How We Heal: Confronting Health Inequity with Structural Competency


Why do health disparities persist? How can we address them at their roots?

Structural Competency is the capacity to recognize and respond to health outcomes as the downstream effect of social, political, and economic structures within and beyond the clinic walls. This framework prepares us to act at the level of neighborhoods, institutions, and policies in tandem with the social movements growing all around us. It is currently featured in the New England Journal of Medicine’s new series of case studies in Social Medicine, which is co-edited by our keynote speakers. We invite health professionals, scholars, students, community organizers, and anyone interested in health for all to gain perspectives and skills on advocacy at the bedside and beyond.

Conference Details:

Speakers include clinicians, scholars, and frontline organizers who will address local and global issues at the intersection of health and social inequity. Conversations will span poverty, racism, immigration, environmental injustice, labor, homelessness, LGBTQ discrimination, incarceration, addiction, and more. A training will be led by the Bay Area Structural Competency Working Group.

The program runs from 8am-4pm, followed by a Community Building Reception at 4-5pm. Breakfast, lunch, and refreshments will be provided, and parking will be provided if needed.



  • Jyoti Puvvula, MD, MPH | Family Physician at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Associate Clinical Professor at David Geffen SOM at UCLA, Board Member of Doctors for Global Health, Physicians for Social Responsibility-LA research partner

  • Scott Allen, MD I Professor Emeritus of Clinical Medicine at UCR SOM, Medical Director of Borrego Health Access Clinic, Expert Medical Advisor for Physicians for Human Rights

  • Veronica Alvarado | Program Coordinator for Warehouse Worker Resource Center

  • Heidi Hoechst, PhD | Lead educator at National Nurses United

  • Angela C. Jenks, PhD | Assistant Teaching Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of Anthropology at UC Irvine

  • Linda Sharp, MD | Internist at Martin Luther King, Jr Community Hospital in South LA, President & CEO of Doctors for Global Health, advisor to the UCSF Health Equity Action and Leadership (HEAL) global health fellowship

Full event program will be posted here shortly!

Registration Info: 

Deadline to register is Friday March 1st. Seating is limited. Free for UCR graduate, medical, and undergraduate students and UCR-affiliated medical residents. $10 for other students/residents and general admission, and $25 for health professionals and faculty. Please let us know if you can no longer attend so that we can open your spot to the waitlist.



Presented by: UCR School of Medicine, UCR College of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences, and the Health Equity & Structural Competency Collective

Co-sponsored by: UCR SOM Office of the Dean   |   UCR Department of Anthropology   |   UCR Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion   |   UCR School of Public Policy   |   Gold Humanism Honor Society-UCR SOM Chapter   |    UCR Department of Psychiatry and Neuroscience   |   UCR Department of Social Medicine, Population and Public Health   |   Inequities in Health Faculty Commons   |   UCR Center for Ideas and Society

Saturday, March 9 at 8:00am to 5:00pm

Humanities & Social Sciences Building, 1501

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