U-M event to focus on health disparities of the Flint water crisis, Haiti earthquake

September 5, 2017
Contact: umichnews@umich.edu


DATE: Sept. 15-17, 2017

EVENT: The inequity of health impacts brought about by the Flint, Mich., water crisis and the 2010 Haiti earthquake will be the focus of the biannual Health Equity in Action Forum at the U-M School of Public Health.

Hosted by the Health Equity Leadership Pipeline Collaborative, the event is a gathering for current and aspiring health care professionals to discuss, plan and participate in addressing public health issues related to health equity.

A panel of experts will discuss connections between the Flint water crisis and the Haiti earthquake. The panel includes:

  • James Taylor, chief diversity officer, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
  • George Hurtt, president and founder, Hurtt Foundation
  • Marlisa Hardy, project manager, Houston Methodist Hospital
  • Gyasi Chisley, chief strategy officer, SVP of Payment Policy/Innovation, UnitedHealthcare
  • Harley Etienne, U-M assistant professor of urban planning

“These two widely known public health crises—the Flint water crisis and the earthquake in Haiti—sparked instant social media coverage and brought international attention to lesser-known health epidemics,” said Christopher Clarke, program director for The Collaborative. “Now, they provide important lessons for building sustainable health equity in action.”

The Collaborative, housed within the School of Public Health, provides research on professions and education training methods to increase the impact of health care leadership in addressing health equity issues.

The weekend will also feature the first Melva Hardy Memorial Scholarship Luncheon, established in memory of Melva Francine Hardy, who graduated from the U-M School of Public Health with a Master of Health Services Administration degree in 2000. While at Michigan, Hardy served as president of the Public Health Students of African Descent. She became an academic health leader and entrepreneur with her concierge health firm ImagineMD.

Participants will have the opportunity to sign up for volunteer opportunities in Haiti and participate in a community service activity at Grace Emmanuel Baptist Church in Flint.

Registration is limited to 50 guests.


  • 9/15: U-M School of Public Health, 1415 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor
  • 9/16: Registrants will attend the U-M football game
  • 9/17: Grace Emmanuel Baptist Church, 3502 Lapeer Road, Flint

MEDIA INTERVIEW AVAILABILITY: Panelists are available 10 a.m.-noon Friday, Sept. 15, or upon request.

REGISTRATION INFORMATION: sph.umich.edu/collaborative/events.html