- Event video [YouTube]
People without good health or health care often struggle to fully participate in the economy. The eighth installment of our virtual event series examines how systemic racism impacts health and, ultimately, economic outcomes. Social determinants of health like economic stability and housing affect the kinds of jobs people can access. During the COVID-19 pandemic, low-income people of color disproportionately worked in more risky, high-contact jobs, and this led to higher infection and mortality rates. Racial and ethnic health disparities can also be barriers to employment. We explore the intersection of health, racism, and the economy because it’s so critical to the Federal Reserve’s work to promote a strong economy and maximum employment.
- Stacy Bohlen, Chief Executive Officer, National Indian Health Board
- Abdul El-Sayed, Towsley Foundation Policymaker in Residence, University of Michigan Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
- Wayne Frederick, President, Howard University
- William Frist, Former U.S. Senator and U.S. Senate Majority Leader, Heart and Lung Transplant Surgeon, and Adjunct Professor of Cardiac Surgery, Vanderbilt University
- Anthony Iton, Lecturer of Health Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health, and Senior Vice President for Healthy Communities, California Endowment
- Robert Kaplan, President, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
- Neel Kashkari, President, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis
- Zea Malawa, Perinatal Equity Medical Director, Expecting Justice, San Francisco Dept of Public Health
- Vayong Moua, Director of Racial and Health Equity Advocacy, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota (Moderator)
- Elena Rios, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Hispanic Medical Association
- Eric Rosengren, President, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
- Marielle Segarra, Senior Reporter, Marketplace (moderator)
- Andrea Walsh, President and Chief Executive Officer, HealthPartners
- John Williams, President, Federal Reserve Bank of New York
- Stella Yi, Assistant Professor, New York University Grossman School of Medicine
Virtual video event presented by all 12 District Banks of the Federal Reserve System
Thursday, September 9, 2021
|2:00 p.m. – 2:05 p.m. ET||Introduction & Opening Remarks
John Williams, Federal Reserve Bank of New York
|2:05 p.m. – 2:06 p.m. ET||Event Overview
Marielle Segarra, Marketplace
|2:06 p.m. – 2:10 p.m. ET||Community Engagement Video
Dr. Ana Valdes, HealthRight360
|2:10 p.m. – 2:55 p.m. ET||Plenary Panel
Anthony Iton, University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health and Healthy Communities, California Endowment
|2:55 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET||Community Engagement Video
Richard Raya, Mission Promise Neighborhood
|3:00 p.m. – 3:20 p.m. ET|| Policy Pitch Panel
Wayne Frederick, Howard University
|3:20 p.m. – 3:25 p.m. ET
||Community Engagement Video
Harold Frazier, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe
|3:25 p.m. – 3:55 p.m. ET||Response Panel
Stacey Bohlen, National Indian Health Board
|3:55 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. ET||Community Engagement Video
LaShyra “Lash” Nolen, We Got Us
|4:00 p.m. – 4:25 p.m. ET|| Presidents Panel
Robert Kaplan, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
|4:25 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. ET||Closing Remarks
Eric Rosengren, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
These papers go into greater detail on the proposals presented by the authors during the Racism and the Economy: Focus on Health event.
Taking Health Care to the People: 6 Proposals to Improve Health, Economic, and Educational Outcomes for Black Communities
Wayne Frederick, President, Howard University
Poor Quality Race/Ethnicity Data is Systemic Racism
Stella Yi, Assistant Professor, New York University Grossman School of Medicine
Abundant Birth Project: A Monthly Cash Supplement During Pregnancy and the Post-Natal Period Provided to Black Mothers (and Other Black Pregnant People) to Address the Persistent Racial Disparities in Birth Outcomes
Zea Malawa, Perinatal Equity Medical Director, Expecting Justice, San Francisco Dept of Public Health
We have curated a collection of additional resources that focus on the topics of racism, health, and their effects on the economy.
Racism as a Root Cause Approach: A New Framework
Zea Malawa, Co-Author
A Thriving Labor Force Starts at Birth: The Role of Community Development in Reducing Racial Health Inequities at Birth
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
The Reckoning: When a Pandemic Collides With Systemic Racism
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
Explore the full resource list ›
Event media coverage
Fed Leaders Can Help Improve Health Outcomes Through Job Market
Bloomberg | September 9, 2021
About the series
Understanding the implications of structural racism in America’s economy and advancing actions to improve economic outcomes for all.
Racism forms the foundation of inequality in our society. It limits opportunity for people of color and threatens the health of our economy. While the global pandemic has intensified racial and economic disparities, the killing of George Floyd has galvanized people from all walks of life to address the systems and structures that enable and perpetuate these outcomes.
