Future social workers are being challenged to work with lawmakers to make healthcare more available for residents living in rural Arkansas. The challenge was issued to attendees of the 4th annual Health Disparities Conference at Arkansas State University. The theme of the conference was “Bridging the Gap Between Health Disparities in the Delta.”
Keynote speaker of the conference was Dr. Charlotte Lewellen-Williams of the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service. She presented a community-based solution to influence the policies for addressing the issue. Williams said social workers have an important role in helping to shrink the health disparities gap.
Associate Professors of Social Work at A-State Dr. Patricia Wilkerson and Dr. Patricia Guy-Walls both coordinated the conference. Wilkerson said it was important that future social workers understand how policies influence the social problems they may face in the field.
Guy-Walls said she wants future social workers to be more aware of the factors leading to the health disparities gap in the Delta.
She also hopes the attendees will become more aware of the factors so they can become agents of change in the community and make a difference.