Health Equity Work Group

The Health Equity Work Group (formerly the Health Disparities Work Group) mission is to give greater visibility to health inequalities research at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and nationally; develop collaborations with faculty and community partners; and ensure SPH students are well trained to work in a diverse society. The HEWG meets quarterly and welcomes new members.

Graduating students

Congratulations to our 2017 Health Equity Minor Graduates!

Top (left to right): Anna Schulte, Anna Arkin, Kathleen Call, Amy Jones, Mikow Hang, Rhonda Jones-Webb

Bottom: Aldona Martinka, Brenna O’Brien, Alison Ross, Abbie Lee, J’Mag Karbeah, Kathryn Hiolski, Sam Burt


Work Groups

The Research & Training Subcommittee promotes health equity research and health equity content in the curriculum to prepare students and faculty to work effectively in a diverse society.

The Community Engagement Subcommittee sponsors activities that increase awareness of strategies to reduce health inequalities and highlight university/community partnerships.

The Student Engagement Subcommittee provides leadership opportunities for students to engage in health equity conversations and projects.

Get Involved

Join this group of faculty and students in health equity work by becoming a Leadership or a General Member. Learn more and sign up.

Stay connected with the work group through our Facebook page

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Kathleen Call

Kathleen Thiede Call is cofounding member (with Rhonda Jones-Webb) of the Health Equity Work Group. Her research generally focuses on inequalities in access to health care and health insurance as well as developing community-driven solutions to diminishing barriers to health care. One of her interest areas focuses on the complexities of measuring and estimating rates of insurance coverage, including the discrepancy between survey and administrative data counts of insurance coverage. This matters because state and federal resources are driven by rates of uninsurance — which is identified as those who say “no” to all of the questions about insurance. She is also interested is in how well health insurance translates into access to health services. She has focused on a range of barriers to care, including low health insurance literacy, mistrust in providers, and reports of discrimination based on the type of insurance one has or the lack of insurance.

Student Spotlight: Anna Arkin


Anna Arkin graduated with a Master of Public Health in community health promotion from the University of Minnesota, with concentrations in Health Equity and Public Health Policy. Anna received a B.A. in Anthropology and Environmental Studies from Washington University in St. Louis. After college, she served as an AmeriCorps volunteer with MN GreenCorps. She then worked at the Minnesota Technical Assistance Program at the University of Minnesota, assisting organizations throughout the state with pollution prevention projects.

Anna grew up on the outskirts of Washington, D.C. in a household where politics was a frequent topic of conversation. She became politically active in high school and college, devoting time and energy to candidates who stood for social justice and progressive policies that would advance health and gender equity. She was trained in community organizing and became involved as a volunteer with Amnesty International and Planned Parenthood. This work, as well as her work in the environmental field, helped her gain a deeper understanding of health inequities and the social determinants of health and led her to pursue an MPH.

Through the health equity minor, Anna has gained a deeper understanding of the roots of health disparities, the systems that perpetuate them, the role of communities in addressing them, and potential programmatic and policy solutions for eliminating them. After graduation, Anna hopes to work on local and state public health policies that promote health equity in Minnesota.

Outside of work and school, Anna enjoys hanging out with her family and dog, eating ice cream, and walking around the lakes.

Our New Name

The Health Disparities Work Group is now the Health Equity Work Group. Health equity represents a focus on social justice and promoting health and access to life opportunities that allow for healthy lives and communities. The concept of equity more accurately reflects our mission and goals.