2021 Health Summit Series


With too much good content to share in one day, we are presenting this year's Health Summit as a seven-part learning series!


Join us as we explore this year's theme... 

Zoom Out: A Systems Approach to Health, Equity, and Community Change

During each of these sessions, we will rethink traditional approaches to health and community development and explore new strategies for engaging communities, working collaboratively, and changing policy in ways that center equity and create sustainable impact. By zooming out, we will better understand how individual programs interact with broader systems and where to direct our collaborative efforts to create the most effective changes.

This series was developed with feedback from the 2020 Health Summit when participants identified topics in which they were most interested in learning more, including racism as a public health crisis, authentic community engagement, and the intersection between health, education, and economic development.


Series Schedule:

August 2021: Series Kick Off - Collaboration and Systems Change for Youth Safety and Empowerment | Watch the recording

For our first session, we will be joined by Robert David, Youth Gang and Violence Prevention Coordinator, who has spent the last several years working in the Danville community to build relationships and initiatives that help meet the needs of the community with a larger focus on collaboration and systems change. This opening session will ground us in systems thinking by helping us zoom out and identify the ways that all of our work connects across sectors.

Speakers Include:

  • Robert David, Youth Gang and Violence Prevention Coordinator


Recognizing Racism as a Public Health Crisis | Watch the recording

Join us for our next session of the Health Summit Series as we learn about Racism as a Public Health Crisis. This discussion will be led by Dr. Kent Key, our Keynote speaker from last year's Health Summit, who will help us dive deeper into the intersection of racism and public health. Dr. Key will share his own experience working with community leaders in Flint, Michigan to demonstrate the significance of making this declaration and why it is an important first step in building healthy, equitable, and just communities. He will also describe how his community is operationalizing their resolution and taking action to improve health equity and social justice.

Speakers Include:

  • Dr. Kent Key, Director of Youth Programs for the Pediatric Public Health Initiative and Community Engaged Research and Outreach Specialist at Michigan State University's College of Human Medicine Learn more about Dr. Key here!

Want to be involved in addressing racism as a public health crisis in the Dan River Region? Join the Social Equity Network.


Principles of Authentic Community Engagement: Building Trust to Promote Community Health | Watch the recording

In this session, we will learn why building trust is essential for promoting community health. And to make any meaningful changes in community-level health, we have to move at the speed of trust. The panel discussion will feature several local representatives of the healthcare sector who are working to build relationships and trust at both the individual and institutional levels.

Speakers include:

  • Shani Gaylord, Director of Community Programs at PATHS
  • John Kent, CFO of SOVAH Health
  • Leslie Sturdivant, SOVAH Health



Principles of Authentic Community Engagement: Centering Equity | Watch the recording

In this session, we will continue to explore the principles of authentic community engagement, this time diving deeper into equity and how traditional engagement practices often create inequitable outcomes. We will also discuss methods for intentionally centering equity in our engagement processes.

Speakers include:

  • Danielle Montague, Health and Wellness Coordinator for Danville Parks and Recreation & Equity Lead for The Health Collaborative 
  • Nik Belanger, Organizing Director for Virginia Organizing


2021 Health Equity Report Presentation | Watch the recording

In this session of the Health Summit Series, we will present the findings from the 2021 Health Equity Report! After more than a year of engaging our communities and collecting data, our research partners at UNCG’s Center for Housing and Community Studies have nearly completed their comprehensive analysis of the state of health and health equity in the Dan River Region. They will share key maps and data as well as common themes from local interviews, focus groups, and surveys – all providing critical insight into the many factors that influence our community’s health.

The information in this report covers a broad range of data and metrics including health outcomes, economic conditions, educational attainment, built environment, poverty, and the distribution of opportunities – relevant to anyone living or working in this region. The presentation will be followed by a discussion on how we can use this data to guide our collaborative work going forward.

Speakers include:

  • Dr. Stephen Sills, CHCS Director
  • Bruce Rich, MPA, Project Director
  • Meredith DiMattina, GISP, GIS Analyst


Principles of Authentic Community Engagement - Inclusive Methods of Community Outreach | Watch the recording

The next session of the Health Summit Series will continue to highlight the principles of authentic community engagement, this time with a special focus on community outreach. To create real community change, we need to include as many people as possible in the process. However, rural isolation, language and cultural barriers, historical distrust, and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to make outreach especially difficult. In this session, we will hear from community leaders who have developed creative approaches to make sure all residents are meaningfully included in their efforts.

Speakers include:

  • Billy Wooten, Director of Averett University’s Center for Community Engagement and Career Competitiveness
  • Cori Lindsay, Director of Economic Development for Caswell County
  • Rhonda Griffin, Director of Gunn Memorial Library, Yanceyville, NC


Principles of Authentic Community Engagement: Using Data | Watch the recording

In this second to last session of the Health Summit Series, we will discuss data and what it means in the context of community engagement. Our panelists will help us better understand how data can be used to support the engagement process and also to ensure that implementation truly reflects the community’s input.

Speakers Include:

  • Evelyn Riley, Executive Director of the Dan River Region Nonprofit Network
  • Joshua Hearne, Spiritual Director of Grace and Main Fellowship and Executive Director of Third Chance Ministries