Black Health Matters Hosts Virtual Health Fair


Black Health Matters will be hosting a virtual health fair, Close the Gap Virtual Health Summit: Health & Wellness in the Time of COVID-19, on Saturday, May 22, 2021, 10 am – 5 pm Eastern. Free and open to the public, the all-day summit will feature insights from some of New York’s leading physicians, scientists, public health professionals, and health and wellness advocates on the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, vaccines, and potential long-term health concerns. 


For members of the Black community, especially those who live in areas hardest hit by the pandemic like New York City, COVID-19 has exacerbated known disparities in health outcomes. In New York state, Black people represent 14% of the population but have experienced 20% of all COVID-19 related deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control, Black people are nearly three times likely to require hospitalization from COVID-19 due to underlying health issues such as diabetes and heart disease when compared to their white counterparts. And when it comes to vaccinations, Kaiser Family Foundation reports that New York’s Black community members account for only 11% of those who have received a vaccine. 


To help combat the disparities laid out by the pandemic, Black Health Matters is offering the virtual health fair to support building a stronger connection between people of color and the local medical community. Sponsored by Boston Scientific and Siemens Healthineers, the Close the Gap Virtual Health Summit for New York will provide a forum for residents to learn more about cancer, heart health, mental health, clinical trials, the science behind COVID-19, vaccine equity and health and wellness tips. They will also interact with some of New York’s leading health care providers including:


  • Alicia Henderson, Ph.D., Psychotherapist and Director of Clinical Services, Women In Need
  • Icilma V. Fergus, MD, Cardiologist, Mount Sinai Hospital
  • Simbo Ige, MD, Assistant Commissioner for the Bureau of Health Equity Capacity Building at the New York City Department of Health
  • Kenneth Stein, MD, Electrophysiologist and Chief Medical Officer, Rhythm Management, Boston Scientific
  • Katherine Soreng, Ph.D., Global Educator Clinical Education, Siemens Healthineers


“Black Health Matters developed these virtual health summits to have a platform that informs and uplifts as well as changes attitudes and gives voice to our need for patient-centric solutions,” said Roslyn Young Daniels, publisher of Black Health Matters. “We collaborate directly with top physicians, community leaders, and advocates along with organizations that are committed to social action and to spread the word and make health a priority in the African American community.”


Black Health Matters partners with local, community-oriented organizations to further engage the community, including the  For the New York summit, ChooseHealthyLife.org, National Black Leadership Commission on Health, Greater New York City Black Nurses Association, Eastern Area of The Links, Incorporated, and the National Pan-Hellenic Council of New York City will all be participating, along with Right On!.


“Siemens Healthineers is humbled to be a part of the New York Close the Gap Health Summit,” said Khalil Thomas, vice president, Quality & Regulatory Ultrasound, Siemens Healthineers. “We are dedicated to helping improve people’s lives and shaping the future of healthcare. We’re proud of the deep roots we have in the New York City area, the location where many of our critical COVID-19 testing technologies were developed to help fight the pandemic.”


For more information about Black Health Matters, please visit www.bhmnyc.vfairs.com/en/registration.