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 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.
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. Rachel Hardeman
Rachel R. Hardeman received her Ph.D. in Health Services Research Policy and Administration from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Division of Health Policy and Management.
Dr. Hardeman is a health inequities researcher whose work focuses on the provider contribution to equity and quality of health care delivery and the ways in which race impacts health care delivery and the clinician-patient encounter (e.g. implicit bias, explicit bias, stereotyping, prejudice, discrimination institutional racism and the white racial frame). She has a particular interest and focus on prenatal care delivery and persistent disparate birth outcomes for African American women. Dr. Hardeman is also a leading expert in medical education research focusing on the experiences of under-represented minority physician trainees and how physicians are trained to provide equitable and bias-free care. Her training at the intersection of health services research and sociology allows her to use a Critical Race Theory framework as a lens by which to examine health inequities. She is passionate about moving the conversation around racism in public health and health services research forward. To that end, the overarching goal of her work is to contribute to a new body of knowledge that enriches how we understand the ways that structural racism plays out in healthcare encounters.
Student Spotlight: Serena Xiong
Serena Xiong is a Master of Public Health (MPH) student in the Community Health Promotion program at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. Her research interests are in minority health, health disparities, and community-based participatory research. She is passionate about advancing health equity through community engagement and mobilization, in challenging health institutions to reshape their policies, infrastructures, and cultures to represent that of predominantly underrepresented communities.
As a Hmong-American, Serena grew up experiencing and witnessing many health inequities in her community. Her constant exposure to unfair and unequal treatment in predominantly white institutions and settings has emboldened her to tackle health inequities upstream – through policy/structural changes and community engagement. The information and coursework she has completed through the Health Disparities Interdisciplinary concentration has prepared her well for the rigors of health equity work. She has gained many valuable knowledge and skills on how to address health disparities in various levels of the socioecological model. Following the completion of her MPH degree, Serena plans to continue working in academia to foster more cross-sectoral and cross-community collaboration between students, community members and policy makers.
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.