Arab Americans share a cultural and linguistic heritage, as well as common risk factors and disease patterns tied to their Arab ancestry. As is the case for other immigrant groups, when Arab populations settle in areas such as the United States, Canada, Australia, and Europe, they experience socioeconomic transformations, changes in lifestyle, and educational factors that lead to a change in the prevalence of disease, marked by the emergence of chronic illnesses.

In collaboration with Wayne State University and our international partners, the upcoming conference adds an international perspective by convening local, national and international medical practitioners and public health and mental health professionals at a scientific forum dedicated to addressing the social determinants of health, the impact of genetics on health and chronic disease, and issues associated with quality of health care and the effect of climate change on public health in Arab communities around the world.

Since its inception in 1989, the ACCESS Community Health & Research Center has become the largest and most comprehensive Arab community-based health and mental health center in North America. The Community Health ‘one-stop service’ center is comprised of medical, public health and research, mental health, and environment programs. In addition, the Research Center is dedicated to the provision of public health initiatives and the pursuit of research that focuses on the health needs of Arab populations locally and elsewhere. The center also serves as a training site for residents, nurses, and public health professionals in collaboration with the University of Michigan School of Public Health and Wayne State University Schools of Medicine, Pharmacy and Nursing. The scientific forum in October will allow participants to discuss research findings, health programs and activities, and to develop collaborative initiatives on a global scale.

Contact Information

Scientific Program

May Yassine-Darwish, PhD, Scientific Committee Chair at (517) 324-7308 or [email protected]

Financial support and/or ACCESS information

Adnan Hammad, PhD, Conference Chair at (313) 216-2239 or [email protected]

CME, Abstracts, and General Information

Madiha Tariq, MPH, Conference Manager, [email protected]

Protocol and Logistics, Registration

Shorouq Shenaq, MBA, Managing Consultant at [email protected]

Conference Themes

Social Determinants of Health:

1) To broaden understanding of determinants of health inequities to include social, cultural and economic factors; 2) to consider the spectrum of social determinants in both physical and mental health areas; and 3) to share information on interventions proven effective in reducing health disparities

Genetics and Health with Emphasis on Chronic Disease:

1) to highlight the importance of genetic factors in the etiology of common chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease; 2) to identify challenges in translating scientific breakthroughs into public health practice; and 3) To identify strategies to overcome these challenges for preventing disease and providing risk appropriate care.

Quality Health Care

1) to expand awareness of quality control methods in delivery of health care including patient safety and infection control; 2) to exchange information on effective implementation strategies; and 3) to discuss value of oversight and accreditation in ensuring proper implementation.

Conference Objectives

  • To provide scientific information related to the following focus areas affecting Arab communities:
    • Social Determinants of Health
    • Genetics and Health with Emphasis on Chronic Disease
    • Quality Health Care
  • To establish links between scholars in the Arab world and their counterparts in countries of Arab immigrants to enhance the understanding of disease patterns and epidemiology
  • To create collaborative initiatives to improve management of chronic diseases in Arab populations across the world
  • To leverage resources available to Arab scholars as they strive to address social and environmental determinants of disease
  • To increase awareness of the deep impact of global climate change on various aspects of public health
  • To conduct specialized workshops in areas relevant to the conference themes
  • To enhance understanding of non-Arab participants of cultural and social factors that influence health related behaviors and decision-making among Arab populations
  • To identify barriers and solutions to effective health promotion and disease prevention among Arab and other immigrant communities

Conference Agenda

View/download the conference agenda here.


Scientific Program Jointly Sponsored by

Wayne State University ACCESS