Opening General Session

Health Equity Now
Sunday, Nov. 11, 11:50 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Achieving equity in health is a pressing national priority and a core value of APHA. This opening plenary session kicks off this year’s meeting with two dynamic speakers who will discuss the power of partnerships and explore the impact of social influences on health. This exciting session is not to be missed!

Welcome Address — APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin, MD

David Williams smiling

David R. Williams, PhD, MPH

Williams is known as one of the World's Most Influential Scientific Minds. The author of over 400 scientific papers, his internationally recognized research shows how racism and other social influences hurt and affect people's health. Williams developed the Everyday Discrimination Scale, which is currently one of the most widely used measures to assess perceived discrimination in health studies. He has been ranked as the Most Cited Black Scholar in the Social Sciences and has received numerous honors and awards for his work in the field. Williams has over 20 years of experience in academia and is currently the Florence Sprague Norman and Laura Smart Norman Professor of Public Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Professor of African and African American Studies and Sociology at Harvard University.

Surgeon General Jerome Adams with Capitol in backgroundJerome Adams, MD, MPH

Vice Admiral Adams is the 20th Surgeon General of the United States. He oversees the operations of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, which has approximately 6,700 uniformed health officers who serve in nearly 800 locations around the world to promote, protect and advance the health and safety of our nation and our world. Adams, a board-certified anesthesiologist, served as Indiana State Health Commissioner from 2014 to 2017 and in leadership positions at a number of professional organizations. Adams' motto as Surgeon General is "better health through better partnerships." As Surgeon General, Adams is committed to maintaining strong relationships with the public health community and forging new partnerships with non-traditional partners, including business and law enforcement. He has pledged to lead with science, facilitate locally-led solutions to the nation’s most difficult health problems, and deliver higher quality healthcare at lower cost through patient and community engagement and better prevention.

 Read session descriptions and speaker bios for the Monday and Closing General Sessions.