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.

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.

Review the post-screening discussion HERE, 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.

Did you miss the first two screening opportunities? Sign up to attend a future virtual screening with one of our institutional partners before the end of the year. Details are 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 receive a complimentary copy of the text (if registered before Friday, August 12) and curated digital workbook. Each interactive, hour-long session will start 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. 

Register for the book discussion series HERE. Registration will remain open until the end of the series.






Thursday, October 6


Preface, Introduction

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

Listen to the recording HERE.

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

Listen to the recording HERE.

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

Listen to the recording HERE

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

Listen to the recording HERE.

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

Listen to the recording HERE.

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

Listen to the recording HERE.

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

  • 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.

Register HERE before Wednesday, January 18, 2023.

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

  • Date: Friday, March 31, 2023
  • Time: 11AM-3PM
  • Venue: TBD 

Registration information to follow in the coming months. 


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.