Hosted by all 12 District Banks of the U.S. Federal Reserve System, “Racism and the Economy” is a virtual series that brings together community, business, and academic leaders to examine the economic impact of racism and advance bold ideas and concrete actions to achieve an economy that makes opportunity available to everyone.
Stacy Bohlen Chief Executive Officer, National Indian Health Board
Stacy Bohlen (Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians) is the chief executive officer of the National Indian Health Board. With the support of a tribally elected board of directors, Bohlen’s service to NIHB has contributed to the organization’s successful work to establish and elevate the tribal presence for improving health care in the nation’s capital; promoted and strengthened the organization’s service to all federally recognized tribes; significantly increased NIHB’s budget, staff, and connectivity to the tribes; and increased NIHB’s effectiveness. Prior to joining NIHB, she was the director of federal relations for the American Indian Higher Education Consortium and deputy director of the American Osteopathic Association’s Washington, D.C., office, and she served on the staff of former U.S. Rep. Bob Traxler. Bohlen received her bachelor’s degree in political science from Oakland University in Rochester Hills, Michigan.
Abdul El-Sayed Towsley Foundation Policymaker in Residence, University of Michigan Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
Abdul El-Sayed is a physician, epidemiologist, educator, author, speaker, and podcast host. His newsletter, The Incision, cuts to the heart of the trends shaping our moment. He is a commentator at CNN. His three books include Healing Politics, calling for a politics of empathy to cure our epidemic of insecurity, and Medicare for All: A Citizen’s Guide with Dr. Micah Johnson. He is the host of “America Dissected,” a podcast by Crooked Media, which goes beyond the headlines to explore what really matters for our health. He is a Towsley Foundation Policymaker in Residence at the University of Michigan Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and a Senior Fellow at the FXB Center for Health & Human Rights at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, teaching at the intersection of public health, public policy, and politics. In addition, he is a Scholar-in-Residence at Wayne State University and American University. He is formerly the health director for the city of Detroit and candidate for governor of Michigan in 2018.
Wayne Frederick President, Howard University
Wayne Frederick was appointed the 17th president of Howard University in 2014. Most recently, the Howard University board of trustees selected him to serve as the distinguished Charles R. Drew professor of surgery. He received his B.S and M.D. from Howard University. Following his post-doctoral research and surgical oncology fellowships at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, he began his academic career as associate director of the cancer center at the University of Connecticut. Upon his return to Howard University, his academic positions included associate dean in the College of Medicine, division chief in the Department of Surgery, director of the Cancer Center, and deputy provost for Health Sciences. Frederick is the author of numerous peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, abstracts, and editorials and is a widely recognized expert on disparities in health care and medical education. His medical research focuses on narrowing racial, ethnic, and gender disparities in cancer-care outcomes.
William Frist Former U.S. Senator and U.S. Senate Majority Leader, Heart and Lung Transplant Surgeon, and Adjunct Professor of Cardiac Surgery, Vanderbilt University
William Frist is a nationally acclaimed heart and lung transplant surgeon, former U.S. Senate majority leader, founding partner of Frist Cressey Ventures, and chairman of the executives council of the health service investment firm Cressey & Company. He is actively engaged in the business, medical, humanitarian, and philanthropic communities. He is chairman of both Hope Through Healing Hands, which focuses on maternal and child health and global poverty, and SCORE, a statewide collaborative education reform organization that has helped propel Tennessee to prominence as a K-12 education reform state. Currently, Frist serves as an adjunct professor of cardiac surgery at Vanderbilt University. As a leading authority on health care, Frist speaks nationally on health care reform, government policy, global health, education reform, and volunteerism. In 2019, he launched “A Second Opinion” podcast, which addresses challenging health care issues of today from three distinct vantage points: policy, medicine, and innovation.
Anthony Iton Lecturer of Health Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health, and Senior Vice President for Healthy Communities, California Endowment
Tony Iton is a lecturer of health policy and management at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health. He is also a senior vice president for healthy communities at California Endowment. He serves on the boards of directors of the Public Health Institute, the Public Health Trust, the Prevention Institute, and Jobs for the Future. His primary focus includes the health of disadvantaged populations and the contributions of race, class, wealth, education, geography, and employment to health status. His awards include the Champion of Children Award from the United Way and the National Association of City and County Health Officials Award of Excellence for the use of information technology in public health. In February 2010, Iton was recognized by the California Legislative Black Caucus with the Black History Month Legends Award and presented on the floor of the California State Assembly with a resolution memorializing his life’s work and achievements.
