Health equity is the state in which everyone has a fair and just opportunity to attain their best health. Research has shown that the social determinants of health, the daily aspects of a person’s life that occur outside the doctor’s office, also affect well-being. Gender is another major factor, with care across the gender spectrum markedly impacted by the COVID pandemic. Local, state, and national policymakers and healthcare providers have begun setting goals to improve gender health equity and equality. What can be done close to home to improve the health and quality of life for ALL our residents?

The 2023 Illinois Rural Health Summit, jointly provided by SIU School of Medicine Department of Population Science and Policy and SIU School of Law, will focus on gender health equity and lead the conversation on how policy, research and clinical care can all work together to make strides towards achieving better gender health equity in rural Illinois. Health and law experts, academia, social service agencies and members of the community will discuss challenges and opportunities, share best practices, and identify policy changes that could lead to more equitable care for the most vulnerable among us.

Summit attendees will:
• Analyze policies contributing to gender bias and how to impact change 
• Identify the different types of gender health inequities and who might be affected
• Learn from individuals with lived experience on how to effectively communicate
• Develop solutions surrounding gender bias through policy, system, and environmental change
• Share best practices from various stakeholders which address gender health disparities
• Recognize the benefits of addressing gender health discrimination

This summit will be in-person and virtual. 


8 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast and Registration

8:30 a.m. - 8:45 a.m. Welcome and Overview 

  • Jerry Kruse, MD, MSPH, Dean and Provost, SIU Medicine 
  • Wiley Jenkins, PhD, Research Professor and Interim Chair, SIU Medicine Population Science and Policy 
  • Camille Davidson, JD, Dean and Professor, SIU School of Law

8:45 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. Setting The Stage: “Language Matters” 

  • Camille Davidson, JD, Dean and Professor, SIU School of Law 
  • Justine Newman, BS, Student, SIU School of Law

9:15 a.m. - 10 a.m. Keynote “The Impact of Gender Bias on Healthcare Across the Lifespan” 

  • Paula Basta, Director, IL Department on Aging 
  • Kim Hunt, Executive Director, Pride Action Tank and AIDS Foundation of Chicago 

10 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. Panel “Gender Affirming Care” 

  • Careyana Brenham, MD, Professor and Associate Chair for Graduate Medical Education, SIU Medicine   
    Lauren Beach, JD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Medical Social Sciences and Preventive Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Director, Advocate SGM Health Program, Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing, Northwestern University 

10:45 a.m. - 11 a.m. Break 

11 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. “Inclusion Education for Providers” 

  • Anthony Carney, DNP, ARPN, FNP-C, Assistant Professor, College of Nursing, University of Kentucky 

11:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. ”Stigma” 

  • Yamilé Molina, MS, MPH, PhD, Associate Professor, UIC School of Public Health, Associate Director Community Engaged Research, UI Health - Mile Square Health Centers, Associate, Director, Community Outreach, Engagement, and Health Equity, UI Cancer Center, Faculty Affiliate, UIC Center for Research on Women and Gender 

12:15 p.m.  - 1 p.m.  Lunch and Networking 

1 p.m.  - 1:45 p.m.  Keynote “Gender Health Equity” 

  • Brian C. Johnson, JD, MBA, CEO, Equality IL 

1:45 p.m.  - 2:30 p.m.  Panel “Stories From Those Who Lived It” 

  • Vidhya Prakash, MD, CMO, Associate Dean Clinical Affairs and Population Health, SIU Medicine, Director, Alliance for Women in Medicine and Science 
  • Sara Bowen-Lasisi, MPH, Assistant Director, Phoenix Center 
  • Michael Maginn, HIV Prevention Director, IL Public Health Association 

2:30 p.m.  - 2:45 p.m.  Break 

2:45 p.m.  - 3:15 p.m.  Panel: “Rural OB Closures” 

  • Lisa Masinter, MD, MPH, Deputy Director, Office of Women’s Health and Family Services, lL Department of Public Health 
  • Kelly Cunningham, Medicaid Administrator, Division of Medical Programs, IL Department of Healthcare and Family Services 

3:15 p.m.  - 3:45 p.m.  Open Discussion of Next Steps 

3:45 p.m.  - 4 p.m. Closing Remarks 

Wiley Jenkins, PhD, Research Professor and Interim Chair, SIU Medicine Population Science and Policy