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.

The Health Equity Minor is celebrating its 10th Anniversary!

We wanted to celebrate this special anniversary with a feature on the Health Equity Minor Founders and the history surrounding the minor.

Anniversary of the Health Equity Minor
Click here for the Health Equity Minor Founders feature Click here for the history of the Health Equity Minor

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. Barbara McMorris

Associate Professor, School of Nursing

Areas of interest include a) the prevention of risky health behaviors in adolescence; b) promotion of health among vulnerable populations; and c) program evaluation, research methods, and complex statistical modeling. I currently lead a CDC-funded project focused on educational and health equity for middle school students that involves building students social-emotional skills and teachers’ abilities to engage and connect with their students. Other projects involve providing technical assistance and evaluation expertise to community partners working to promote health equity such as Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities and St. Paul Public Schools.


Student Spotlight: Abbie Lee

Abbie Lee is a Master of Public Health (MPH) graduate from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.  She is concentrating in Community Health Promotion with an emphasis on Health Equity. She is the proud daughter of Hmong refugees who settled in rural Wisconsin during the 70’s.  Growing up Hmong gave her personal insight into how race, socioeconomic environment, and history all uniquely impact health.  She received her B.S. in Nutritional Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  After college, she continued work in nutrition research.  Her background in the largely homogeneous field of nutrition and dietetics lead her to pursue public health with an equity and diversity lens.

The Health Equity Minor (HEM) served as a helpful outlet for Abbie to explore her place in health equity work as well as allowed her to learn from her colleagues about specific health equity issues.

Abbie’s public health interests include youth violence prevention, workforce diversity, and public policy.  After completing her masters, she plans on continuing work influencing organizational/larger policy around health equity, as well as working with youth.

In her downtime, she enjoys film, stand-up comedy, practicing to be a chef, storytelling, creating music, and celebrating culture.



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.