GSSW Science for Action Series: Social Work Grand Challenge - Close the Hea...

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University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work

2148 South High Street

Room 120

Denver, CO 80210

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The American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare is leading a groundbreaking initiative to champion social progress powered by science through the 12 Grand Challenges for Social Work.

To advance progress on Social Work's Grand Challenges, the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver has launched the Social Work Grand Challenges Science for Action Series. The series will address all 12 of the challenges over four years. Each event is hosted in Denver and made available to social work and allied fields via live streaming. We hope you will join us at our fifth event on February 27, addressing "Close the Health Gap."

Joining as our keynote speaker is Professor Michael Spencer, Ph.D., who is a UW Presidential Term Professor in Social Work and the director of Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and Oceanic Affairs at the University of Washington Indigenous Wellness Research Institute (IWRI). His research examines health and wellness among Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders and is focused on interventions that promote health among Native Hawaiians through indigenous practices and values. Currently, his funded research examines the added benefit of integrating Native Hawaiian healers into primary care in Waimanalo, O’ahu.

Two panels will address the Grand Challenge focusing on strategies to 1) promote policy and program responses to health equity in Colorado and 2) prepare the workforce for policy and program efforts aimed at health equity. Colorado state and local leaders will comprise the panels. An interactive discussion will follow each panel, including participants from the live stream as well as in the event audience.


1:00-1:05 pm - Welcome and Opening Remarks from Dean Amanda Moore McBride

1:05-1:10 pm – Overview of the Afternoon by Series Chair, Professor Jeff Jenson

1:10-1:15 pm – Remarks by Professor Michael Talamantes

1:15-1:45 pm - Keynote Address by Professor Michael Spencer, Ph.D., Presidential Term Professor, University of Washington

1:45-2:15 pm – Interactive Discussion

2:15-2:30 pm – Break

2:30-3:00 pm – Panel I: Policy and Program Responses to Achieve Health Equity: The Colorado Response

  • Moe Keller, Director of Advocacy, Mental Health Colorado
  • Maggie Gomez, Director of Community Organizing, Center for Health Progress
  • Web Brown, Director, Office of Health Equity

3:00-3:30 pm - Interactive Discussion

3:30-3:45 pm – Break

3:45-4:15 pm – Panel II: Preparing the Workforce for Policy and Practice Efforts Aimed at Promoting Health Equity

  • Ben Miller, Chief Strategy Officer, Well Being Trust
  • Erica Snow, Portfolio Director, Colorado Health Foundation
  • Sara Leahy, Director of Business Development, Colorado Rural Health Center

4:15-4:45 pm - Interactive Discussion

4:45-5:00 pm - Closing Remarks, Professors Michael Talamantes and Michael Spencer

5:00-6:00 pm - Networking Reception


What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?

Parking is located in Lot E of Evans Parking Garage. Free passes will be provided to registrants via email within one week of the event. Craig Hall is a 15-minute walk from the light rail.

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Please email

Where is the accessible entrance to Craig Hall?

Please note the accessible entrance to Craig Hall is located at the southeast side of the building. Follow the ramp from Evans Parking Garage.

Will the event be available virtually?

The event will be live streamed to Youtube.

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University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work

2148 South High Street

Room 120

Denver, CO 80210

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