The 1st International Conference on Inner City Health: Improving the Health of the Disadvantaged will be held October 3 – 6 at the Toronto Hilton Hotel, Toronto, Ontario Canada.

The conference is being organized through the Inner City Health Research Unit of St. Michael’s Hospital of Toronto and co-sponsored by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The hospital, which serves a large low-income area of Toronto, has made Inner City Health a clinical and research priority. The mission of the Inner City Health Research Unit is to conduct advanced research that improves the health of inner city populations, with an emphasis on a range of health determinants such as poverty, housing, education, nutrition, substance use, and health care. Investigators in the unit have diverse research interests and skills and work closely with academic and community partners, including the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Toronto, researchers in related fields across North America, and local community agencies.

The inaugural conference will have as its focus “Improving the Health of the Disadvantaged,” and will have four main themes:

Health disparities in the inner city often magnify those observed in the whole society. Fundamental to addressing the health of the disadvantaged is describing, and ultimately understanding, why such disparities exist – whether they be in health status or in access to health services.

Healthy communities
Not all inner cities are alike. Understanding the characteristics of “healthy” inner city communities, and the impact of community-level interventions on individual health, may yield valuable policy lessons or generate testable hypotheses for evaluating interventions.

Effective Interventions
What interventions improve the health of disadvantaged urban populations? Interventions can be targeted at the level of global policies, communities, social networks, households, or individuals. Which works best, and why? How are research findings successfully translated into useful policy and programs?

Research Methods
Conducting research in the inner city has unique challenges – methodological, logistical, and ethical. Innovative approaches to conducting research are often required.

Early registration has been extended through July 31. To learn more, click here for the conference website.