ATLANTA – Mercer University will host “Advancing Health Equity: Perspectives, Policies and Practice,” an interprofessional virtual health summit, June 14, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Mercer’s College of Health Professions is partnering with Piedmont Healthcare to provide this opportunity for health care professionals, preceptors, instructors and students to learn about health equity in an interprofessional setting. Registration is available online free of charge.

Health equity, according to the World Health Organization, “implies that ideally everyone should have a fair opportunity to attain their full health potential and that no one should be disadvantaged from achieving this potential.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that “health inequities are reflected in differences in length of life; quality of life; rates of disease, disability and death; severity of disease; and access to treatment.”

“There is a need for a common understanding and language around the topic of health equity,” said Lisa Lundquist, Pharm.D., BCPS, dean of Mercer’s College of Health Professions. “We want to provide a health equity lens for health practitioners, students and academicians to approach their training and work so communities can experience the best health outcomes possible.”

Mercer’s undergraduate and graduate public health programs, accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health, focus on diverse populations and health equity.

“People from marginalized communities disproportionately experience illness, disability and death,” said Cheryl Gaddis, DrPH, MPH, CHES, chair and associate professor of practice in Mercer’s Department of Public Health. “These health disparities will continue to exist without interprofessional collaboration to transform health care systems, providing high quality and unbiased coordinated care. We are hosting this interprofessional health equity mini-summit to explore best practices, get insight from the experts, gain perspective and build collaborative linkages among health professional educators, providers and policymakers to help advance health equity.”

Keynote speakers will include Thomas LaVeist, Ph.D., dean, professor and Weatherhead Presidential Chair in Health Equity in the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine at Tulane University; Sandra Ford, M.D., special assistant to the president for public health and science in the Executive Office of the President of the United States; Joanne Hill, executive director of diversity and inclusion at Piedmont Healthcare; Lisa Carlson, MPH, MCHES, past president of the American Public Health Association; and State Rep. Mesha Mainor, MPT, of Georgia House District 56. 

For more information on the event, contact Barbara Love-Smith at or (678) 547-6492.

About the College of Health Professions

Mercer University’s College of Health Professions is composed of six disciplines: physical therapy, physician assistant studies, public health, clinical psychology, athletic training, and kinesiology. The College offers a doctoral-level physical therapy program; master’s-level physician assistant program; bachelor’s-, master’s-, and doctoral-level public health programs, doctoral-level program in clinical psychology, master’s-level athletic training program, and bachelor’s-level kinesiology program. The Department of Physical Therapy also offers residencies in orthopaedic, neurologic and cardiovascular/pulmonary physical therapy; a fellowship in orthopaedic manual physical therapy; and an onsite clinic. Each program is housed in a department that provides students with comprehensive didactic courses taught by an extraordinary faculty and extensive clinical experience enhanced by outstanding service-learning opportunities. For more information, visit