Health Justice and Belonging Conference will Gather Diverse Group to Collaborate on Health Care Solutions

Health Justice and Belonging 2024 Conference

For the fifth year, the WSU Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine is hosting the Health Justice and Belonging Conference on February 7 and 8. The free, two-day virtual conference is designed to build a bridge between people, communities, and health care. Organizers want you to know, it is not only for educators and health care students and professionals.

“The conference is meant to be a convening for people across the state of Washington and beyond to come together to strategize, collaborate, and identify the ways we can achieve optimal health for every person in the state of Washington and beyond,” said David Garcia, MEd, associate dean for community, health equity, and belonging. “We recognize that different opinions, different perspectives, different experiences, and different areas of study are required if we’re ever going to make progress.”

The conference is intentionally free and virtual, to make it easier for more people to attend.

“We removed the barriers for transportation and things like that so people can join from their office, from their bedroom, or from their house,” added Kolloh Nimley, health justice and belonging strategist. “We just really want to make sure that people have access to this information and give us their contribution.”

As a community-based medical school, the College of Medicine is committed to close connections with communities across Washington and the people living in them. Organizers say conferences like this one are critical to ensure we hear from community members and allow them a chance to inform the processes within the college as we prepare health care professionals for the future.

The theme this year is Our New Normal. The conference will explore the modern realities people face and the role of health justice and belonging in ensuring high-quality and affordable health care for all.

“When we consider the theme of Our New Normal, we recognize that we find ourselves at a time where things are still upside down. Yet, this is the future,” said Esteban Herevia, narratives of belonging coordinator. “We need to be able to address inequity and injustice. We have to shift the ways that we care and the ways that we show up to reflect the realities of each of us.”

Speakers from the College of Medicine and across the nation will join us to share their research and perspectives on health justice and belonging. Click the link below for a complete list of sessions and speakers. You can also register if you haven’t done so yet.

Organizers add that the conference is about giving all people the tools they need to shift the ways we provide and receive care. They’ve been pleased with the turnout in the past and expect the trend to continue.

“When we looked at who attended last year, we were just thrilled that it was reaching the people that we were hoping would attend,” said Garcia. “And that’s the everyday person who is interested in figuring out how they can live longer and healthier lives.”

If you would like to claim Continuing Medical Education (CME) credit for your participation in the conference, you can find instructions here.