Western Massachusetts Health Equity SummitWestern Massachusetts Health Equity Summit logo

October 2, 2014

On October 2, 2014, the first-ever Western MA Health Equity Summit will bring together practitioners and community leaders from across our four counties. We’ll work, learn, and take important steps toward greater health equity in Western MA.

We’ll focus on four topics that affect health equity:

Keynote Speaker

Amanda Maria Navarro, Deputy Director, PolicyLink

A leading health equity and policy expert and former researcher at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Navarro works with funders and other institutions on strategies to create healthy, equitable communities. As a key staff member in the PolicyLink Center for Health Equity and Place, Dr. Navarro coordinates the Convergence Partnership funders’ collaborative.

Check out the conference agenda [PDF - 115 KB]

About the Summit

Western MA Health Equity Summit organizers include members from Baystate Health, the city of Springfield’s Department of Health and Human Services, the Mason Square Task Force, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the Massachusetts Public Health Association, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences, along with many other individuals, coalitions and organizations throughout the region.

Together at the Summit, we hope to create a shared vision for Western MA where all residents can reach full health, where we replace unjust and unnecessary barriers with equitable health policies and practices. Our goal for the Summit is to create a clear path toward this vision. The Summit provides an opportunity to learn and share best practices, but it will also jumpstart a network of people and communities advocating for health equity across the region.

For more information:

Contact the UMass Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences’ Office for Public Health Practice and Outreach

Phone: (413) 545-2529
Email: risa@schoolph.umass.edu
Website: http://www.umass.edu/sphhs/outreach

Who Should Attend

The Health Equity Summit is open to EVERYONE! You don’t need to be a health practitioner or in the health field. Health equity touches all aspects of a community (planning, business, community members, librarians, people with disabilities, funders – you name it!). We are looking to get communities talking about health equity.

After attending the conference, you’ll be ready to:

  • Engage your community with new tools and insight
  • Join a network of people working toward health equity across the region
  • Create positive and lasting change where you live and work

Collage of participant photos

To register, visit the UMass Amherst Event Registration page


Mark your calendars! The Health Equity Summit is on:

Thursday, October 2, 2014,
8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Stay tuned for a more detailed schedule.


Amherst, MA
UMass Amherst
Campus Center Auditorium
1 Campus Center Way

Map of UMass Amherst Lincoln Campus Center
See Map

To register, visit the UMass Amherst Event Registration page

Summit Topics

To move toward greater health equity, we need a shared understanding of where we are now, where we want to go, and the tools that can help us get there.

We’ll ground our discussions in the social determinants of health as we look at four factors affecting health equity:


Data can help us understand health inequities and make the case for change. It’s important to know not only what’s included in the data, but also what’s missing. How is data collected? Do we have the data we need to assess and address health inequities? If not, what’s missing? How can we inform future data collection?

Creativity, Culture, and History

Creativity, Culture, and History provide a strong basis for solving health equity challenges. Visit the Creativity Corridor! All day at the conference! Western MA communities will be displaying their own visual and digital representations of people striving for health equity—photovoice, digital storytelling, youth projects, etc.


Policy change takes a strong commitment and a unified voice. We’ll learn how to create a shared voice to legislators when it comes to health equity. We’ll examine how policy is shaped from start to finish, locally and statewide. And we’ll give tools, tips, and resources for how you and your constituents can play a part in creating policies that affect social determinants of health.

Workforce Cultivation & Youth Involvement

Workforce Cultivation and Youth Involvement looks at the impact of the health care workforce on health equity. We’ll explore the relationship between health equity and a diversified workforce in the next generation of health care workers.

Check out the conference agenda [PDF - 115 KB]


Gold Benefactor

Baystate Health/HNE


UMass Amherst Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement
UMass Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences
Massachusetts General Hospital
Cooley Dickinson Hospital


Partners for a Healthier Community, Inc.
Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Mercy Medical Center


HealthSouth of Western Massachusetts
Holyoke Medical Center
Community Health Center of Franklin County
LiveWell Springfield
Pioneer Valley Planning Committee
UMass Amherst College of Nursing
Pioneer Valley Transit Authority
Shriners Children Hospital
Beacon ABA Services
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Network Health - Tufts Health Plan


Caregiver Homes
Springfield Department of Health and Human Services
Havard Pilgrim Health Care
Pioneer Valley Area Health Education Center


Massachusetts Public Health Association
Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts
Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts
United Way of Pioneer Valley
American International College