Health Equity Week of Action

The following page reflects the 2015 Health Equity Week of Action. This page will be updated with 2016 HEWA information before January, 2016.


January 19-23, 2015

The HEWA 2015 Committee is promoting the following definition of health equity to emphasize the justice we are striving to achieve:

The resolution of systematic disparities in health between social groups who have different levels of underlying social advantage and disadvantage positions in a social hierarchy (P. Braveman & S. Gruskin, 2003)

The Health Equity Week of Action (HEWA) is an annual week-long event that focuses on raising awareness about the health disparities that exist across racial, ethnic, cultural, and social groups. HEWA utilizes a variety of interactive and innovative events to inform and inspire the actions needed to eradicate such health inequities.

Access to Medicine

This year’s theme for HEWA is focused on various aspects surrounding access to medicine. We will focus on the service models used in the US and internationally as well as teach medical students how to advance health equity in their own communities.

Ready, Set, Action

We look forward to providing a week of interactive, informative, and entertaining events with webinars, discussion materials, and project ideas. The events occur January 19-23 so you have the option to participate in all of the events or pick those best suited to your interests and schedule.

HEWA 2015

We have very exciting, interesting, and educational offerings for you on several issues surrounding health equity and access to medicine. We are extremely proud of the speakers that have agreed to be a part of this event and thank them for sharing their experience, knowledge, and time.

We recommend that your local AMSA chapter organize a viewing party for members at your school to allow more people to take advantage of this great opportunity. Send us your viewing party pictures on our facebook page!

  • Monday, January 19
    Volunteer in the community on Martin Luther King Jr. Day
    We encourage you to support causes you believe in by getting out into the community and taking action. Send us your pictures of service on our facebook page.
  • Tuesday, January 20, 2014
    Dr. Alex Kaysin MD, MPH (7pm EST)
    Comprehensive Rural Health CareBio: Dr. Alex Kaysin is a family physician currently completing a fellowship in advanced obstetrics in North Carolina. Alex recently completed his FP residency at Duke and his MPH from Johns Hopkins. In 2005, Alex became involved with rural health work in India as the AMSA and JSI-sponsored Mabelle Arole Fellow. He is currently President of Jamkhed USA, a non-profit working in cooperation with the Comprehensive Rural Health Project in Jamkhed, India to provide fundraising and technical support for comprehensive community-based primary health care programs.
    View the webinar recording
  • Wednesday, January 21, 2014
    Dr. Malika Fair, MD, MPH (5pm EST)
    Navigating Your Medical Career Path to Advance Health Equity
    Learn how medical students can leverage opportunities throughout their training and practice to build healthier communities and advance health equity.
    Bio: Malika Fair, MD, MPH is the Director of Public Health Initiatives at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). In this role, Dr. Fair directs both the Urban Universities for HEALTH (Health Equity through Alignment, Leadership, and Transformation of the Health Workforce) project and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Cooperative Agreement with the AAMC. Dr. Fair is also an Assistant Clinical Professor and practicing physician in the Department of Emergency Medicine of The George Washington University.
    View the webinar recording
  • Thursday January 22
    Dr. Mickey Chopra, MD, MPH (10:30 am – 12pm)
    Bio: Dr. Mickey Chopra took up his post as Chief of Health and Associate Director of Programmes at UNICEF’s New York Headquarters in August 2009, leading the agency’s work on maternal, newborn and child health, immunization, pediatric HIV/AIDS, and health systems strengthening, policy and research. Prior to his appointment to UNICEF, Dr. Chopra was the director of the Health Systems Research Group of the South Africa Medical Research Council. A British national, Dr. Chopra is qualified as a medical doctor with additional degrees in medical sociology, Diploma in Child Health, Masters in Public Health (Primary Health in Developing Countries), and a PhD from Faculty of Medicine, University of Uppsala in Sweden. Dr. Chopra has published over 70 international peer-reviewed papers and contributed to numerous book chapters concerned with international child health and nutrition. He currently lives in New York with his wife and two children.
  • Friday January 23
    Mary Beth Levin, MPH (6:30 pm EST)
    Syringe Service Programs: Lifting the Ban on Federal Funding
    Description: Here in the US, African-Americans are 11 times and Latinos are 5 times more likely to contract HIV through injection drug use. Outside of Sub-Saharan Africa, one out of three new HIV infections is attributable to injection drug use. SSPs (syringe service programs) not only prevent HIV, viral hepatitis, secondary infections, wounds and drug overdose – they also serve as a vital bridge to drug treatment. The ban on federal funding for SSPs denies these life-saving services both here and abroad. There are many ways students have and continue to make a difference both locally and nationally on this issue.
    Bio:Ms. Levin has been working in the fields of HIV disease and harm reduction for 26 years. This work has taken her to Brazil, Barbados, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Canada, Switzerland, Ukraine, South Africa, and India. Her focus has been on managing programs to meet the needs of vulnerable and marginalized communities (youth, injection drug users, sex workers, etc) and the health care providers who serve them, as well as to recruit partners outside of the health sector (government, transport, the press, private sector) to address HIV. She works as independent consultant (currently working with amfAR) and is an Associate Professor at Georgetown University. She is faculty advisor to the Health Justice Track and GMAAN (Georgetown Medical AIDS Advocacy Network). She received her MPH in international public health policy from George Washington University and her BA in biology with an emphasis in molecular genetics from the University of California at Santa Cruz. She is also an OAT (Old AMSA Type), having served as a national co-chair of AMSA’s Taskforce on AIDS.
    View the webinar recording
    Syringe Services Programs (.ppt)