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Upstate to host the Latino Medical Student Association Northeast Regional Conference

Weiskotten hall

More than 300 participants from across the Northeast are expected to gather on the Upstate Medical University campus Feb. 16 to participate in a conference to address issues such as advocacy and medicine, refugee health and social determinants of health.

This year marks the first time the Latino Medical Student Association has held its Northeast Regional Conference at Upstate. Most recently, the conference was held at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and Hofstra University on Long Island.

 Among the more than 20 medical schools represented at the conference are Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, Dartmouth, Tufts and Rutgers, to name a few.

The event, which runs from 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m., will be held on the fourth floor of the Academic Building, (located behind Weiskotten Hall) at 766 Irving Ave, Syracuse.

Stacy Martinez, a conference organizer along with Stephanie Cortes, said the opportunity for Upstate to host this conference helps showcase the university and its work in this area. “We are thrilled to have the conference here in Syracuse, to bring attention to the growing Latino population here and the importance of diversity in healthcare and of community building.

“We want to share with the region just how special Upsate Medical is and how our institution encompasses our conference theme: Nuestros Vecinos, Nuestra Familia, which translates to Our Neighbors, Our Family,” she said.

In addition, she said that the conference reflects on the important role Syracuse plays as a home for refugees and how Upstate welcomes these new neighbors by addressing their unique health needs. As an example, Upstate runs a Refugee Clinic that works with a team of health care providers to offer medical care to new refugees.

Martinez and Cortes are second-year medical students. 

Most of the day is reserved for discussions on a variety of issues from how to be an advocate in one’s health care career to how one can address social determinants of health through community engagement.

Other sessions deal with financial planning for medical students, with one session highlighting the various medical specialties and how they impact work life balance.

Joining medical students at the conference will be 100 pre-med students who will get an early look at issues related to medical school.

The conference is supported by numerous Upstate offices and programs, including Admissions, Student Affairs, Bioethics and Humanities, Diversity and Inclusion, Alumni Office, Office of the Dean of the College of Medicine, Upstate University Hospital, the Onondaga County Medical Society and Molina Healthcare.