University of South Florida

USF Health Convocation offers opportunity to continue vision for making life better [video]

Familiar faces from across USF Health gathered in the Oval Theater of the Marshall Student Center Aug. 30 to hear more about the impact each of us could have on future generations and their risk of disease because of a perpetual cycle of inequities, disparities and inequalities.

Dr. Adewale Troutman.

Dr. Adewale Troutman.

The keynote address, by Adewale Troutman, MD, MPH, CPH, professor and associate dean for Health Equity and Community Engagement at the USF College of Public Health, was the focused topic of the USF Health 2016 Fall Convocation that celebrated the opening of the new academic year. The event also helped bridge the decade since the first convocation that launched the USF Health brand 11 years ago, a time that offered much more than simply a name change, said Donna J. Petersen, ScD, MHS, CPH, senior associate vice president of USF Health, dean of the College of Public Health, and interim dean of the College of Nursing, in her introduction of the convocation.

Dr. Donna Petersen.

Dr. Donna Petersen opened the 2016 USF Health Fall Convocation.

“It was over 10 years ago when we launched the concept of USF Health and we did it not just to change a name or to change something on an organizational chart,” Dr. Petersen said. “It was a philosophy that reflected the aspirations of the variety of constituents we engaged in the process of developing USF Health – our faculty, our staff, our students, our alumni, our partners, and people from the community. The whole idea of USF Health, the idea of the name, was to spur a change in our culture, to bring us closer together, in truly interdisciplinary and intensively interprofessional ways, and to signal to the outside world that we meant what we said – that we were all about health and that each and all of us is committed to improving the health of our patients, the people in our communities, and the communities themselves, around Tampa and around the world.

“So, today as we reconvene again we commit to the vision that was set forward 10 years ago. Thank you for coming to this Convocation and for embarking on the next 10 years of our USF Health pathway.”

In addition to drawing attendance from across USF Health, including viewers who watched via Livestream, the event included remarks from all of the deans for USF Health’s colleges. Dr. Petersen for the College of Public Health and Nursing, Dr. Lockwood for the Morsani College of Medicine, and Kevin Sneed for the College of Pharmacy.

Dr. Kevin Sneed, Dr. Charles Lockwood, Dr. Adewale Troutman, and Dr. Donna Petersen.

Dr. Kevin Sneed, Dr. Charles Lockwood, Dr. Adewale Troutman, and Dr. Donna Petersen.

In his presentation, Dr. Troutman provided an overview of the in-depth report he helped build as part of the Committee on Educating Health Professionals to Address the Social Determinants of Health, which is through the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. That committee built a framework that offered a visual concept for helping both health professionals and educators understand and address the social determinants of health.

Titled “A Framework for Educating Health Professionals to Address the Social Determinants of Health,” his talk offered clear pathways for every educator at USF Health, and even across the university, for creating lifelong learners who will stay eager to continually identify community needs and adjust curricula to strengthen community assets.

“This work called Social Determinants of Health is a passion,” he said. “It’s a reflection of the world, and the global community recognizes that this is a global issue that’s between and within countries.”

“Place matters,” he told everyone. “When people come from a specific part of town it means that something is off in that location that lends itself to people being killed. There are other forces that go way beyond whether there’s a trauma center nearby or not, or well-trained physicians or not. It has to do with the neighborhood, the school system, the system of access to care, race and racism, and a whole litany of issues. Some 80 percent of health issues are around those facts and issues.

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“So if you could make a correction that would solve the health problems of the world, it would not be training more docs and nurses who didn’t have the skill to address these issues. It would be training those people to have the understanding that, for the rest of the world, health is not this (current state), this is health care. We have to be sure we include transportation, occupation, the neighborhood, engineering, and all the connected parts and make it a healthy community, healthy people, and healthy individuals.”

In offering ways to truly make an impact, Dr. Troutman implored us to place addressing social determinants of health into our plans and strategies, saying that the vision pushes the organization to do it.

“Put the organization in the mirror,” he said. “Social determinants to health can and should be integral to all health professional education and training. The challenge is the curriculum – there’s no place for it. Part of the challenge is to find a way to look at the curricula of all the specialties and disciplines and find a way to include it.”

Dr. Charles Lockwood introduced Dr. Troutman.

Dr. Charles Lockwood introduced Dr. Troutman.


Dr. Kevin Sneed wrapped up the Convocation.

Dr. Kevin Sneed wrapped up the Convocation.


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Dr. Adewale Troutman with his wife Denise.


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The event was covered in social media, including by students who offered live posting in Twitter as part of their Introduction to Health Disparities and Social Determinants of Disease course in the College of Public Health, as well as from USF Health platforms and other attendees. To view a Storify collection of the social media coverage here: 2016 USF Health Fall Convocation


Photos by Eric Younghans, USF Health Office of Communications. 

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