May 15, 2022

In April, Summer Search presented our fifth iteration of Championing for Justice and Equity (CJE), a three-year conversation on race, justice, and systemic inequity.

The conversation, Advancing Equity in American Healthcare, addressed the vast inequities that exist at every level of the United States' healthcare system, disparities that COVID-19 has magnified, especially for BIPOC individuals and communities.

In Part 1 of our two-part series, our panel of health experts and practitioners laid the foundation for understanding these inequities, as well as presented reforms and public policy efforts aimed at promoting equity, improving health outcomes, and increasing access to care.

We invite you to watch the full conversation and read the recommendations and resources below. Stay tuned for our next event, Advancing Equity in Mental Health (June 28, 2022).

The Conversation

  • 00:24 – 03:31: Welcome – John Brennan

  • 03:32 – 06:30: Panel Introductions - Niki Hawkins

  • 06:31 – 13:04: Dr. Elena V. Rios

  • 13:53 – 23:15: Fernando De Maio, PhD

  • 24:11 – 36:30: Darci L. Graves

  • 37:33 – 1:00:54: Panel Discussion + Q&A

  • 1:00:58 - 1:02:50: Closing - Niki Hawkins

Our speakers for 'Advancing Equity in American Healthcare, Part 1.' Dr. LaShawn McIver was unfortunately unable to attend.


John Brennan

Board Chair, Summer Search Bay Area

"All of this matters. It matters not only because all people deserve to have high quality health and healthcare... it matters not only because this is an issue of fundamental justice and fairness. It matters because one's health is essential to participation in our economy to achieve economic parity."

Anika 'Niki' Hawkins

Vice President of Community Engagement, 6abc, WPVI-TV

"These statistics are sobering. But we're here and we're ready to talk."

Learn more: Watch 6abc's feature on 13 Southeastern Pennsylvania hospitals declaring that racism is a public health crisis.

Dr. Elena V. Rios

President & CEO, National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA)

"We train (doctors) on how to be leaders, so that when they go work in hospitals or clinics, they can change programs to be more inclusive, to have language services, cultural competence programs, to reach our community that might not be English (speaking)."

Learn more: Check out NHMA's Bi-Lingual Portal, offering resources in English and Spanish, and explore their unique programs to address the major barriers and needs of the Hispanic community and other underserved populations

Fernando De Maio, PhD

Director of Research and Data Use, Center for Health Equity, American Medical Association. Professor of Sociology, DePaul University.

"I hope you walk away from today's session with partly a sense of outrage about the injustice that's being described in our work, but also with a sense of optimism and inspiration that there are remarkably talented individuals and institutions trying to better understand the problems... and launching innovative and promising interventions to try to make this a fairer world."

Learn More: Explore the American Medical Association's (AMA) plan to embed racial justice and advancing health equity. Also check out Dr. De Maio's 2021 book, Structural Racism and the Death Gap in America's Largest Cities.

Fernando De Maio, PhD illustrating the inequities in life expectancy in different zip codes.

Darci L. Graves

Advisor, Office of Minority Health at the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

"We need to listen to the community as much as they listen to us... and make sure the information is shared in a way that resonates with the community, using trusted messengers."

Learn More: In April, CMS outlined an action plan to provide high-quality, affordable health care for all people, regardless of their background. Explore their Five Health Equity Priorities for Reducing Disparities in Health.

Graphic from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to visualize the difference between Equality and Equity in Healthcare

Carolina Cashaw, RN, BSN

RN II at UCSF Mission Bay Benioff Children's Hospital. Summer Search Bay Area Alumna.

"[COVID] highlights the important idea that being sick is a real concern with going to work... like if you are sick, stay home and take care of yourself. Up until now, we've kind of overlooked the importance of self care. Now that COVID is evolving... remembering to be mindful of ourselves and everyone else will further help us become a stronger community."

Learn more: Explore UCSF's Patient Education portal.

Illustration for Advancing Equity in American Healthcare, Part 1

Our full 'Advancing Equity in American Healthcare, Part 1' event illustration. Click to view full-sized graphic.

Don't Miss Our Next CJE Events:

  • June 28, 2022 - Advancing Equity in American Healthcare, Part 2 - Mental Health

  • October 2022 - Closing the Racial Wealth Gap

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