Reaching through the Screen: Taking Grassroots Health Promotion
This session will discuss equity implications in online engagement, and provide strategies for implementing a multi-modal online engagement approach that centers on the needs of disadvantaged populations.
1. Identify the strengths, challenges, and unique needs of the populations with online engagement.
2. Develop an equity-driven engagement plan for communities that centers on the needs of disadvantaged populations.
Heidi Hancher-Rauch, PhD, CHES®
University Faculty and Researcher
University of Indianapolis
Heidi Hancher-Rauch, PhD, CHES® has been a university faculty member and researcher for approximately 15 years, the last 13 of those at the University of Indianapolis where she is a professor and director of the Public Health Program. She has practiced in the field for more than 20 years, including work in the areas of community disease prevention and worksite health. Her areas of expertise include health policy and advocacy, program evaluation, and evidence-based health promotion. Health advocacy has always been her main passion, with the majority of her publications and professional presentations on the topic. She teaches courses including Health Policy and Advocacy; Program Planning, Implementation & Evaluation; and Leadership in Public Health. Heidi provides professional service as the Board Trustee for Advocacy & Resolutions for SOPHE, serves on the SOPHE Advocacy Committee, is a member of the Top 10 Steering Committee, and previously served as the director of Indiana SOPHE Advocacy for two terms. Heidi started a chapter of Eta Sigma Gamma at the University of Indianapolis in 2019 and continues to serve as co-sponsor of the organization. She engages with community organizations such as the Indiana Minority Health Coalition as an outside evaluator and uses her advocacy skills to promote health equity and social justice every chance provided.
Youth Leadership Institute
Smitha Gundavajhala is a community organizer and youth advocate who has done work across California and the nation to increase youth access to health services, and to mobilize young people to advocate. She worked as a Program Coordinator with the Youth Leadership Institute, where she helped lift up youth voices in health policy campaigns, including Healthy Online Platforms for Everyone (HOPE). She was also the Chair of the San Mateo County Tobacco Education Coalition, where she worked with community members on the Smoke-Free Multi-Unit Housing (SFMUH) Campaign, as well as on flavored tobacco restrictions and vaping among youth. Currently, Smitha attends the University of Washington School of Law. She is a Fellow with the National Crittenton Foundation and an Advisory Board member with CLASP on policy efforts that center young people in the COVID-19 pandemic.