Join us for the Summer Roundtable Series sponsored by the PATIENTS Program at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy.

The Summer Roundtable Series is a series of free, virtual roundtable discussions on critical issues in health equity. Our 2023 Summer Roundtable Series theme is ASTARISQ: Addressing systemic and STructurAl Racism to Improve Safety, Quality, and trustworthiness in health delivery systems.

Register for any of the roundtable discussions.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023, 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET

Race and Racism in Digital Health and Information Technology

Moderator: Gerard Charlot is a PATIENTS Professor and Chief Executive Officer for Idhini, Inc., whose mission is to streamline the recruitment process, address disparities in clinical trial participation, and promote a more diverse and inclusive healthcare landscape. Idhini’s digital platform captures health-related attitudes, sentiments, and voices of the BIPOC community to improve access to healthy options, equitable rewards, and positive health outcomes for BIPOC participation in medical research. 


Andrea G. Parker is an associate professor in the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech. Dr. Parker’s digital health equity research lies at the intersection of human-computer interaction (HCI), social computing, and public health. She studies racial, ethnic and economic health disparities and the social context of health management and takes an ecological approach to technology design.

Avriel Epps-Darling is a computational social scientist who researches how adolescent racial and gender identity development is influenced by bias in digital products. Her work illuminates the impact of algorithm design and computer-mediated social expectations -- communicated through personalized recommendation systems and information filters -- on youths’ beliefs and behavior. Her pre-academic career focused on the intersection of brand experiences and storytelling, digital media, and technology, and has been featured in The New York Times, The Guardian, Vogue Magazine, Huffington Post, and Vice Magazine, among others.

Katie Shilton is an associate professor and program co-director of the BS in Social Data Science. Dr. Shilton is an associate professor in the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park, and leads the Ethics & Values in Design (EViD) Lab. Her research explores ethics and policy for the design of information technologies. She is the PI of the PERVADE project, a multi-campus collaboration focused on big data research ethics.

Lauren Wilcox is a senior staff research scientist and manager in Responsible AI and Human-Centered Technology at Google. She brings over 16 years of experience conducting human-centered computing research, most of which have been in service of human health and well-being and participatory approaches to computing research. Prior to her current role, Wilcox led initiatives at Google Health to align AI advancements in health care with the needs of communities including clinicians, patients, and their family members.

Wednesday, July 19, 2023, 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET

Achieving Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion through Decentralized Clinical Trials


Claudia Baquet, MD, MPH, PhD is a physician scientist and former professor of medicine and associate dean for policy and planning at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, where she had a grant portfolio exceeding $89 million. She has over 30 years of experience leading health disparities research, including the development of the NIH’s first extensive racial/ethnic descriptive cancer statistics program. Her current research examines the inclusion of diverse underrepresented communities - including racial/ethnic minorities and rural communities - in clinical research and biospecimen donation.

Kendal K. Whitlock, MPH is the head of digital optimization, real world evidence clinical trials at Walgreens. Ms. Whitlock has over 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, including clinical development and medical affairs, market access/business innovation and global clinical operations with a focus on digital clinical trials. Prior to her work at Walgreens, she worked on public health programs in academic medicine, county health departments and medical education agencies, with a focus on professional education for physicians, nurses, and pharmacists.

Wednesday, July 26, 2023, 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET

Overcoming Systemic Racism and Bias in Providing Quality Care

Moderator: Jasmine K. Cooper-Williams, PhD, MA is the director of qualitative research for the PATIENTS Program at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. Dr. Cooper-Williams leads qualitative patient-centered outcomes research, particularly centered on her research specializations of racialized health disparities; media, power, and discourse; and structured gender, economic, and racial inequality. She earned her MA and PhD in sociology at Michigan State University, along with a BS in African American studies, and concentrations in intersecting racial, gender, and economic inequalities in the US.


Malini B. DeSilva, MD, MPH is a research investigator and the co-director of the Pregnancy and Child Health Research Center at HealthPartners Institute. She is also an affiliated faculty at the University of Minnesota and a practicing physician for both the HealthPartners Travel & Tropical Medicine Department and the St. Paul-Ramsey County Tuberculosis Clinic. Health disparities issues have been at the center of both her clinical and research interests, particularly focused on non-English speaking populations, refugee and immigrant health, and vaccine preventable diseases.

Lou Hart, MD is a practicing pediatric hospitalist, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the Yale School of Medicine, and the medical director of health equity for Yale New Haven Health. Dr. Hart started his clinical leadership career as director of equity, quality & safety at NYC Health + Hospitals, our nation's largest comprehensive safety-net health care system. By leveraging quality improvement and patient safety frameworks and methodologies, he confronts systems-based drivers of inequity through a just culture approach.

