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DELEGATE HONORED FOR HEALTH BRAINTRUST WORK

Sept. 16, 2002 – Delegate Donna M. Christensen received the National Innovator Role Model Award on Sunday from Minority Access, a Maryland-based education organization dedicated to diversification in the American health-care workplace.
The award was in recognition of Christensen's work as chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust. Through this group, she has supported increased training, education and recruitment of minority physicians.
"I am extremely honored to receive this award on behalf of myself, the CBC and the people of the Virgin Islands," Christensen, a physician, said in a release. She said the award capped a week of meetings and forums sponsored by the Health Braintrust that were held during the annual Legislative Conference on Global Understanding.
Conference discussion topics included African-Americans with disabilities, mobilization of a health-care movement, the HIV/AIDS crisis, problems of minority physicians, reparations and health care, and improving care for minorities nearing the end of life.
Christensen said the conference showed a clear need for the minority community to mobilize in order to obtain quality health care.
She noted that many health-care issues faced by Virgin Islands residents, including lack of insurance coverage; high rates of cancer, hypertension and HIV/AIDS; and the need for more physicians and funding for hospitals, clinics and outreach are faced by other minority communities. She said the territory needs to be part of the movement to ensure all Americans get quality health care.
Virgin Islanders Pat and Alton A. Adams Jr. attended the conference, the release stated.

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