FEB 25, Whitehouse Discussion, LIVE @ #MinorityHealth

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Monday, February 25, 2013 the White House will hold a Townhall discussion, “Looking Ahead to 2014: How the Affordable Care Act Benefits the African American Community.” The event will begin at 9:00 am with opening remarks, followed by two panel discussions and one break out session. It will be ‘livestreamed‘ on www.whitehouse.gov/live and www.hhs.gov/live.

The Townhall will be an interactive, open dialogue between administration officials, the media, and stakeholders. They will discuss what African American communities need to know about getting covered, staying healthy, and the role each of us can play in ensuring that happens.

Panelists:
Caya Lewis, Counselor to the Secretary for Science and Public Health, US Department of Health and Human Services

caya_lewisCaya B. Lewis is the Counselor to the Secretary for Science and Public Health at the Department of Health & Human Services. In this role, she provides advice to the HHS Secretary on a range of public health and science issues and helps to develop and lead Administration initiatives related to programs administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Health Resources and Services Administration, Indian Health Service, National Institutes of Health, and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health.

Prior to assuming this position in the Obama Administration, Ms. Lewis was the Chief of Staff for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). As Chief of Staff, she served as primary advisor to the CMS Administrator and as a liaison between the Administrator, CMS staff, the United States Department of Health and Human Services, and The White House. Before joining CMS, Ms. Lewis was Director of Outreach and Public Health Policy with the Office of Health Reform at HHS.

She also formerly worked for Senator Edward M. Kennedy as the Deputy Staff Director for Health for the U.S. Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee, and as a Senior Policy Analyst and Director of the Barbara Jordan Health Policy Scholars Program for the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. She graduated from Spelman College and from the University of Michigan School of Public Health with a Master of Public Health degree.

E-mail: Counselors@hhs.gov
Phone: (202) 690-7000

Dr. J. Nadine Gracia, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health & Director of the Office of Minority Health, US Department of Health and Human Services

NadineGraciaDr. J. Nadine Gracia is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health and the Director of the Office of Minority Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The Office of Minority Health is dedicated to improving the health of racial and ethnic minority populations through the development of health policies and programs that will help eliminate health disparities.

A pediatrician with epidemiology training, Dr. Gracia has served in academic medicine and government. From 2010 to 2011, she was the Chief Medical Officer for the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH). She provided programmatic and policy leadership and coordination of a portfolio that included child and adolescent health, climate change, disaster preparedness, environmental health, global health, Haiti recovery, and the White House Council on Women and Girls. Most recently, she led the development of HHS’s 2012 environmental justice strategy, which addresses the disproportionate exposure of minority and low-income communities and Indian tribes to environmental hazards and promotes healthy community environments.

In 2008-2009, Dr. Gracia was one of fourteen White House Fellows and was assigned to HHS, where she worked in OASH and the Office of the Secretary. During the last two months of the fellowship, she was a policy advisor in the Office of the First Lady, assisting in the development of the childhood obesity initiative.

Previously, Dr. Gracia was a clinical instructor and general pediatrics research fellow at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, conducting research on community risk factors for violence. She received a Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology from the University of Pennsylvania and a medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Dr. Gracia completed pediatrics residency and served as Chief Pediatrics Resident at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. She is board-certified in pediatrics and is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Dr. Gracia is an advocate for minority and vulnerable populations and lectures nationwide on health disparities and children’s health. She is a National President Emeritus of the Student National Medical Association and a past Postgraduate Physician Trustee of the National Medical Association. A first-generation Haitian-American, Dr. Gracia earned a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in French at Stanford University.

Request Dr. Gracia Attend Special Events and Speaking Engagements

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Mayra Alvarez, Director of Public Health Policy, Office of Health Reform, US Department of Health & Human Services

Mayra-Alvarez_HHS-Photo-2011160X120-114x150Ms. Mayra E. Alvarez is the Director of Public Health Policy in the Office of Health Reform at the Department of Health and Human Services, where she has primary oversight responsibility for coordinated and timely implementation of the public health, prevention, and healthcare workforce policy provisions in the Affordable Care Act. Previously, Ms. Alvarez served as a Legislative Assistant for Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), the Majority Whip of the U.S. Senate, where she advised the Senator and helped develop his legislative agenda on health issues.

Prior to working in the office of Senator Durbin, she served as a Legislative Assistant for then-Congresswoman Hilda L. Solis, the chair of the Health Task Force for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Ms. Alvarez began her work in Washington D.C. as a David A. Winston Health Policy Fellow in the office of then-Senator Barack Obama. She completed her graduate education at the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her undergraduate education at the University of California at Berkeley.

Anton Gunn, Director of External Affairs in the Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

agunn-bioAnton J. Gunn is the Director of External Affairs in the Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs (IEA) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. As Director of External Affairs, Mr. Gunn serves as the principal advisor for cultivating and maintaining relationships with external stakeholders for Secretary Sebelius. Mr. Gunn represents the Secretary in direct official dealings with national, state, and local external organizations.

Before serving as the Director of External Affairs, Mr. Gunn served as the Regional Director in the Region IV Office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, covering Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina & Tennessee. Mr. Gunn represented the Secretary in direct official dealings with federal, state, local and tribal government organizations, and other external partners in the Region.

Before his federal service, Anton represented District 79 in the South Carolina House of Representatives, which consists of Richland and Kershaw Counties. Elected in 2008, Representative Gunn was the first African American in history to represent his district, and served on the Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee, which handles health care-related legislation. Rep. Gunn was the author and lead sponsor of legislation creating the General Assembly’s first and only Joint Electronic Health Information Study Committee to examine the feasibility of increasing the use of Health Information Technology in South Carolina. Rep. Gunn also served the President and CEO of a public affairs and motivational speaking firm called Top Gunn Associates. He previously served as the Executive Director of South Carolina Fair Share, a non-profit consumer advocacy group focused on health care reform. He was a community relations associate for the Alliance for South Carolina’s Children, working with community based organizations across the state on Medicaid expansion and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. In 2007, he received the Families USA Consumer Health Care Advocate of the Year award. Anton received a BA and Masters of Social Work from the University of South Carolina.

Acacia Salatti, Acting Director of the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, US Department of Health & Human Service

acacia09_234hs_salatti_Acacia Bamberg Salatti serves as Acting Director of the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships (The Partnership Center). She was appointed by the White House to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in 2009.

Salatti comes to this position from the office of Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn, where she was the Director for the House Democratic Faith Working Group (HDFWG). She also handled Congressman Clyburn’s education and agriculture portfolios. In addition, Salatti was also responsible for her agriculture, interior, and foreign operations appropriation bills.

Salatti holds a Masters in Divinity and a certificate in Black Church Studies from Candler School of Theology at Emory University. She is also a former Adjunct Professor of Religion at Columbia College, her alma mater.

As Acting Director of the HHS Partnership Center, Salatti’s portfolio focuses on minority health outreach and health disparity reduction strategies.

Share the link to the livestream and tweet about the Townhall using the hashtag #MinorityHealth.

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