A Look Back and Forward for Health Equity at the 3rd Annual RARE Health Equity Forum

August 11, 2023

The 2023 RARE Health Equity Forum will be held in San Diego, California, September 18 and 19.

by Sravanthi Meka

The keynote speakers at the 3rd Annual RARE Health Equity Forum, Mario Estevez and Esther Lucero, will both examine the historical aspects of racial and cultural inequities in healthcare, and what the path forward may look like. 

Mario Estevez of the Racial Equity Institute will focus on how and why racial inequities have plagued the healthcare system, and the attempts that have been made to rectify the gaps. Esther Lucero of the Seattle Indian Health Board will discuss how a history of genocide and biological warfare using disease against American Indian and Alaska Native populations have laid a foundation for the need for trust and respecting cultural traditions within the healthcare needs of these groups.

Please see the keynote session descriptions below:

Keynote Address: Racism – A Historical Foundation for Systemic Disparities
Mario Estevez
Organizer / Trainer, Racial Equity Institute

Racial inequities persist in all of our systems and institutions, including the healthcare system.  This talk will focus on the historic roots of those inequities, and the role the scientific community played in cementing those disparities.  Although attempts have been made to address these gaps in health outcomes, few–and limited–gains have been made.  We will examine these flawed methods and consider ways in which we can become more effective systems-change-agents.

Keynote Address: Disease, Distrust, Disparities and Direction: American Indian and Alaska Native socio-political histories, historical trauma, and a pathway to wellness.
Esther Lucero, MPP
President and CEO, Seattle Indian Health Board
American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) peoples have been targets of genocide since early European arrival. Some of the strategies included the use of disease as biological warfare. It is important to understand this history and the continued effects of historical trauma to implement true systems of equity. Cultural respect and healing are key to working effectively in AI/AN people. It is integral to building trust and respect for traditional epistemologies, which lay the foundation to build culturally-attuned, effective systems for prevention, early intervention and care.

The RARE Health Equity Forum convenes stakeholders in the rare disease space to identify ways in which we can better serve marginalized populations within the rare disease community. In its third year, the event will be focused on the theme of “Equity in Action”. This two-day event runs September 18 and 19 at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina on Harbor Island Drive in San Diego. RARE Health Equity Forum will kick off Global Genes’ Week in RARE, and will be followed by the RARE Advocacy Summit, September 19 through 21.

Register for the RARE Health Equity Forum Today!

More about RARE Health Equity Forum

More about RARE Advocacy Summit

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