Western Massachusetts Health Equity NummitWestern Massachusetts Health Equity Summit logo

November 18, 2016

The second 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.

Keynote Speaker

Representative Aaron Vega (Holyoke), 5th Hampden Representative

Representative Aaron Vega was born in South Holyoke, attended Morgan Elementary School and eventually followed his parents’ footsteps by attending Holyoke Community College. In 2009, Aaron was elected one of Holyoke’s first Latino at-large councilors and in 2012 Aaron was elected to serve as the State Representative for the Fifth Hampden district. In his first term he served on the Joint Committees for Higher Education, and Economic Development. He was the only Freshman Rep appointed to a special committee to address Student Debt crisis in the Commonwealth.

In his second term as State Rep Aaron continues to serve on the Joint Committee of Economic Development and is now the Vice Chair of the Committee on Children and Families and Persons with Disabilities where he has become a strong advocate for families and is working on collaborative approaches to address the issues within DCF.

Aaron has served on the boards of the Holyoke Health Center, and the Morgan School turnaround team. He continues to volunteer as a board member for the Homework House and the Connections Afterschool Program. He is also a member of the Holyoke Taxpayers Association, Friends of the Council on Aging, Friends of the Holyoke Public Library and was a Rotary Club member for 3 years. In 2010 he was named one of the “40 under 40” by Business West magazine, a recognition given out to young civic and business leaders in the Pioneer Valley.

About the Summit

Planning members come from the UMass Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences, Cooley Dickinson Hospital, Shriners Hospital, Health New England, Berkshire Health Systems, Metrocare, Mercy, Berkshire Regioinal Planning Commission, Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, UMass Amherst College of Nursing, CommunicateHealth, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and Hilltown Community Development Corporation.

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:

Friday, November 18, 2016,
9:00 a.m. to 3:00 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.

Hear from the 10-member Coalition of Western MA Hospitals/Insurers regarding their 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) and the Berkshire County Health Initiative.

Participate in networking and collaboration opportunities.

Learn about Data, Stories & Best Practices from communities in our 4 counties working on health equity issues.

Listen to our keynote address from Representative Aaron Vega (Holyoke).


Please consider sponsoring the Summit. Details here! Questions? Contact Risa Silverman at risa@schoolph.umass.edu.

Sustainers $2500+

Baystate Health
UMass Amherst Office of Research and Engagement
UMass Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences

Supporters $1,000+

Beacon ABA Services
Commonwealth Care Alliance
Cooley Dickinson Health Care
Criterion Child Enrichment
Health New England
Mercy Medical Center
Ramboll Environ
Shriners Hospital for Children-Springfield

Associates $250+

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Massachusetts Public Health Association
Pioneer Valley Planning Commission
Dr. Charles and Mrs. Sara Pozner
UMass Amherst College of Nursing
Workplace Wellness of Hingham