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Health Inequities and Employment: The New Civil Rights Struggle for Justice

A Message from Sidney D. Watson, director of the Center for Health Law Studies:
Out of an abundance of caution, the 32nd annual SLU Health Law Symposium is canceled. With the public health threat posed by the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) we do not want to put anyone at risk by hosting a large gathering.

We will miss seeing our many alums and friends for whom this is an annual event. We will miss meeting you if this was going to be your first time joining us. We will miss introducing all of you to our health law students, an amazing group of young professionals, interested in improving health and health care.

We will especially miss the opportunity to host the launch of SLU’s new Institute for Healing Justice and Equity, co-founded by Prof. Ruqaiijah Yearby. The Institute is led by a multi-disciplinary group of faculty and is transforming SLU into the epicenter of equitable community building and knowledge curation related to healing from social injustice, trauma and oppression. We encourage you to learn more about the Institute here.


March 26-27, 2020 | John K. Pruellage Courtroom | Saint Louis University School of Law
12.6 Missouri CLE credits available

The proceedings of the symposium are published in the Journal of Health Law and Policy.

Symposium Abstract

The U.S. government, health care entities​, and health care providers have begun to recognize that social conditions, such as housing, education​ and employment, impact a person’s health and well-being. Although housing and education practices from the Jim Crow era to the present have been linked to health inequities, research regarding the link between employment and health inequities is sparse.

This two-day symposium will convene scholars, lawyers, community organizations and community advocates working on issues concerning employment and health inequities to begin connecting employment practices to health outcomes. Information garnered from the symposium will be used to create a work plan for utilizing health research and civil rights laws to address health inequities.

The proceedings of this 32nd Annual Health Law Symposium will be published in the Saint Louis University Journal of Health Law & Policy.

Panelists and Discussion Group Leaders
  • Dr. Amani M. Allen, Executive Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Community Health Sciences and Epidemiology, University California Berkley School of Public Health
  • Dr. Gretchen Arnold, Associate Professor and Department Chair, Women’s and Gender Studies, SLU College of Arts and Sciences
  • Dr. Kira Banks, Co-Founder, the Institute for Healing Justice and Equity and Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Saint Louis University College of Arts and Sciences
  • Dr. Cayrn Bell, Assistant Professor, Department of African American Studies, University of Maryland
  • Dr. Rhonda BeLue, Professor and Department Chair, Department of Health Management and Policy, SLU College for Public Health and Social Justice
  • Rebeccah Bennett, Founder, Emerging Wisdom
  • Samantha Bent Weber, Program Analyst, Public Health Law Program – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Dr. Khiara M. Bridges, Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley, School of Law
  • Dr. Michelle L. Ceynar, Professor of Psychology and Chair of the Faculty, Pacific Lutheran University
  • Dr. David H. Chae, Human Sciences Associate Professor & Director of the Society, Health and Racial Equity Lab, Auburn University
  • Brietta Clark, Associate Dean for Faculty, Professor of Law and J. Rex Dibble Fellow, Loyola Law School
  • Dr. Yvette Cozier, Associate Professor of Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health
  • Mary Crossley, Professor of Law, University of Pittsburgh School of Law
  • Robert Gatter, Professor of Law and Member of the Center for Health Law Studies, Saint Louis University School of Law
  • Charysse Gibson, Graduate Research Assistant, Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice
  • Dr. Keon Gilbert, Associate Professor of Behavioral Science and Health Education, Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice; Co-Founder, The Institute for Healing Justice and Equity
  • D. Wendy Greene, Professor of Law, Drexel University, Thomas R. Kline School of Law
  • Tristin Green, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Professor of Law and Dean’s Circle Scholar, University of San Francisco School of Law
  • Donna Harper, Sedey Harper Westhoff, P.C.
  • Ariane Hegewisch, Program Director, Institute for Women’s Policy Research
  • Dr. Amber Johnson, Co-Founder, the Institute for Healing Justice and Equity and Associate Professor, Department of Communication, Saint Louis University College of Arts and Sciences
  • Brittany “Tru” Kellman, CEO & Principal, Jaama Birthing Village
  • Ashlee A. Lambert, Diversity Fellow, Department of Communication, Saint Louis University College of Arts and Sciences
  • Dorianne Mason, Director of Health Equity, Reproductive Rights and Health, National Women’s Law Center
  • Dr. Heather McLaughlin, Associate Professor of Sociology, Oklahoma State University
  • Dr. Monica McLemore, Associate Professor, Family Health Care Nursing, University of California, San Francisco School of Nursing
  • Jeanette Mott Oxford, Executive Director, Empower Missouri
  • Elizabeth Pendo, Joseph J. Simeone Professor of Law and Member of the Center for Health Law Studies, Saint Louis University School of Law
  • Nicole Porter, Professor of Law, University of Toledo School of Law
  • Tyra Robinson, Attorney, Public Justice Center
  • Dariely Rodriguez, Director, Economic Justice Project, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
  • David Rodwin, Attorney, Public Justice Center
  • Ana Santos Rutschman, Assistant Professor of Law and Member of the Center for Health Law Studies, Saint Louis University School of Law
  • Elinor Simmons, Home Health Care Worker, SEIU Healthcare for IL, IN, MO, and KS
  • Peggie Smith, Vice Dean for Academic Affairs and Charles F. Nagel Professor of Employment and Labor Law, Washington University, St. Louis
  • Sandra Sperino, Judge Jospeh P. Kinneary Professor of Law, University of Cincinnati, College of Law
  • Dr. Katie Stamatakis, Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice
  • Nicole Strombom, Health Law and Policy Fellow and Project Administrator, Saint Louis University School of Law
  • Dr. Candice Thomas, Assistant Professor, Industrial-Organizational Psychology Program, Saint Louis University
  • ShaRhonda Thompson, Generate Health STL
  • Dr. Christopher Tinson, Associate Professor, Department of History; Director, African American Studies, Saint Louis University College of Arts and Sciences
  • Denise Vaughn, Home Health Worker
  • Richard von Glahn, Missouri Jobs with Justice
  • Sidney D. Watson, Director of the Center for Health Law Studies and Jane and Bruce Robert Professor of Law, Saint Louis University School of Law
  • Deborah Widiss, Associate Dean for Research, Professor of Law and Ira C. Batman Faculty Fellow, Indiana Univ. Bloomington School of Law
  • Ruqaiijah Yearby, Professor of Law and Member of the Center for Health Law Studies, Saint Louis University School of Law; Executive Director, the Institute for Healing Justice and Equity, Saint Louis University

