First Female U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Antonia Novello Visits Simmons

March 23, 2017

Helen Drinan, Dr. Novello, Patricia Meservey

Dr. Novello discussed healthcare disparities during Simmons-hosted forum

Dr. Antonia Novello, the 14th U.S. Surgeon General, urged cultural competency in health care and the need for better practitioner-patient communication in her presentation at Simmons College on Monday, March 20, “Hispanics and Health Care in the U.S.: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.”

The first woman and first Latina to serve as Surgeon General, Dr. Novello gave a comprehensive overview of the major health issues facing Latinos today, pointing specifically to heart disease, diabetes, asthma, cancer, and depression as among the most prevalent diseases. In discussing some of the reasons behind disparities in access to treatment and care, she mentioned language and immigration status.

President Helen Drinan made welcoming remarks at the well-attended event, as did the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPHA) President Enna Jimenez ’91. Dr. Novello’s visit to Simmons was part of a series of discussions, lectures, and forums taking place in Boston, Salem, and Lawrence between March 20 and 24. The events were sponsored by Salem State University and ALPHA.

Dr. Novello’s keynote was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Salem State University President Patricia Meservey. The lively panel included Simmons Professor of Practice and Director of the Center for Research in Health Policy and Management Robert Coulam, Associate Professor of Social Work Joanna Almeida, Associate Professor of Nursing and Health Sciences Judith Cullinane, and Salem State Associate Professor Anne DeFelippo.

(Top: President Helen Drinan, Dr. Antonia Novello, and Patricia Meservey)