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Learn how to build an inclusive community at Cultural Diversity Conference

July 22, 2021

WellSpan physicians to lead discussions on transgender health and treatment of substance use disorders

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WellSpan physicians Dr. Joseph Troncale (left) and Dr. D. Scott McCracken will speak at the Cultural Diversity Conference.

WellSpan physicians Dr. Joseph Troncale (left) and Dr. D. Scott McCracken will speak at the Cultural Diversity Conference.

Two WellSpan physicians will discuss equity and inclusion in health care during the Cultural Diversity Conference to be held virtually in August.

Sponsored by WellSpan Philhaven, the day-long conference is an annual event held by the Community Health Council of Lebanon County and offers continuing education credits. The conference begins at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 4, and features the theme “Equity, Inclusion & Diversity Post COVID-19.”

The two WellSpan speakers and their topics are:

  • Dr. Joseph Troncale, a WellSpan family physician who specializes in addiction medicine, will discuss substance use disorders and treatment, examining nature vs. nurture.
  • Dr. D. Scott McCracken, a family physician at the WellSpan Community Health Center, will discuss transgender health and building an inclusive community.

Other sessions will focus on race-based discussions in the workplace, barriers to care for the LGBTQ community, empowering people with disabilities to lead, traumatic brain injury and health equity, community activism, and building and practicing inclusion, among other topics.

Though designed for psychologists, social workers and counselors, the sessions can be useful for anyone at WellSpan, said Dee Carbaugh, WellSpan program director for spine and neurosurgery. Carbaugh, who has attended several conferences in past years, said she is always seeking educational opportunities that “stretch” her understanding, particularly in health care.

In fact, Carbaugh listened to the 2020 conference in her car while on a trip with her 85-year-old mom, who also got to listen in on the sessions, which included discussions of Black mental health and a presentation by a mom of a special needs child who talked about seeing the world through “inclusion-colored glasses.”

“My mom still talks about how insightful the sessions were,” Carbaugh said. “She said she had never even thought about most of the information and perspectives shared. She was profoundly impacted by the speakers and subject matter.”

“I have found this conference to be monumentally applicable to my work both as a registered nurse and as a leader,” Carbaugh said. “I found myself discussing the topics with my family when I got home. Not too many conferences have that level or depth of impact.”

Michele Crosson, project director for WellSpan Philhaven START, said the conference plays an important role in both her personal and professional development. The speakers challenge attendees to find a better way, which is inspiring in her work at START, the Specialized Treatment and Recovery Team program that treats people with mental health and substance use disorders.

“The conference addresses populations who are marginalized or stigmatized, and treated differently by providers based on their gender, race, age, mental health diagnosis and substance use disorders,” she said. “Each year, it forces me to acknowledge and understand my personal biases and pushes me outside of my comfort zone.”

Register here.