graphic of a human brain tinted blue
The Department of Health caduceus and the Suffolk County Seal

Suffolk County Department of Health Services
Office of Minority Health

Present the 14th Annual Taking the Road to Eliminate Health Disparities Conference

"The Health of Women, Infants and Children… Reflects the Health of a Nation" – A Look at Maternal and Child Health Outcomes

Sponsored by Suffolk County: Office of Minority Health, Bureau of Public Health Nursing, Maternal Infant Community Health Collaborative (MICHC), Program & Smart Start Suffolk


Morning Session

8:00am-8:30am Breakfast & Registration (Main Lobby)  

Opening Remarks

Touro Law School

James L. Tomarken, MD, MSW, MPH, MBA
Commissioner, Suffolk County Department of Health Services


Overview of Maternal and Child Health Nationally and Locally

Tia D. Welsh, MD, MPH, FACOG
Regional Medical Director of Women's Health - HRHCare

Keynote Address

Addressing Maternal/Child Health Outcomes through Education and Advocacy

Martine Hackett, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor - Hofstra University


10:45 -11:30am

Panel Discussion: Best Practices in Maternal / Child Health

This panel will explore gaps in existing services for maternal/child health and the ways in which our Health Systems are addressing those gaps, while highlighting best practices in Maternal/ Child health

Moderator: Dr. Martine Hackett

Question & Answer – Morning Speakers


Diana Garretto, MD, FACOG
Assistant Professor - Stony Brook University Hospital.

Florence R. Rolston, MD
Hamptons Gynecology & Obstetrics - Stony Brook Southampton Hospital

William Onyebeke, MD, FACOGClinical Assistant Professor, Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell

Tia D. Welsh, MD, MPH, FACOG
Regional Medical Director of Women's Health – HRHCare

Satya Polavarapu, MD
Interim Chief of Maternal Fetal Medicine, Good Samaritan Hospital


Lunch – Touro Law Center Cafeteria

Kosher and Vegetarian meals will be available

Afternoon Session

Breakout Sessions:
Choose 2 of 4 Sessions
I: 12:00pm—1:00pm
II: 1:05pm–2:05pm

Facilitator: Dr. Gregson Pigott

Director, SCDHS - Office of Minority Health;
Medical Director, Division of Emergency Medical Services

Trauma & Environmental Factors Impact Birth Outcomes and Early Child Development.

I: Faculty Dining Room
Joaniko Kohchi, MPhil, LCSW, IMH-E® Director - Institute for Parenting / Infant Mental Health & Developmental Practice Degree Program
Chanel Porchia-Albert, Founder and Executive Director, Ancient Song Doula Services

Breaking Down Barriers to Breastfeeding in Communities of Color.

II: Auditorium
Wendi Andria, MSN, RNC-OB, IBCLC, Lactation Coordinator, Southside Hospital
Rita Ferretti, BSN, RN, C-NIC, CBC, IBCLC, Lactation Consultant, Good Samaritan Hospital
Ehasuyi Gomes, MPH, M.S., (Community Voice)

Women’s Health Across the Lifespan to Promote Positive Health Outcomes.

III: Classroom 209
Ellen Higgins, LCSW, Program Coordinator - Suffolk County Department of Health Services, Maternal Infant Community Health Collaborative (MICHC)
Dr. Heather Findletar Hines, CNM, DNP & Dr. Lisa Rimpel - Stony Brook Medicine

Understanding and Identifying Developmental Milestones and Early Intervention Resources and Strategies.

IV: Classroom 210
Melissa Passarelli, Director of Programs - Docs for Tots
Sheila Ventrice, Acting Director - Suffolk County Department of Health Services, Division of Services for Children with Special Needs
2:10pm — 2:30pm Questions, Wrap Up, & Evaluations
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