Christopher King, PhD, FACHE is the inaugural dean of the Georgetown University School of Health. Prior to his role as dean, he served as chair of the Department of Health Systems Administration. In 2020, he authored Health Disparities in the Black Community: An Imperative for Racial Equity and most recently, his work on Race, Place and Structural Racism in the District of Columbia was published in Health Affairs – the nation’s leading peer-reviewed journal on health, health care, and policy.

Angela D. Thomas, DrPH, MPH, MBA is the vice president of health care delivery research at MedStar Health Research Institute. Dr. Thomas brings nearly 20 years of experience in the scientific and administrative leadership of translational and clinical research from federal and non-federal sponsors. Dr. Thomas is responsible for leading a team of experts to apply rigorous scientific methods to enable next-generation health care delivery through quality, safety, innovation, health economics, payment reform, outcomes, health services research, data science, and health equity.

Wednesday, August 2, 2023, 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET

Addressing Equity in Health Care Access and Affordability

Moderator: L. Marie Asad is a PATIENTS Professor and manager of community outreach & engagement at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois.


Elita Hill is a PATIENTS Professor, anti-racism advocate, and American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter. She has experiences and certifications that crisscross the fields of education, public health research, health care, mental health, racial equity, interpreting and translating, and training and facilitation. In her own words, “my heart is firmly grounded in advocating for those that society rebuffs, with an ideal of service for humanity.”

Joe Huang, MD, MBA is medical director, PSW. Founded in 1995, PSW has led health care innovation with the guiding principle of supporting the physician–patient relationship to improve quality of care. PSW’s diverse business offer includes successful management of delegated risk contracts, launching a Medicare Advantage plan, standing up a national leading ACO and building infrastructure to manage population health across all payer models.

Eva Stahl is the vice president of public policy at RIP Medical Debt, a 501(c)3 established for the sole purpose of reducing the medical debt burdens of low-income individuals with limited capacity to pay their medical bills by leveraging donations from people across the country. They have abolished $9,087,264,691 to date for over 6,077,311 people. Eva oversees development and implementation of RIP Medical Debt’s policy work. Prior to RIP, Eva was a leader in the health advocacy community for over a decade as director of policy & partnerships at Community Catalyst.  

Jared Walker is the founder of Dollar For, a national nonprofit that makes charity care known, easy, and fair. Dollar For educates patients about charity care, helps patients navigate the application process, and calls out hospitals that don’t follow regulations. Dollar For is entirely funded through philanthropic grants and donations and has helped eliminated over $19 million in medical bills for patients across the United States.

Wednesday, August 9, 2023, 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET

Health Literacy as Liberation and Suppression

Moderator: Tony Nguyen, MLIS, AHIP is the executive director of the Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM), R1. The Region 1 Regional Medical Library provides programs, services, and dedicated support for NNLM members in Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. In his role, he oversees the planning, implementation, management, and evaluation of the overall regional medical library program, the day-to-day operations of the office, and identifies regional opportunities to support NLM priorities and NNLM initiatives.


Tatiana Bustos, PhD is a researcher and facilitator for the Equity Capacity Building Hub in RTI’s Transformative Research Unit for Equity (TRUE). Dr. Bustos is a leader committed to elevating the strengths and concerns of underserved communities through participatory and equity centered approaches. She is a community psychologist trained in community-based participatory research, implementation science, culturally responsive evaluation, and mixed-methods research. Currently, she is an instructor for TRUE’s Equity Centered Transformative Research Foundations Training.  

Vu-An Foster, founder and executive director of Life After 2 Losses, started the nonprofit to educate women of all races and ethnicities on strategies to cope with pregnancy losses and miscarriages. She has served on multiple committees and advisory boards surrounding perinatal health and infant mortality, including the New Jersey Maternal Care Quality Collaborative (NJMCQC) with the New Jersey Department of Health, where she serves as the vice-chairperson. Vu-An is the former New Jersey ambassador with Count the Kicks.

Porcha Johnson is the executive director of Black Girl Health Foundation, a non-profit 501c3 that creates pathways to improve the health of black women and girls through education, engagement, and empowerment. Ms. Johnson is a health advocate whose strength is in motivating women to live healthier lifestyles. Her strong background in television news has helped her connect with women and girls all around the country through Black Girl Health.

Lillian Mehran, PhD, is the senior consultant for outreach and education at End of Life Choices New York (EOLCNY). EOLCNY is the leading organization in New York working to improve end of life care, expand end of life options, and promote health care equity at the end of life. As a community health educator, her work focuses on improving health literacy, promoting health equity, and creating programs and resources. Her work has served diverse populations including LGBTQ patients, caregivers, individuals with chronic health conditions, intimate partner violence survivors, and older adults in underserved communities.