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HAP’s Leadership Summit Highlights Wolf and Biden Administration Priorities, Addresses Health Disparities

May 12, 2021

The second day of HAP’s 2021 virtual Leadership Summit included insights from key members of the Wolf and Biden administrations, as well as a powerful call to action for the state’s hospital community to address health equity and inclusion.

On Wednesday, HAP President and CEO Andy Carter moderated panel discussions with Mike Brunelle, chief of staff for the Wolf Administration, and Erin Wilson, the White House’s deputy director of political strategy and outreach.

Brunelle and Wilson outlined upcoming state and federal priorities and highlighted the key role the health care community will play to shape Pennsylvania’s post-COVID-19 future. Among the key takeaways from Brunelle and Wilson:

  • Structural change:  The pandemic has illustrated the need to re-envision the Pennsylvania Department of Health to address Pennsylvania’s future public health priorities, Brunelle said.
  • PA's COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force:  Creating a vaccine task provided opportunities to build consensus during Pennsylvania's vaccine rollout this winter
  • Federal investment:  Wilson said the federal government’s upcoming policy proposals and infrastructure investments focus on equity. Initiatives to expand access to broadband, improve housing, and address gun violence will have a positive impact on health across America
  • Tell a story:  Storytelling and narrative techniques can help Pennsylvania’s health care leaders advocate for their needs across the commonwealth, Wilson said

The Virtual Summit’s afternoon session featured a presentation from Kevin Ahmaad Jenkins, postdoctoral fellow, University of Pennsylvania, and core investigator for the Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion at the Corporal Crescenz VA Medical Center.

During his presentation, Jenkins discussed how health care leaders can confront systemic racism and understand the ways racism erodes trust between patients and providers.

He also provided a roadmap for hospitals and health systems to promote equity, outlining a process to identify disparities, recognize social barriers, implement changes, and carefully evaluate outcomes.

“You can exact change no matter which side of the coin you are on,” Jenkins said.

HAP’s Leadership Summit concludes tomorrow with additional networking opportunities and a closing discussion about COVID-19 and the outlook for the future with Ian Morrison, PhD, health care futurist and author.

 For more information, contact HAP’s Education Department or call (717) 561-5270.