The 2023 Health Equity Summit: A Movement for Justice is a national convening of state and island area health officials, federal and local partners, and stakeholders committed to advancing health and racial equity. This event is designed by and for public health professionals, health equity leaders, and their partners. Attendees will have conversations that inspire action to confront health inequities’ root causes and move towards justice.


  • Mobilize the public health workforce and stakeholders to prioritize implementing evidence-based practices and policies directed toward advancing the health and well-being of people who have experienced historical discrimination and oppression.
  • Recommend equity practices that are sustainable within our public health system by working alongside community members to envision a nation that supports optimal health for all.
  • Prioritize collaboration and information sharing among state and federal health officials, partners, and stakeholders across states and jurisdictions to advance equity.

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

6:30 - 9 p.m. ET

Island Areas Reception and Panel Discussion
Recognizing U.S. History in the Island Areas and Implications for Public Health

Kick-off session featuring representatives from the island areas.

  • Explain colonialism's role in the island areas.
  • Create a sense of connection with and to ASTHO's island members.
  • Explain three key inequities in the island areas and what justice could look like if they were addressed.
  • Amplify island voices in conversations around health equity.


  • Donna Christensen, MD, President, Christensen Institute for Community Health and Empowerment
  • Janis Valmond, MS, DrPH, CHES, Deputy Commissioner U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Health
  • Neil Weare, JD, President and Founder, Equally American


  • Heather Pangelinan, MS, Director of Public Health Services, Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

9 - 9:30 a.m. ET

Welcome and Opening Remarks

Laura Cummings Balgari and Violet Lauren from Atlanta Indigenous People AssociationLaura Cummings Balgari and Violet Lauren from Atlanta Indigenous Peoples Association


  • Kimberlee Wyche-Etheridge, MD, MPH, Senior Vice President of Health Equity and Diversity Initiatives, ASTHO

Opening Remarks:

  • Michael Fraser, PhD, MS, CAE FCPP, Chief Executive Officer, ASTHO

Land Acknowledgement:

  • Craig S. Wilkins, MPH, USPHS, CAPT, RET, Senior Advisor, Office of Health Equity, CDC Technical Monitor

Cultural Exhibition:

  • Atlanta Indigenous Peoples Association
9:30 - 10:15 a.m. ET

Opening Keynote Address and Q&A: Decolonizing Data Towards Indigenous Justice

The session will focus on examining the low representation of American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations in data, what it means to "decolonize data," and how AI/AN communities can be included in the data analysis process.

  • Examine why AI/AN individuals who live in large urban settings across the United States have low representation in data.
  • Describe awareness on what does it means to "decolonize data" and how the AI/AN community be included in the data analysis process.
  • Identify what public health professionals can do to ensure AI/ANs have representation in data.

Keynote Speaker:

  • Abigail Echo-Hawk, MA, Executive Vice President, Seattle Indian Health Board and Director, Urban Indian Health Institute


  • Morgan Zialcita, MSPH, Senior Analyst, Health Equity and Diversity Initiatives, ASTHO
10:15 - 10:35 a.m. ET

Wellness and Transition Break

10:35 a.m. - 12:10 p.m. ET

Breakout Sessions

Breakout sessions will highlight innovations and tactical strategies to advance health and racial equity in governmental public health through workforce development, community engagement, and data analysis.

10:35 - 11:15 a.m. ET

Round 1 Breakout Sessions

Health Equity in Overdose Prevention Through a Justice Lens
Learn about historical injustice in U.S. drug overdose response policy, how those policies contribute to current overdose trends for different populations, and best practices for moving health equity in overdose prevention forward.

  • Examine emergent public health issues.
  • Apply evidence-based and promising practices to advance health and racial equity.


  • Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH, Senior Executive Consultant (alumni-RI)
  • Jennifer D. Oliva, JD, MBA, BS, Professor of Law and Co-Director, UCSF/UC Law Consortium on Law, Science & Health Policy


  • Jennifer Farfalla, MPH, Director, Overdose Prevention, ASTHO

Promising Impact and Outcomes from Federal Investments in Advancing Health Equity and Justice
State public health agencies are integral to establishing a culture of health equity and achieving justice, yet they continue to face challenges in creating lasting systems to improve public health systems and infrastructure. This session outlines emerging insights, to date, among states and with the support of ASTHO's Programmatic Health Equity Initiatives and Strategy team.

  • Explore strategies for meaningful and lasting systems change, creating inclusive and equitable public health systems through a justice lens.
  • Identify emerging trends in developing justice-based strategic priorities, partnership approaches, program development and implementation, as well as policies and practices.


  • Aika Aluc, MPH, Director, State and Community Engagement, ASTHO
  • Tenesha Lewis, MPH, Director, Programmatic Health Equity Initiatives, ASTHO


  • Alicia D. Justice, MPH, Senior Director, Programmatic Health Equity Initiatives and Strategy, ASTHO

Disability Justice: Lessons Learned from the COVID-19 Pandemic
Approximately one-in-four individuals in the United States live with some form of disability. People living with disabilities face barriers in daily life, and consideration of their unique needs is critical to prevent the exacerbation of these barriers. Ongoing responses efforts to the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted opportunities within our existing preparedness and healthcare frameworks for improved inclusion and accessibility. Speakers in this breakout session will share the specific and significant impacts of the pandemic on people living with disabilities and how those lessons learned translate to the bigger picture of disability justice.

  • Explain how barriers and inequities experienced by people living with disabilities throughout the pandemic led to adverse health outcomes.
  • Identify novel solutions to promote disability integration in preparedness.
  • Expand on how these experiences can be applied to the broader frame of disability justice.


