Addressing Structural Racism Priority for Public Health Officials During ASTHO Health Equity Summit

July 20, 2022

ARLINGTON, VA—Public health leaders will convene to advance health equity and address structural racism on Wednesday, July 27 for the Association of State and Health Territorial Officials (ASTHO) 2022 Health Equity Summit. The summit will feature examples of how health officials are building upon lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic and promoting antiracism by transforming systems to achieve racial equity and eliminate health disparities.

“Last spring, ASTHO released a policy statement that acknowledges structural racism as a fundamental cause of health disparities and recognizes that substantive changes will occur when public health leaders move from talking to taking action,” says ASTHO Senior Vice President of Health Equity and Diversity Initiatives Kimberlee Wyche Etheridge, MD, MPH. “The summit is intended to share best practices for identifying and eliminating structural racism with the goals of achieving health equity for all. Attendees will leave with a shared commitment to making eliminating racism and health inequities a public health priority.”

Featured speakers include:

  • Montrece McNeill Ransom, JD, MPH, Director, National Coordinating Center for Public Health Training
  • Denise Octavia Smith, MBA, CHW, PN, Executive Director, National Association of Community Health Workers
  • Xavier Morales, PhD, MRP, Executive Director, Praxis Project

Sessions will cover how governmental public health agencies can be intentional in their approach to advancing health and racial equity; how innovative and creative workforce solutions can advance health equity and address the root causes of disparities; how to ensure community strength to advance policy and programs intended to build equity, and much more.

Interview opportunity

ASTHO members and state health officials from Wisconsin and Pennsylvania will be available for interviews upon request. Contact for details.

View the agenda and registration information on the event webpage. There is no cost to register for the Health Equity Summit.


ASTHO is the national nonprofit organization representing the public health agencies of the United States, the U.S. territories and freely associated states, and Washington, D.C., as well as the more than 100,000 public health professionals these agencies employ. ASTHO members, the chief health officials of these jurisdictions, are dedicated to formulating and influencing sound public health policy and to ensuring excellence in public health practice.