Past Events

Harriet Washington

Building a Trustworthy Healthcare System: Notes from History, Ethics and Contemporary Crises

Dr. Jason Beckrow, Caring Circle medical director, interviews award-winning medical writer and editor, Harriet Washington.


Patricia Rush, MD, MBA & Tasha Turner, MA, LLPC

Moving Our Community Toward Health Equity

Lakeland Program Director for Trauma-Informed Initiatives, Tasha Turner, MA, LLPC, and internal medicine physician, Pat Rush, MD, MBA, discuss the impact of psychological trauma on the brain and on chronic disease and health inequities. They also provide strategies for overcoming the effects of trauma.

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David Williams, MPH, PhD

Understanding The Health Consequences Of Racism & What You Can Do About It

This presentation provides an overview of the large and persistent socioeconomic and racial disparities in health. It highlights scientific evidence that reveals distinctive social exposures linked to racial status; these race-related aspects of social experience create inequities in health and health care quality. It also reviews scientific evidence which documents that tackling the social determinants of health can lead to improvements in health and reductions in health inequities.

The focus is on both interventions within the health care system that address some of the social determinants of health, as well as interventions in factors (such as housing, neighborhood conditions, economic well-being, and early childhood development) that can lead to improvements in health and reduced social inequities in health.

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David Ansell, MD, MPH

How Inequality Kills: Health Systems and Health Equity

Dr. Ansell speaks about Rush’s strategy to be a catalyst for community health and economic vitality on Chicago’s West Side and how those strategies can be applied to southwest Michigan.

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Bechara Choucair, MD

Advancing Health? It's About the Mind, Body, and Community

Dr. Choucair shares how his organization is working to improve conditions for health and equity by building communities that have stable affordable housing, meaningful work that pays a living wage, successful schools, clean air and water, nourishing foods in neighborhood stores, and safe places to exercise and play.

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Debby Irving

I'm a Good Person! Isn't That Enough? How Power and Privilege Undermine Best Intentions

Debby explores how her beliefs influenced her interpretation of the world through U.S. history, media messages, and cultural habits. She explores how she spent decades silently reaffirming harmful, outdated racial patterns instead of questioning the racial disparities and tensions she could see and feel.

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Arline Geronimus

Weathering and Health Inequality: Letting the Epigenome Out of the Bottle Without Losing Sight of the Structural Origins of Population Health

Dr. Geronimus—Professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health and Institute for Social Research and member of the National Academy of Medicine—originated the concept of "weathering" to explain her observation that African American women’s health declines in early adulthood as a result of their cumulative exposure to socioeconomic disadvantage. This concept is now widely seen as critical to understanding the sources and mechanisms of racial and ethnic health inequity.

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Creating Safe Spaces for African-American Men: Exploring Manhood and Mental Health

Monday, June 29

Live: 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

A discussion on the unique experiences of African-American men and maintaining mental health. We'll examine how we begin to reduce stigma, increase conversation, and build generational health.

Samuel Jones is an avid community engager. From therapizing in marginalized communities to coaching high school football and shepherding at West Michigan's largest church, he enjoys seeing people reach their goals and find their place of healing. Samuel holds a Master of Arts in Counseling degree from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary.

David Thomas has a special interest in the health of the African-American family with particular goals of creating safe spaces for African-American males across the lifespan. His social experiences within family, religion, community, military, law enforcement, and education have informed his work in mental health. David has a BA in Criminal Justice from the University of Toledo and a MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Spring Arbor University. He is founder and co-owner of Insight Associates LLC which is designed for mental health counseling, consulting, and training. David contracts as a clinical mental health professional and serves African-American males with a goal of thwarting the impact of systematic oppression and increasing resiliency.