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NIH'ers Attend BIG National Conference

By Carolyn Hunter

NIH had a strong presence at the 23rd annual Blacks in Government (BIG) conference held recently at the Los Angeles Convention Center, which hosted more than 3,900 attendees. The theme for this year's conference was "Retooling for the 21st Century, Setting New Standards of Performance and Productivity." Full participation in this year's conference was endorsed by NIH acting deputy director Dr. Yvonne Maddox in an all-employee memo. As a result, many NIH employees took advantage of training opportunities designed to enhance career development, communication and leadership skills, and wellness.

The Office of Equal Opportunity and the Office of Human Resources Management assembled an NIH Corporate Recruitment and Health Awareness Team to discuss career and training opportunities at NIH as well as information on health disparities. Although NIH was not recruiting for specific vacancies, conference attendees were able to search online and apply for jobs all week during the exposition and at the career fair. OEO supplied an array of publicity materials prominently displaying the NIH web site, logo and job web site. Other NIH staff exhibiting at the BIG conference included the National Library of Medicine and the Office of Loan Repayment and Scholarship.

NIMH EEO Officer Martha Kimbro at BIG conference in Los Angeles.

The NIH health disparities exhibit was well received. NIH distributed information on diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, stroke, and healthy eating and cooking, and other health areas where African Americans experience access/outcome disparities including infant mortality, HIV/AIDS and child/adult immunizations.

Components that contributed to the success of the outreach activity include NCI, NHLBI, NIDDK, NIAID, NIMH, NINDS and the NIH patient recruitment staff. Also, the corporate recruitment and health awareness team and other volunteers were all instrumental in bringing relevant information to this audience.

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