  • Sara Hart Weir, MS, Executive Director, Kansas Developmental Disabilities Council


  • Joseph Kanter, MD, MPH, (SHO-LA)

11:30 a.m. - 12:10 p.m. ET

Round 2 Breakout Sessions

Health Equity in All Policies
Illustrate how state health agencies have implemented a Health Equity in All Policies (HiAP) approach to aid health equity and racial justice work.

  • Examine the intersection between HiAP and health equity.
  • Assess how states have implemented HiAP as part of their health equity and racial justice efforts.
  • Identify tools states and partners use to address health equity through a HiAP lens.
  • Recommend strategies to utilize HiAP to examine the impact of systems on health.


  • Julia Caplan, MPP, MPH, Executive Director, State of Equity (Public Health Institute)
  • Jeannette L. Raymond, Public Health Practice Assistant Section Manager, Minnesota Department of Health


  • Margarita Northrop, MPH, MIPA, State Health Plan Coordinator
    Office of Policy and Practice Alignment, Division of Public Health, Department of Health Services

Health Equity and Lead Poisoning Prevention: Taking Action to Protect Those in Most Need
Prioritize the opportunities and challenges to implementing CDC’s updated blood lead reference value as a trigger point for public health action. Our speaker will share how this updated value affects state and territorial health departments’ childhood lead poisoning prevention goals, especially for those individuals at highest risk who are often unable to shoulder the high costs of lead abatement.

  • Examine how adopting CDC’s updated blood lead reference value as a trigger for public health action impacts lead poisoning prevention caseloads.
  • Recommend strategies state and territorial health agencies can explore to ensure they are using their limited resources to target those high-risk children and families who may not have the financial resources to reduce lead exposures.


  • Clifford S. Mitchell, MS, MD, MPH, Director, Environmental Health Bureau, Maryland Department of Health


  • Elke Shaw-Tulloch, MHS, (SHO-ID)

Maternal Health Equity and Justice
The United States experiences the worst rates of maternal mortality and morbidity among high-income nations, with Black and American Indian/Alaskan Native women dying at a rate of nearly three-to-four times higher than White women. Most of these deaths are preventable. This session will discuss the barriers that prevent equitable maternal outcomes for Black women, indigenous women, and women of color, the role states and territories play in developing and implementing equitable maternal health recommendations, and how working with communities to address the social determinants of health and centering equity in all policies will improve maternal mortality.

  • Classify structural and societal barriers impact access to equitable comprehensive maternal health for Black women and women of color.
  • Identify the critical role state and territorial maternal mortality review committees play in developing and making recommendations to improve equitable maternal health.
  • Examine the importance of fostering state and community partnerships, diversifying the maternal workforce, and centering equity in developing supportive policies and programs when addressing maternal health.


  • Sarah Verbiest, DrPH, MSW, MPH, Co-Director, Maternal Health Learning and Innovation Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


  • Kimberlee Wyche-Etheridge, MD, MPH, Senior Vice President of Health Equity and Diversity Initiatives, ASTHO
12:10 - 1:10 p.m. ET

Lunch Break

Emory Conference Center Dining Room

1:10 - 2:10 p.m. ET

Panel Discussion: Understanding Public Health Social Intersections to Advance Health Equity

An illustrious panel of experts will discuss identity, policy, health, and justice.

  • Explain the multi-sectoral public health initiatives, partnerships, and programs aimed at addressing the social intersections of health inequities that perpetuate systemic harm upon historically marginalized communities.
  • Identify opportunities to advance health equity through policy-level interventions that are framed from a justice lens.
  • Prioritize the value in identifying intersectionality within the field of public health to tackle the underlying determinants of both racial and health inequities at a structural-level.


  • Krystal Redman, DrPH, MHA, Executive Director, Breast Cancer Action and SPARK Reproductive Justice Now!, Adjunct Professor, Emory Rollins School of Public Health
  • Ruqaiijah Yearby, JD, MPH, Co-Founder and Faculty Affiliate, The Institute for Healing Justice & Equity; Kara J Trott Professor in Health Law, Moritz College of Law, The Ohio State University


  • Delmonte Jefferson, Executive Director, The Center for Black Health & Equity
2:15 - 3:15 p.m. ET

Closing Fireside Chat: Community Justice

Powerhouse public health leaders Kimberly Brazwell and Christopher Ramirez will share their expertise and describe the relevance of intentional community engagement in today’s public health to promote social justice and optimal health for all.

  • Examine strategies for authentic engagement with communities to further community-driven solutions and promote more equitable health outcomes.
  • Discuss the value in centering the lived experience of community members and involving local knowledges in decision-making processes.
  • Identify multi-sectoral partnerships and intersectional solutions central to intentional community engagement.


  • Tamira M. Moon, MPH, MCHES, Director, Health Equity and Diversity Initiatives, ASTHO


  • Kimberly Brazwell, MA, CEO and Founder, KiMISTRY LLC
  • Christopher Ramirez, Executive Director, Together for Brothers 


  • Palina Louangketh, DSL, MHS, RHIT, Bureau Chief, Equity and Strategic Partnerships | Tribal Liaison, Division of Public Health Bureau of Equity
3:25 - 3:30 p.m. ET

Key Themes and Call to Action

Remarks will summarize key themes that emerged from the summit, new opportunities to support state and territorial efforts to advance health and racial equity, and a call to action.


  • Kimberlee Wyche-Etheridge, MD, MPH, Senior Vice President of Health Equity and Diversity Initiatives, ASTHO