COVID-19 & Health Inequalities: A Panel Discussion

with Stacie Graham, PhD, E-RYT 500, Rhonda Smith, MBA, Priya Verma, C-IAYT, PA-C, and Kate Mulligan, PhD

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About this panel discussion

Dr. Stacie CC Graham, an expert on racial and intersectional equity, will chair this panel of experts who will explore how Covid-19 has exposed health inequalities and highlighted existing barriers to people of color accessing yoga. Topics will include a case study of Covid-19’s unequal impact in Toronto with Dr Kate Mulligan, and the impact on the black community documented by Rhonda Smith from the California Black Health Network. We’ll also learn the difference between health inequalities, health disparities and health inequities from Priya Verma, a Physician Assistant working with Covid patients and a lead for the International Association of Yoga Therapists on diversity, equity and inclusion. The panel will leave ample time for questions from the audience to fully round out this important topic.

About the Panel Chair, Stacie CC Graham, PhD, E-RYT 500

Dr Stacie CC Graham, certified mindfulness teacher and E-RYT 500, is the founder of OYA: Body-Mind-Spirit Retreats, the first holistic wellness brand serving Black women and women of color communities in the UK. She is also the co-founder of Radical Darshan, a Yoga Alliance accredited 300-hour advanced yoga teacher training school focused on racial and intersectional equity in yoga. She has an MS in economics and a doctorate in psychology, where she focused on neuro-affective cognitive science and leadership behavior. In her primary profession, she works as the Global Racial Equity Program Director at WPP.

About Rhonda Smith, MBA

Rhonda M. Smith currently serves as the Executive Director of the California Black Health Network. Previously, she was the Executive Director of the Life Serve Youth Foundation and the Interim Executive Director for Integrative Medicine for the Underserved (IM4US). Rhonda also has been the Consultant/Project Director for the LiveHealthy OC Initiative and the Susan G. Komen Circle of Promise California Initiative. Rhonda earned her MBA in Marketing and Operations Management from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia and her BS Degree in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech.

About Priya Verma, C-IAYT, PA-C

Priya Verma has been a Certified Yoga Therapist and Physician Assistant for over 20 years, and a care provider for COVID patients on the frontline. She has pioneered integration of trauma-informed Yoga Therapy into a traditional medical model of care, specializing in non-pharmacologic pain management. She has taught yoga in corporate, studio, hospital, and school- settings. She offers a Clinical Resiliency Program providing self-care practices for clinicians and healthcare workers across the spectrum. Priya lectures globally on the incorporation of the indigenous wisdom practices of Yoga and Ayurveda into healthcare. She is a member of the DEI Task Force for IAYT.

About Kate Mulligan, PhD

Dr. Kate Mulligan is a status Assistant Professor in Social and Behavioural Health Sciences at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and a public member of the Toronto Board of Health. She is a globally recognized advocate, policymaker and researcher on health equity and community wellbeing. Kate is currently leading a commissioned report on the future of community resilience in public health for the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada.

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This presentation is part of Wellness After Covid: A Yoga and Healthcare Symposium. Click here to learn more and register for access to video content, slides, and other resources.