SCHEDULE

Day 1: March 26, 2020

Time Event Speakers
9-9:20 a.m. Keynote Speaker Rebeccah Bennett, Founder, Emerging Wisdom
9:20-9:45 a.m. Welcome

William P. Johnson, Dean and Professor of Law, Saint Louis University School of Law

Ruqaiijah Yearby, Professor of Law and Member of the Center for Health Law Studies, Saint Louis University School of Law; Executive Director, the Institute for Healing Justice and Equity, Saint Louis University

9:45-11 a.m. Panel #1: Work Culture and Limits on Women’s Autonomy
(Moderator, Sandra Sperino, Judge Jospeh P. Kinneary Professor of Law, University of Cincinnati, College of Law)
This panel will explore the effects of discrimination on women’s health and well-being, both in terms of conduct that happens in the workplace, but also in terms of how workplace rules, both formal and informal, have spillover effects on mental and physical health.

Wendy Greene, Frances Lewis Scholar in Residence, Washington and Lee University, School of Law

Dr. Heather McLaughlin, Associate Professor of Sociology, Oklahoma State University

Jeanette Mott Oxford, Executive Director, Empower Missouri

Dr. Yvette Cozier, Associate Professor of Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health

11-11:15 a.m. Break  
11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

Discussion Group for Panel #1

  • Question 1: Based on the panel discussion, what is one solution to address the problem?
  • Question 2: How do we implement the solution?
  • Question 3: What are the ways we can work together to implement the solution?
 
12:30-1:20 p.m. Keynote Lunch Panel of Community Members
(Moderator, Ruqaiijah Yearby, Professor of Law and Member of the Center for Health Law Studies, Saint Louis University School of Law; Executive Director, the Institute for Healing Justice and Equity, Saint Louis University)

Richard Von Glahn, Missouri Jobs with Justice

Elinor Simmons, Home Health Care Worker, SEIU Healthcare for IL, IN, MO, and KS

Brittany “Tru” Kellman, CEO & Principal, Jaama Birthing Village

ShaRhonda Thompson, Generate Health STL

1:30-1:30 p.m. Break  
1:30-2:55 p.m.

Panel #2: Accommodating Women in the Workplace
(Organizer and Moderator, Elizabeth Pendo, Joseph J. Simeone Professor of Law and Member of the Center for Health Law Studies, Saint Louis University School of Law)
This panel will explore the diversity of approaches to accommodation of disability, pregnancy, breastfeeding, caregiving responsibilities, and other experiences in the workplace and their connection to the health and wellbeing of women.

