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07 December 2001

Experts to Reflect on Tuskegee Experiments

The UCSF Center for Health and Community is co-sponsoring a free presentation and panel discussion on the tragedy of the Tuskegee syphilis experiments on Wednesday, Dec. 12, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., at San Francisco's Fort Mason Center, Building A.

The program, "African Americans' Health Care and Medical Research: Beyond the Legacy of Tuskegee," features Alvin F. Poussaint, MD, associate dean at Harvard Medical School as the keynote speaker. One of the nation's leading child psychiatrists and social critics, Poussaint will focus on African Americans' experiences with health care provision and medical research from a historical and cultural perspective.

Other speakers are Patricia Evans, MD, MPH, San Francisco Department of Public Health, who will outline ways in which health care in the Bay Area must improve to serve the needs of the African-American community, and LaVera Crawley, MD, who will explain the psychological impact of the tragic Tuskegee experiment on the African- American people.

UCSF Professor Eugene Washington, chair of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, will moderate the program and provide his insight on the status of African-American health care in the Bay Area.

Al Williams, president of the San Francisco African American Historical and Cultural Society, which is displaying the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment Exhibit, will introduce Poussaint and emcee the reception discussion with the artist. An exhibit, "The Greater Good: An Artist's Contemporary View of the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment," incorporates photography, video and sculpture to reexamine the infamous story of the 40-year-long study performed on a group of 412 African American males. Selected because they tested positive for syphilis, the men were treated only for other ailments to observe the "untreated" syphilis. Local artist Tony Hooker honors the subject of this tragic story, while examining the moral and ethical questions raised by medical research in society today. The exhibit and reception will be held in Building B.

This program is co-sponsored by the California HealthCare Foundation and The Commonwealth Club of California, in association with the San Francisco African American Historical & Cultural Society, the UCSF Center for Health and Community, and the San Francisco African American Health Initiative.

Reservations are required for the event. To register, call 415/597-6705.





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