What is health equity and why is it important to OHSU?

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Panel Discussion

Please join us for a discussion on health equity in our society. Learn how bias, unconscious bias, discrimination and structural racism result in poorer health for historically disadvantaged populations – and what can be done to create better health for all.

28 Oct | 12:00 pm


As a community of healers with a mission to support the health and well-being of all Oregonians, OHSU has a duty and responsibility to address the underlying causes of adverse health outcomes, including structural racism. Dramatic health disparities in our society have become more visible during the COVID-19 pandemic, as BIPOC (Black, indigenous and people of color) communities are getting sick and dying at far higher rates than whites. Join us for a conversation about the systems and social structures that contribute to health disparities – and how we can work together to improve health equity in our state.


Danny Jacobs, MD, MPH, FACS, OHSU President

Frank Franklin, PhD, JD, MPH, is principal epidemiologist for the Multnomah County Health Department, and a faculty member in OHSU’s Division of Epidemiology and the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health. Dr. Franklin will discuss the importance and value of elevating BIPOC leadership in science and public health, and the lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kate Wells is Director of Wellness and Community Health Strategy at PacificSource Health Plans and is co-chair of the Oregon Health Authority’s committee on health equity. Wells will address regional variability in health equity and culturally and linguistically appropriate care.

Rukaiyah Adams, J.D., is chief investment officer of Meyer Memorial Trust and a member of the OHSU Foundation board of trustees. She will discuss the economic and financial consequences of health inequities.


Derick Du Vivier, MD, MBA, OHSU senior vice president of equity and inclusion, assistant professor of anesthesiology and perioperative medicine.

Jennifer DeVoe, MD, DPhil, chair, OHSU Department of Family Medicine. Dr. DeVoe chaired the committee of experts at the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine that produced the landmark 2019 report entitled Vibrant and Healthy Kids Aligning Science, Practice, and Policy to Advance Health Equity.

This special presentation is the first in an ongoing series that will amplify OHSU programs focused on health equity, particularly those efforts with well-established partnerships that help meet the needs of BIPOC communities. This new symposia series is an outgrowth of OHSU’s public mission and commitment to become an anti-racist institution.