Zea Malawa Perinatal Equity Medical Director, Expecting Justice, San Francisco Department of Public Health
Zea Malawa is a pediatrician and public health professional committed to improving health outcomes for children of color. Upon completing her undergraduate degree at Columbia University, she earned a medical doctorate from UCLA and a master’s degree in public health from UC Berkeley. Because Malawa recognizes that medical care will not close racial disparities, she has become adept at integrating political advocacy and anti-racism strategies into her practice. Currently, she sees patients at Mission Neighborhood Health Center, and she works for the San Francisco Department of Public Health leading a citywide collaborative to address maternal outcome disparities. She is also a current First 5 California commissioner.
Vayong Moua Director of Racial and Health Equity Advocacy, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota (moderator)
Vayong Moua leads advocacy for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota to advance racial and health equity for all Minnesotans. His focus is on integrating racial and intersectional equity into governance across sectors, issues, and cultural communities. He applies cross-cultural power and equity analysis into advocacy approaches, policies, and structural solutions. Moua championed BCBS’s Health in All Policies investment and co-founded the Minnesota Complete Streets Coalition that led to passage of Minnesota’s Complete Streets law. Moua chaired (2015-19) the legislated Cultural and Ethnic Communities Leadership Council that catalyzed the Department of Human Services’ agencywide policy on equity.
Moua received his B.A. with a triple major in philosophy, sociology/anthropology, and Asian studies from St. Olaf College. He received his MPA from the Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Moua was a public policy/international affairs fellow and a Humphrey policy fellow, and he is a current Bush fellow.
Elena Rios President and Chief Executive Officer, National Hispanic Medical Association
Elena Rios serves as president and CEO of the National Hispanic Medical Association, representing 50,000 Hispanic physicians in the United States. The mission of the organization is to improve the health of Hispanics. She also serves as president of NHMA’s National Hispanic Health Foundation to direct educational and research activities. She has lectured, published articles, and received several leadership awards.
Rios earned her B.A. in human biology/public administration at Stanford University in 1977, MSPH at the UCLA School of Public Health in 1980, and M.D. at the UCLA School of Medicine in 1987. She completed her internal medicine residency at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose and the White Memorial Medical Center in East Los Angeles in 1990 and her NRSA primary care research fellowship at the UCLA Division of General Internal Medicine in 1992.
Marielle Segarra Senior Reporter, Marketplace
Marielle Segarra is a senior reporter at Marketplace covering consumer psychology and retail. Her work is regularly featured across Marketplace’s radio shows and podcasts, reaching an audience of over 10 million listeners weekly on more than 800 public radio stations. In addition to her core beat, Segarra has done extensive reporting on taxes and private equity. Her recent reporting looks at how COVID-19 has changed what we buy and what that means for retailers who sell things like makeup and clothing. She has also looked at how retail pharmacies are rolling out the vaccine and at the effect the pandemic has had on women’s employment.
Segarra joined Marketplace in 2016 as a reporter from Philadelphia’s WHYY Keystone Crossroads. At WHYY, she reported on housing, economic development, pension reform, and other issues affecting Pennsylvania cities. Prior to that, she covered corporate finance, small businesses, and IPOs as an editor at CFO, a corporate finance magazine.
Andrea Walsh President and Chief Executive Officer, HealthPartners
Andrea Walsh is president and chief executive officer for Minnesota-based HealthPartners, the largest consumer-governed, nonprofit health care organization in the nation. Throughout her career, Walsh has been passionate about health and deeply committed to making a difference in people’s lives. Today, she leads a team of more than 26,000 people focused on the mission of improving health and well-being in partnership with patients, members, and the community.
Prior to her appointment as president and CEO in 2017, Walsh was part of the HealthPartners senior executive team for more than 20 years. She served as executive vice president and chief marketing officer for nearly 15 years and joined HealthPartners in 1994 as senior vice president and corporate counsel. Prior to joining HealthPartners, she practiced law and was an assistant commissioner at the Minnesota Department of Health. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School and the University of Kansas.
Stella Yi Assistant Professor, New York University Grossman School of Medicine
Stella Yi is a cardiovascular epidemiologist and an assistant professor at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine, Department of Population Health, Section for Health Equity. Her work focuses on improving lifestyle behaviors for reducing chronic disease risk and improving collection of disaggregated race/ethnicity data through multisector collaborations and community-partnered research for Asian American and immigrant communities. Prior to joining the faculty at NYU in 2014, she worked for six years at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, leading research and evaluation efforts for city nutrition policies and community-clinic initiatives. Given these experiences, she possesses a unique viewpoint on health, policy, and research that encompasses a citywide perspective paired with an understanding of unique health needs of disparity subgroups.
Yi received her MPH in chronic disease epidemiology/social behavioral sciences at the Yale School of Public Health and her doctorate in epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.