Dr. Candice Thomas, Assistant Professor, Industrial-Organizational Psychology Program, Saint Louis University

Nicole Porter, Professor of Law, University of Toledo School of Law

Deborah Widiss, Associate Dean for Research, Professor of Law and Ira C. Batman Faculty Fellow, Indiana Univ. Bloomington School of Law

Donna Harper, Sedey Harper Westhoff, P.C.

2:55-3:10 p.m. Break  
3:10-4:10 p.m.

Discussion Group for Panel #2

  • Question 1: Based on the panel discussion, what is one solution to address the problem?
  • Question 2: How do we implement the solution?
  • Question 3: What are the ways we can work together to implement the solution?
 
4:10-4:30 p.m. Review Discussion Group Reports and Closing  
Day 1 proceedings

Day 2: Friday, March 27, 2020

Time Event Speakers
9-9:10 a.m. Introduction of the Institute for Healing Justice and Equity

Dr. Kira Banks, Associate Professor of Psychology, Saint Louis University College of Arts and Sciences; Co-Founder, The Institute for Healing Justice and Equity

Dr. Amber Johnson, Associate Professor of Communication, Saint Louis University College of Arts and Sciences; Co-Founder, The Institute for Healing Justice and Equity

Dr. Keon Gilbert, Associate Professor of Behavioral Science and Health Education, Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice; Co-Founder, The Institute for Healing Justice and Equity

Ruqaiijah Yearby, Professor of Law and Member of the Center for Health Law Studies, Saint Louis University School of Law; Executive Director, The Institute for Healing Justice and Equity, Saint Louis University

9:10-9:50 a.m. Discrimination, Stress, and Health Outcomes
(Moderator, Dr. Keon Gilbert, Associate Professor of Behavioral Science and Health Education, Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice; Co-Founder, The Institute for Healing Justice and Equity)
This opening session will discuss the ways that discrimination and stress impact health outcomes. The panelists also will discuss ways that women have been able to cope in the face of discrimination and stress.

Dr. David H. Chae, Human Sciences Associate Professor & Director of the Society, Health and Racial Equity Lab, Auburn University

Dr. Amani Allen, Executive Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Community Health Sciences and Epidemiology, UC Berkley School of Public Health

9:50-11:05 a.m. Panel #3: Discrimination in Health Care: Unequal Wages and Access to Care
(Organizer and Moderator, Ruqaiijah Yearby, Professor of Law and Member of the Center for Health Law Studies, Saint Louis University School of Law; Executive Director, the Institute for Healing Justice and Equity, Saint Louis University)
This panel will explore experiences of discrimination in the health care system that causes unequal wages and access to health care for low wage health care workers. The panel will also discuss how experiences of discrimination have been associated with health disparities in breast cancer, hypertension, and mental health.

Denise Vaughn, Home Health Worker

David Rodwin, Attorney, Public Justice Center

Peggie Smith, Vice Dean for Academic Affairs and Charles F. Nagel Professor of Employment and Labor Law, Washington University, St. Louis

Ariane Hegewisch, Program Director, Institute for Women’s Policy Research

11:05-11:20 a.m. Break  
11:20 a.m.-12:20 p.m.

Discussion Group for Panel #3

  • Question 1: Based on the panel discussion, what is one solution to address the problem?
  • Question 2: How do we implement the solution?
  • Question 3: What are the ways we can work together to implement the solution?
 
12:35-1:40 p.m. Lunch and Keynote Panel with Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded Project: Governmental Use of Racial Equity Tools
  • Ruqaiijah Yearby, Professor of Law and Member of the Center for Health Law Studies, Saint Louis University School of Law; Executive Director, The Institute for Healing Justice and Equity, Saint Louis University (Co-PI)
  • Sidney D. Watson, Director of the Center for Health Law Studies and Jane and Bruce Robert Professor of Law, Saint Louis University School of Law (Co-PI)
  • Dr. Keon Gilbert, Associate Professor of Behavioral Science and Health Education, Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice; Co-Founder, The Institute for Healing Justice and Equity (Investigator)
  • Dr. Katie Stamatakis, Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice (Investigator)
  • Nicole Strombom, Health Law and Policy Fellow and Project Administrator, Saint Louis University School of Law
  • Charysse Gibson, Graduate Research Assistant, Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice
1:40-2 p.m. Lessons Learned, Next Steps, and Closing  

Day 2 proceedings