director of Government Relations, Health Policy, and External Affairs, presented the 2012 annual Sybil Palmer Bellos lecture on April 17.
The lecture titled, “Health Reform and Vulnerable Populations: A Road to Eliminating Health Disparities,” focused on the recent health reform law and the various provisions, outcomes and challenges in “promoting better healthcare for all.”
Dawes stressed that currently the U.S. healthcare system is not where it should be and that thus far, “we have not been successful in eliminating disparities in healthcare.” To illustrate his point, Dawes captivated the audience by telling the story of Esmin Green, an African-American woman who had schizophrenia, and how she died in a waiting room because she was ignored.
From there, Dawes emphasized that the health reform law will decrease race and ethnic disparities and that we should all get involved to make certain that everyone gets the health care they deserve. “As health care professionals, we need to ensure that there is adequate funding from Congress and the Administration,” said Dawes. He also stressed that we should “participate in the development of national strategies on quality improvement and prevention.”
One of the faculty members who attended the lecture, Dr. Holly Kennedy, Helen Varney Professor of Midwifery, expressed that Dawes’ talk was, “an insightful, in-depth look at health care reform from an ‘insider’s’ perspective- it was excellent!"
In addition, the lecture began by awarding a student with the YSN Community Service Award. This award went to Psyche Phillips '13, who was praised for her community service as well as other characteristics that Sybil Palmer Bellos embodied as a professional.
The Bellos lecture was established in 1964, in honor of Sybil Palmer Bellos, a 1927 graduate of YSN, on the occasion of her retirement as the Director of the Northern Westchester District Nursing Association. Mrs. Bellos was known for qualities apparent from the beginning of her nursing career: dedication, vision and a sense of adventure. A woman of great personal charm – modest and gentle – Mrs. Bellos was able to reach and touch others, and her influence has been felt far beyond her expectation.