YouTube video

Longstanding systemic and institutional policies can make leading health equity work a challenge. Additionally, over the last several years, a number of states have introduced legislation and policies limiting health equity work, including restrictions on how state-funded institutions support diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. Despite these limitations, many health care stakeholders — at state agencies, health plans, health systems, and community-based organizations — remain committed to advancing health equity for the communities they serve.

Understanding opportunities to maintain momentum in pursuit of health equity despite restrictions or adverse environments is critical to improving care for people across the country. Over the last year, the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS), with guidance from additional partners, explored how health equity champions can uphold goals for more equitable care despite the cultural and environmental barriers that are too often present within organizations and externally.

This webinar, made possible with support from Genentech, highlighted key strategies to advance health equity planning and implementation efforts despite restrictive environments and other obstacles. Four health equity champions joined a panel to share their experiences approaches for moving health equity projects forward.


I. Welcome and Overview

Speaker: Abena Ohene-Ntow, MPH, Program Officer, and Shilpa Patel, PhD, Associate Director of Health Equity, CHCS

A. Ohene-Ntow and S. Patel welcomed participants, provided an overview of the project, and shared key strategies for advancing health equity in restrictive environments, based on a recently-published CHCS brief.

II. Panel Discussion: Maintaining a Commitment to Advance Health Equity

Moderator:  A. Ohene-Ntow, CHCS

During a panel exchange, four health equity champions — offering research, community member, and state and local government perspectives — discussed how they advance health equity projects in their respective communities.


  • Dana E. Crawford, PhD, Scholar-in-Residence, Zuckerman Institute, Columbia University and Crawford Bias Reduction Theory & Training
  • Dana Flannery, DSF Consulting, Former Senior Policy Advisor to the Director and the Assistant Director of the Division of Community Advocacy and Intergovernmental Relations, Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System
  • Anisha Gandhi, PhD, MPH, Director of Racial Equity and Social Justice Initiatives, Bureau of HIV, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
  • Kevin Wake, MA, Chairman, University Health’s Patient and Family Advisory Committee and President, Uriel E. Owens Sickle Cell Disease Association of the Midwest

III. Moderated Q&A

Moderator:  A. Ohene-Ntow, CHCS

IV. Closing Remarks

SpeakerJahira Sterling, MPA, Program Associate, CHCS