2019 Sujal Symposium

Saturday, September 14, 2019 - 10:00am to 3:00pm
Michigan Medicine - BSRB


Organized by UMMS students, the annual Sujal M. Parikh Memorial Symposium for Health & Social Justice is set to take place on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019. With the theme "Advancing Health Through Advocacy," this year's event will examine the role that healthcare providers and researchers play in advocating for health equity and social justice at home and abroad. Attendance is free and lunch is provided.


Keynote Adress

Dr. Khaldun

Dr. Joneigh S. Khaldun was appointed this spring as the Chief Medical Executive and Chief Deputy Director for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Prior to that, the U-M alum served as Director and Health Officer at the Detroit Health Department and as its Medical Director.  She also served as Chief Medical Officer and Assistant Commissioner for Clinical Services at the Baltimore City Health Department. Dr. Khaldun has led several coordinated public health responses, including Detroit’s response to the largest Hepatitis A outbreak in Michigan history, vaccinating over 8,500 residents and establishing vaccination procedures in hospitals, clinics and social service agencies. She led Baltimore’s nationally recognized response to the opioid epidemic, expanding access to naloxone and treatment.


Poster Session

Original research that connects to the theme of "Advancing Health Through Advocacy" will be considered, including projects that aim to address health disparities and/or contribute to health equity globally or locally.  Submissions showcasing organizations/projects that build capacity, work with under-served populations, and/or highlight interdisciplinary efforts are also welcomed. Learn more and submit an abstract here.

Photo & Essay Competitions

Photo or Essay entries should address (or somehow connect with) the broader conference theme to examine the role of care providers as advocates for change. Photos will be displayed during the event. Authors of select essays may be asked to read their entry as part of the program. Top entries (to be judged by members of the organizing committee) will be awarded cash prizes. Learn more and submit and photo or essay here.

Med ECG Panel - Providing Students Leadership Opportunities to Positively Impact the Community

The UMMS Medical Educational Consulting Group, or Med ECG, is a student organization that seeks to (a) provide medical students with new extracurricular experiences enabling them to become future healthcare industry leaders, and (b) improve the community through active engagement with mission-minded healthcare organizations. Founded in 2017, Med ECG has partnered with a number of regional health organizations on projects from implementing scheduling reforms to reduce patient appointment no-shows and cancellations, to conducting research examining payer contracting and value-based care initiatives. Med ECG has also developed an elective for Michigan Medicine students to help prepare them to take leadership roles in health systems to effect change.

Faculty Panel - Connecting Research to Advocacy: Perspectives from Three Disciplines

Three U-M faculty members will discuss how their respective research addresses aspects of health disparities, and how they view their role as advocates for the communities they work with.

  • Yasamin Kusunoki, PhD, MPH, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Systems, Populations and Leadership at the University of Michigan School of Nursing and a Faculty Associate in the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research. Her research focuses on understanding sources of gender, racial/ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in sexual and reproductive health among young people. 
  • Dr. Tipirneni is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, Divisions of General Medicine and Hospital Medicine, and at the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation (IHPI) at the University of Michigan. She conducts health policy and health services research, including primary care practice design and Medicaid policy.
  • Clinical Associate Professor of Pharmacy Sarah Vordenberg, PharmD, MPH, explores optimization of medication use among older adults via de-prescribing and interprofessional community health engagement with residents of Ann Arbor.

Organized and run by UMMS students, the Sujal Symposium is named for Sujal Parikh, a UMMS student who passed away while doing health research in Uganda in 2010. Learn more here.