Mission: Health Equity Challenge Series

Brain with multiple colors

Factors such as our race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status should not impact the quality of health care we receive. Health disparities continue to threaten the ability for everyone to achieve optimal health. This is an area where research could make a big difference.

Join the Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative for its first Mission: Health Equity Challenge Series. Over the next year we invite researchers and health equity champions (anyone in any role) at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Clinic, Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center, MetroHealth, University Hospitals, and Clinical and Translational Science Award program hubs to complete each challenge to further their knowledge in the health equity space and take those learnings back to their institution to become a model for collaborative advancement of health equity. 

This four-part challenge series launches in September 2022 and concludes in March 2023.

Click through each of the challenges below to view registration links for upcoming events and recordings of previous sessions.

Challenge Description: Attend a film screening of The Color of Care documentary, produced by Oprah Winfrey’s HARPO Productions and the Smithsonian Channel, and panel discussion with local experts.

Color of Care Poster


Western Reserve Historical Society logo

Read about our first in person screening on Saturday, September 24, 2022 with the Western Reserve Historical Society, a Smithsonian Affiliate, HERE.

Watch the post-screening discussion from the first virtual screening with Metrohealth on Tuesday, October 4, 2022, featuring equity, inclusion, and diversity leaders, including: 

  • Charles Modlin Jr., MD, Medical Director, Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity; 
  • Alan Nevel, MBA, Senior Vice President and Chief Equity Officer; and 
  • Margarita Diaz, MSN, RN, Director, Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity.

    Additional virtual screenings from our partner institutions can be viewed below.


    Cleveland Clinic logo

    Cleveland Clinic 

    • Monday, November 14: 12:30PM-2:30PM 
    • Thursday, December 15: 5:30PM-7:30PM


    VA Logo

    Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center 

    Wednesday, December 14: 12PM-2PM

    Wednesday, December 28: 12PM-2PM 


    University Hospitals logo

    University Hospitals

    • Friday, December 9 at 12PM

    Challenge Description: Participate in a book discussion featuring Why Are Health Disparities Everyone’s Problem? by Lisa Cooper, MD, MPH. 

    Book Cover

    Local book discussion participants received a complimentary copy of the text and curated digital workbook. Each interactive, hour-long session began with presentations from researchers or organizations complementary to the chapter being discussed, questions inspired by workbook topics interwoven throughout the discussion, and opportunities for questions. 






    Thursday, October 6


    Preface, Introduction

    Jay Bhatt, DO, MPH, MPA, Executive Director, Center for Health Solutions and Deloitte Health Equity Institute

    Thursday, October 13


    Chapter 1: The Personhood of Patients: Learning by Example

    Sharona Hoffman, JD, LLM, SJD, Edgar A. Hahn Professor of Law, School of Law, Professor, Department of Bioethics, School of Medicine, and Co-Director, The Law-Medicine Center, School of Law at Case Western Reserve University

    Gregory Hall, MD, Internal Medical Physician, Medical Director, University Hospitals Cutler Center for Men, Executive Director, National Institute for African American Health

    Thursday, October 20


    Chapter 2: The Patient-Physician Relationship 

    Debora Bruno, MD, MS, University Hospitals, Member, Population and Cancer Prevention Program, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center 

    Thursday, October 27 


    Chapter 3: Developing Solutions to Health Disparities

    Adam Perzynski, PhD, MA, BA, Associate Professor, Departments of Medicine and Sociology, Director, Patient-Centered Media Lab, Center for Health Care Research and Policy, MetroHealth Medical Center

    Thursday, November 3


    Chapter 4: The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Equity

    Chidinma Ibe, PhD, Assistant Professor and Associate Director, Patient and Community Engagement, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Equity

    Thursday, November 10 


    Chapter 5: From Research to Practice and Policy

    Chinenye (ChiChi) Nkemere,  Co-Founder, Enlightened Solutions (Project Noir

    Clara Pelfrey, PhD, Associate Professor, Director, Program Evaluation, Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative, Case Western Reserve University

    Thursday, November 17


    Chapter 6: A Global Perspective on Health Equity

    Umut Gurkan, PhD, Professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, CWRU School of Engineering, Member, Cancer Prevention Control & Population Research Program, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center

    Thursday, December 1


    Chapter 7: Health Equity in the Era of COVID-19

    David Kaelber, MD, PhD, MPH, Chief Medical Informatics Officer, MetroHealth

    Pamela B. Davis, MD, PhD, Arline H. and Curtis F. Garvin Research Professor, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University  

    Challenge Description: Learn about the research experience from community partner organizations’ perspective via this virtual panel. 

    Community Research

    Organizations and Panelists

    The LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland - Gulnar Feerasta, Senior Director, Programs

    Greater Cleveland Food Bank - Kristen Mikelbank, Sr. Manager of Research and Program Evaluation

    Cleveland Neighborhood Progress - Jeffrey Verespej, Chief of Staff and Operations

    Case Western Reserve University, Mandel School of Applied Sciences - Braveheart Gillani, doctoral student

    • Date: Thursday, January 19, 2023
    • Time: 12PM-1PM
    • Venue: Zoom  

    Attendees will learn:

    • how each organization became involved in research;
    • about the evolution of their perceptions about research and how it evolved over time; and
    • strategies to ensure a successful, authentic community research experience and relationship with investigators and study teams.

    Challenge Description: Bring your talent, curiosity, and innovative ideas to our second un-meeting about health disparities research. Additional details to follow. 

    • Date: Thursday, March 16, 2023
    • Time: 10AM-2PM
    • Venue: Zoom 

    Register for the un-meeting here.

    Do you accept the mission? After you register for each challenge, we’ll create your challenge series profile via REDCap to ensure that you receive all challenge communications and credit for completing challenges. 

    Note: Some challenges may require external registration.