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Magee-Womens Research Institute Hosts Women’s Health Advocacy Conference

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Asher Jones
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PITTSBURGH – With the goal of engaging communities to advance health equity throughout the region, Magee-Womens Research Institute (MWRI) is hosting “Advancing Health Equity Through Community-Based Solutions,” a conference to expand the conversation about disparities and racial inequities in women’s health care. 


On November 16, the advocacy session will bring together national and local thought leaders, subject matter experts, community-based organizations, women’s health advocates and policymakers, including U.S. Senator Bob Casey and Pittsburgh Mayor-Elect Ed Gainey. 


“Our overarching goal is to bring to light the importance of addressing structural barriers to achieve health equity,” said Tracey Conti, M.D., chair of the UPMC Department of Family Medicine. “We are making strides toward integrating communities of color and patient voices into the standard of care. However, we must continue to deepen our relationships with underserved and disenfranchised populations to fully understand their needs and cultural experiences. This will help ensure the design and implementation of impactful clinical programs that improve patient access and care, as well as programs to measure equity in care and outcomes.”


The program kicks off the Magee-Womens Summit, a three-day conference convening scientific and clinical innovators who will discuss ideas to transform women’s health and reproductive biology.


“True progress in women’s health cannot be made until we address the disparities and racial inequities in health care,” said Robert Edwards, M.D., chair, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences, UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital. “Women in racially or socially economically disadvantaged populations often face a lack of resources, stigma and fear of financial burden. Without healthy women, you don’t have healthy families and it’s vital we address these issues in ways that will further engage all women in maintaining their health and wellbeing.”


The conference includes:


  • 1 p.m.: Opening remarks, Leslie Davis, president and chief executive officer, UPMC
  • 1:30 p.m.: History as a Blueprint for Medicine, Deirdre Cooper-Owens, Ph.D., Charles and Linda Wilson Professor, History of Medicine, Director, Humanities in Medicine Program, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • 2:30 p.m.: Confronting Racism in Health Systems, Benjamin S. Danielson, M.D., Pediatrician and Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine
  • 3:40 p.m.: Forging Transformative Community Partnerships, Father Paul Abernathy, Neighborhood Resilience Project, Pittsburgh 
  • 4:40 p.m.: Closing conversation with UPMC leadership, Diane Holder, president and chief executive officer, UPMC Health Plan, with special guests, United States Senator Bob Casey (virtual) and Pittsburgh Mayor-Elect Ed Gainey (virtual)


To view the full schedule and to register, visit