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Season 3: The Long Road to Health Equity

Season 3 explores the complex topic of health equity. Health equity is achieved when every person has an equal opportunity to attain their full health potential. Behavioral Health Equity is the right to access quality health care for all populations regardless of the individual’s race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, or geographical location. This includes access to prevention, treatment, and recovery services for mental and substance use disorders. Health and behavioral health inequities impact length of life; quality of life; rates of disease, disability, and death; severity of disease and access to treatment. This season, we’ll learn from clinicians, researchers, authors, and leaders who share important insights regarding how to achieve health equity.

Host: Heather Haslem

S3 E1: It’s OK to be Uncomfortable: The Importance of Talking about Health Equity

Within this episode you’ll hear from Will Rucker, a dynamic and engaging speaker who shares how health equity pertains to our common humanity. Will describes the importance of compassion, non-judgement, and self-awareness as important skills for creating a more equitable world. He also shares about the importance of diversity and how it shapes our culture. You won’t want to miss this inspiring conversation.

S3 E2: Healing Isn’t As Hard As We Might Expect

Brandon Jones shares a wealth of information regarding healing from trauma in this powerful episode. He shares his insights regarding healing as a lifelong process, and outlines the ABC’s of resilience. We discuss best practices for cultural competency training, and he shares his important perspective on how we can develop cultural intelligence both personally and within organizations. We cover a lot of ground in this insightful conversation.

S3 E3: How Neighborhoods Make Us Sick: The Lived Consequences of Health Inequity

Within this episode you’ll hear from author’s Breanna Lathrop & Veronica Squires as they share how the neighborhood you live in (your zip code) impacts your health. We hear how their own lived experiences have impacted the way they think, and practice medicine.  We discuss the policies and practices that have contributed to health inequities, and some important steps you can take to address these inequities. 

S3 E4: Giving Voice to the LGBTQ+ Community

André Wade highlights key policy issues and needs for supporting health equity within the LGBTQ+ community. André also discusses important considerations for healthcare providers to be aware of when working with the LGBTQ+ population. He shares his own personal experience and professional insights in this important conversation.

S3 E5: I’m Not Crazy: Breaking Down Stigma in Mental Health

Within this episode Dr. Lorraine Benuto discusses the stigma associated with mental health in the LatinX population. She shares creative ways she and her team have worked to address mental stigma and break down language barriers. She talks about important ways to reduce health disparities, and improve health for minority populations.

S3 E6: Food Unites Us In Health

Lorena Drago discusses how food/nutrition play an essential role in health equity. We discuss the importance of language in health education, along with how assumptions about culture are a detriment to health. She shares important questions for clinicians to ask regarding food insecurity. Lastly, we discuss barriers in diabetes education, and the need to address them.

S3 E7: Human Dynamics in Healthcare

This week we are joined by Zhizhong (Z) Li. Z is a seasoned trauma and critical care nurse, who is now nursing faculty at the University of Nevada, Reno. Z highlights inequities seen in emergency care, and how stigma can impact patient care. He shares how human dynamics play a role in patient treatment and patient outcomes. We discuss how leadership plays an important role in addressing health equity. You won’t want to miss this insightful conversation.

S3 E8: Democracy, Equity and Health Care

In this episode, Dr. Eloisa Gordon-Mora discusses the connection between our understandings of democracy, and with respect to equity and health care. From her political science formation, she analysis the notion of “democracy” itself, addressing its historical evolution and from comparative, global perspectives, as well as myths, assumptions and values that are connected to the notion. She gives a brief overview of how other, high-income, developed nations, and other global examples, compare and contrast to the US, regarding their classifications as full-democracies, as well as in their provisioning of health care access, delivery and quality of care.

S3 E9: Understanding the State of Health Equity in Nevada

Jose Meléndrez joins us to discuss what is being done within the State of Nevada to promote health equity for all Nevadans. He shares how community partnerships and grassroots movements are positively impacting minority populations. He also highlights the need to mobilize each community in order to move the needle to a more health equitable society.

S3 E10: Living in a Rural Community: Examining the Impact on Health

Marena Works discusses important considerations for policy and services in order to promote health equity in rural communities. She shares barriers to health for citizens living in rural communities, and innovative strategies for overcoming these challenges. In addition, she highlights health disparities and what needs to be done in order to support citizens who live in rural areas.

S3 Bonus Episode: Giving Voice to Racism, Intergenerational Trauma, and Health Inequity in America

In this powerful episode, Claudia shares her lived experience of racism, intergenerational trauma, and health inequity. She discusses her healing journey, and the need for people to share their stories.

Disclaimer: This podcast is for educational purposes only. Any advice offered on the podcast is an educational context and is not intended as direct medical advice, nor as a replacement for it. If you are experiencing a medical or life emergency, please call 911. If you are experiencing a crisis, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273 – 8255.  If you are experiencing stress, and would like professional help please contact your insurance company to identify a therapist in your area or contact the organization you work for and ask about an employee assistance program.

This podcast has been brought to you by the CASAT Podcast Network located within the Center for the Application of Substance Abuse Technologies at the University of Nevada, Reno. For more podcast information and resources visit

Nevada Resilience ProjectCASAT Conversations Season 3 Episode 1 with Will Rucker