Continuing the Conversation: Health Equity

health equity

Continuing the Conversation: A webinar series focused on the interdependent components to achieving health equity. We will feature leaders and subject matter experts across the Dakotas to share their expertise, personal experiences, best practices and application strategies.

What is health equity? Why are we here? Why it is important? 

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Alicia Belay, MPH, PhD Alicia Belay Resized ImageCommunity Engagement Assistant Director | North Dakota Department of Health and Human Services

Belay will help us better understand our shared responsibility to take steps to ensure equity and address disparities for those in our communities. 

Alicia Belay is the Assistant Director of the Community Engagement Unit at the North Dakota Department of Health and Human Services. She works closely with the HIV and STI programs and helps lead work around women’s preventative health, including improving prenatal and postpartum care for women of lower income or from minority population. She works most-closely with Indigenous and New American, Foreign-Born, Immigrant (NFI) communities in North Dakota.

Dr. Belay has a PhD in Social and Health Psychology and a Master’s degree in public health from Gondar University in Ethiopia. She has worked in the area of health equity for over 15 years.

Natasha Smith HeadshotNatasha Smith
Head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion | Sanford Health

Smith will share Sanford Health’s Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) tool and discuss how understanding the data can help address disparities in care. 


Natasha Smith is the Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Sanford Health and brings an abundance of experience and lenses to the table to create equitable programing. From Corporate Social Responsibility and Philanthropy work to living day to day as a working Latina mother, Natasha’s journey has brought her to her current role where she oversees the diversity, equity and inclusion strategy for Sanford Health. This work is aimed at removing barriers to achieve equitable clinical outcomes and increasing access and belonging for the workforce. She serves on the board for Embe and is a founding member of the non-profit, Pathways to Equitable and Inclusive Workplaces. She is a community organizer and advocate and serves in an advisory capacity for the statewide day of giving, South Dakota Gives.


In addition to the Series Launch on health equity, this six-part series will address the following:health equity event line up graphic

  • Health Disparities and Social Determinants of Health
  • Health Literacy
  • Implicit Bias
  • Cultural Humility
  • Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS)

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Event Details

  • May 17, 2023
  • 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM

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Event Type

  • Virtual


  • Great Plains Quality Innovation Network


  • Quality Health Associates of North Dakota


  • Board Members
  • Director of Nursing
  • Office Manager
  • Social Workers
  • Pallliative Care
  • Nursing
  • Quality
  • CEO

Organization Types

  • Critical Access Hospital (CAH)
  • Long Term Care (LTC)
  • Rural Health Clinic (RHC)
  • Public Health
  • Home Health / Hospice
  • Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC)
  • Quality Improvement Organization (QIO)