Planning committee

Collaborative Planning

The 15 member non-profit Planning Committee is dedicated to reducing health disparities and promoting health equity through the domains of research, prevention, clinical care, and policy.  

All Planning Committee members contribute equally to the formation of the conference. However, one organization serves as the strategic and logistical lead for 3 years, and then will rotate to a planning member only as another organization on the Planning Committee, allowing for greater collaboration, distribution of responsibility, and sustainability. 

Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care/Mercy Care Plan* is serving as the lead organization for 2017-2019 (Mayo Clinic served as lead organization in 2014-2016). Planning Committee members include:

Angela Allen, PhD, RN, CRRN (Banner Alzheimer's Institute)  

Kim Barnes, MPH (University of Arizona College of Public Health)  

Lauriane Bellot-Hanson (Arizona Chapter - American Academy of Pediatrics)

Chara Chamie, MPH (Mayo Clinic)  

Hong Chartrand, MPA, MA (Arizona Department of Health Services)  

Shayna Diamond (Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association)  

Agbenu Ejembi,  MPH, MSN, RN (HonorHealth)

Jonathon Gonzales, MPA (Phoenix Children's Hospital)

Shawna Green,  MFT, MAOM, ITIL-Certified (Dignity Health)   

Lisa Hardy, MA, PhD (Northern Arizona University)  

William Lester, MPH (Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care/Mercy Care Plan)*

Susan Levy (Native Health)  

Toni Means, MBA, HCM (Arizona Department of Health Services)  

Farhia Omar, MPH (Mayo Clinic)  

Teresa Peña, M.Ed., CHI (Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care/Mercy Care Plan)*  

Kate Whelihan, MPH, CPH (A.T. Still University)  

Wendy Wolfersteig, PhD (ASU Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center)  

Special Advisor: Charlton Wilson, MD (Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care/Mercy Care Plan)

About Us


  • Understand current health equity research, outreach, and policies taking place in Arizona
  • Connect with partners who are working in the field of health equity or interested in reducing health disparities


  1. Raise awareness about health equity and disparities through topics focused on research, clinical applications, behavioral health, prevention, public health, and policy
  2. Provide meaningful networking opportunities
  3. Leave with clear outcomes, new partnerships, and new ideas for research
  4. Identify paths to improve community health and create systems change

Event includes:

  • Local and nationally recognized speakers
  • Innovative networking
  • Breakout tracks: Research, Prevention, Clinical, and Policy
  • Posters


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