Thank you for your interest in this event! 
Online registration for the Western MA Health Equity Summit has now closed, so please come to the on-site registration desk to register!

If you wish to attend and have not yet registered, you may register on-site: please stop by the registration table located outside of the UMass Campus Center Auditorium from 8AM - 10:00AM on Friday, September 14. If you have already registered, you should have received arrival and parking details by email.

Please contact the Registration Office (, 413-577-8102) with any questions or concerns. 

General Information
Join us for the third Western Massachusetts Health Equity Summit! The Summit will bring together Western Massachusetts practitioners, community leaders, and students to take steps that advance health equity in the region by working, learning, and taking action together. The Summit is geared toward a wide range of practitioners, professionals, young adults, and community leaders. The Summit Planning Team is inspired by a vision of health equity in which all residents of the four Western Massachusetts counties are able to achieve well-being because unjust and avoidable obstacles are replaced with equitable policies and practices. Our vision is to chart a path towards increasing equity in all aspects of health. The Summit will provide information, opinions and actionable next steps to encourage participants to be an advocates in their communities and be able to support their own communities to join a network to address regional issues for positive and lasting change.

So that we can insure enough seats, food, and materials, we strongly encourage you to register online, now! The event has been fully-subscribed in the past. 

Registration includes Summit 2018 participation plus a light breakfast and a buffet lunch

Registration Type                   Standard Registration               Student/Senior Registration       
Early bird (by August 24) $30 $10
Regular (by September 7) $50 $10
Late (on or after September 8) $80 $20
Day-of/On-Site $90 $25

*A limited number of scholarships are available to cover the cost of registration. Please contact Risa Silverman at to request one. They are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The agenda is still being finalized and will be posted here shortly. All attendees will participate in one breakout session in the morning and one breakout session in the afternoon. Breakouts will be held at 10:15 - 11:30AM and repeated at 1-2:15PM. During registration you will select your top two choices for your breakout sessions from the options below.

Leading with Race and Racism to Address Health Inequities
This breakout will present a racial justice framework, which includes new ways to utilize data available on the toxicity of racism, why it is vital to discuss race and racism explicitly while not exclusively, and the role and responsibility of public health agencies, and all organizations & institutions in creating and dismantling systems of oppression. Participants will understand steps the Department of Public Health’s Bureau of Community Health and Prevention is taking to mitigate the effects of institutional racism including tools and examples being implemented by programs both internally and in the field.
Presenters: Jennica Allen, Lindsay Kephart, MA Department of Public Health Moderators: Betsy Shally-Jensen, A Positive Place and Cooley Dickinson Health Care; Liz O’Gilvie, Gardening the Community and Springfield Food Policy Council

Data Problems Roundtable
This session will highlight some common challenges with gathering and sharing data when operating with a health equity lens. Community-based researchers will briefly discuss their experiences with collecting data on populations with small numbers, community control of data, and using data to guide priorities. Panelists will individually lead small group discussions following the panel.
Moderators: Brenda Evans, Susan Shaw, Center for Community Health Equity Research & Kathleen Szegda, Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts

Democracy is NOT a Spectator Sport: You Can Impact Public Policy!
Hear how two colleagues took a Facebook conversation lamenting the lack of support for working women and turned it into the MA Pregnant Workers’ Fairness Act. Then, after hearing key elements of that successful effort to impact statewide policy, participants will learn the basics of how to conduct a low/no-budget power analysis (aka power mapping) to strategically focus advocacy efforts. In small groups, participants will then apply the power analysis tool to sketch a plan to advance a health equity issue in their respective communities.
Presenters: Liz Friedman, Program and Policy Strategist; Lisa Newman, IT Specialist Wellesley College; Maddie Ribble, Director of Public Policy & Campaign Strategy, Massachusetts Public Health Association; The Honorable Ellen Story, former MA State Representative, 3rd Hampshire District; Laura Sylvester, Legislative and Community Partnership Coordinator; The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. Moderator: Andrea Freeman, Field Director, Massachusetts Public Health Association

Power Outage: Plugging into Our Alternative Currents
This workshop will explore the importance of having our values honored and embedded within our institutional and economic structures. Doing so can inform our sense of self, our access to our power, and the health of our communities. Join an experiential session provoking awareness of the power we hold within ourselves with attention to the interconnections we have with others.
Hosted by: Giselle Vizcarrondo, Tapestry Health, Hampden County; Rachel Stoler, Franklin Regional Council of Governments, Franklin County; Jennifer Kimball, Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, Berkshire County, and Cheryl L. Dukes, UMass College of Nursing, Hampshire County

Planning Committee

Catalina Arredondo
UMass Amherst
student intern

Dayna Campbell
American International College

Paul Coly
Servicenet and Volunteer

Cheryl L. Dukes
UMass Amherst College
of Nursing     

Brenda Evans
UMass Amherst SPHHS Center
for Community Health Equity Research

Sean Fallon
Mercy Medical Center

Andrea Freeman
Massachusetts Public Health Association

Aumani Harris
Springfield Dept. Health and
Human Services

Sophie Howard
Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts

Jennifer L. Kimball
Berkshire Regional Planning Commission

Luz Lopez
MetroCare of Springfield

Lena Marceno
Springfield Department of Health and Human Services

Elizabeth O'Gilvie
Springfield Food Policy Council
Gardening the Community

Lauren Parr
UMass Amherst student intern     

Laura Reedy
UMass Amherst
student intern 

Synthia Scott-Mitchell
Springfield Partners for Community Action, Inc.

Risa Silverman
UMass Amherst School of Public
Health and Health Sciences

Laura Sylvester
The Food Bank of Western

Betsy Shally-Jensen
Cooley Dickinson Health Care

Rachel Stoler
Franklin Regional Council
of Governments

Giselle Vizcarrondo
Tapestry Health

Kathy Wicks
Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts

Ben Wood
Massachusetts Department of Public Health