Health & Well-Being

Disparities in Women’s Health: Unspoken and New Support Systems

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While the work to increase health equity for all is critical, women’s health in particular is a top concern. In the U.S., women’s health ranks the lowest among other high-income countries, and it has the highest rates of maternal mortality as well as some of the highest rates of breast cancer. Hosted by the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, this panel explores women’s health concerns in our current climate as well as the unspoken and new support systems for them.

The webinar features Sarah Gehlert, dean and Ernest P. Larson Professor of Health, Ethnicity and Poverty of the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work; Tyan Parker Dominguez, clinical professor; La Shawn M. Paul, founder and lead clinician of Social Work Diva; and Julie Cederbaum, associate professor.

Who Will Benefit

– Those looking to uncover the current health challenges and concerns that women face today
– Social work professionals who want to dive deeper into the limitations of health insurance and coverage in the U.S.
– Those looking to understand what policy changes are needed to address disparities in women’s health

About Our Featured Faculty

Sarah Gehlert, PhD, comes to USC after having served as dean of the College of Social Work at the University of South Carolina and University of South Carolina Educational Foundation Distinguished Professor. Prior to her move to the University of South Carolina, Gehlert served as the E. Desmond Lee Endowed Professor of Racial and Ethnic Diversity at Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL) , where she was the co-program leader of the Prevention and Control Program of the Siteman Cancer Center, associate director of the Transdisciplinary Center on Energetics and Cancer (TREC), training program director of the Program for the Elimination of Cancer Disparities (PECaD) and co-chair of the Center for Community Engaged Research at the WUSTL Institute for Clinical and Translational Sciences (a CTSA).

Gehlert’s publications focus on social environmental influences on health, especially the health of vulnerable populations. She studies neighborhood and community factors as they effect psychosocial functioning, gene expression and tumorigenesis in breast cancer. She currently is a member of the Council for Extramural Grants at the American Cancer Society and the Steering Committee of the California Breast Cancer Research Program. Gehlert currently serves as president of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare and served as president of the Society for Social Work and Research. She has served on the editorial boards of several journals within the profession. She is a fellow in The Academy for Transdisciplinary Learning and Advanced Science. She was named the Public Health Social Worker of the Year in 2018 by the American Public Health Association.

Julie Cederbaum is an associate professor in the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. Her work focused on the impact of childhood adversity and family processes on the well-being youth. Using a dyad and family systems lens, her research explores the strengths and challenges experienced by diverse families, and ways in which parenting processes and behaviors (i.e. parent–child communication, parental monitoring, parent–child relationship, and parental role modeling) and positively influence mental health, reproductive health, and substance use behaviors in children, adolescents and young adults. Professor Cederbaum serves as the current Chair of the Public Health Social Work section of the American Public Health Association, and serves as the discipline director for two Maternal Child Health-funded programs at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles: Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (CA-LEND) and Pediatric Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine Center (PPSMC).

Tyan Parker Dominguez, PhD, MPH, MSW is clinical professor and Chair of the Master of Social Work program at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. Her research focuses on racial disparities in adverse birth outcomes and infant mortality, with an emphasis on racism as a social determinant of health. Parker Dominguez has served on the U.S. Secretary of Health’s Advisory Committee on Infant Mortality and partnered with organizations, such as the March of Dimes, on initiatives related to health equity and birth outcome disparities. She also is expert advisor to the Center for Health Equity at the University of California, San Francisco.

Parker Dominguez chairs the Board of Directors of the California Black Women’s Health Project, a statewide health advocacy organization, and co-chairs the Improving Pregnancy Outcomes Committee within the American Public Health Association’s Maternal and Child Health section (APHA-MCH). She has instructed and mentored students at the master, doctoral, and post-doctoral levels. In the MSW program, she has taught courses in human behavior theory and lifespan development, research, leadership, child development and social policy, spirituality, religion, and faith, and diversity, serving as Lead Instructor for Human Behavior in the Social Environment and Research and Evaluation in Children and Family Services.