Virtual Learning Hour Special Series: Centering Equity in the Response to COVID-19


May 8, 2020


  • Donald M. Berwick, MD, MPP, FRCP, President Emeritus and Senior Fellow, Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)
  • Derek Feeley, President and CEO, IHI
  • David Ansell, MD, MPH, Michael E Kelly Presidential Professor of Internal Medicine and Senior Vice President/Associate Provost for Community Health Equity, Rush University Medical Center
  • Ronald L. Copeland, MD, FACS, Chief Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Officer and Senior Vice President of National Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and Policy, Kaiser Permanente
  • Luella Toni Lewis, MD, Founder and President, Liberation Health Strategies
  • Moderated by: Madge Kaplan, Director of Communications, IHI


The impact of COVID-19 on communities of color in the US is dramatically and disproportionately affecting African Americans most of all.

The reasons are complex, with underlying health conditions (e.g., hypertension, diabetes) acting as one contributing factor. Yet, these health problems, public health experts say, largely reflect the history and ongoing realities of racism in the US that have created barriers to accessing quality health care and the conditions that can lead to better health.

What might it look like to embed and center equity in the response to the pandemic going forward? This Virtual Learning Hour:

  • Examines the latest data on the disproportionate COVID-19 death and infection rates among African Americans
  • Considers immediate actions to improve outcomes
  • Addresses inequities when it comes to testing, treatment, and prevention
  • Strategizes long-lasting solutions

Listeners also have the opportunity to share their questions, struggles, and bright spots they are seeing in this unprecedented time.

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