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My Arnold School

Clyburn Lecture focuses on Bridging Health Equity Across Communities with keynote speaker Natalie S. Burke on April 18

March 10, 2017

The Arnold School’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Department of Health Services Policy and Management along with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control’s Office of Health Equity and the USC Office of Civil Rights History and Research will host the 10th annual James E. Clyburn Health Disparities Lecture, which is free and open to the public, on Tuesday, April 18 at 10 a.m. at the University of South Carolina Alumni Center (900 Senate St. Columbia, S.C. 29201). The theme of the program is Bridging Health Equity Across Communities. The 2017 Clyburn Lecture will feature Natalie S. Burke as the keynote speaker.

Burke is the President and CEO of CommonHealth ACTION, a national public health organization which she co-founded in 2004 to generate solutions to health and policy changes by aligning people, strategies, and resources. She is a relationship specialist and expert facilitator who builds and sustains interactions with leaders and organizations across sectors to produce health through equitable policy, programs, and practice.

Since graduating from the University of Maryland with a degree in government and politics, Burke has spent the last twenty years developing her leadership expertise with roles at entities, such as the National Association of County and City Health Officials and the National Institutes of Health, where she utilized community, organizational, institutional, and systemic change to create opportunities for health. Her national fellowships include the New York University’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service Lead the Way Fellowship and the Emerging Leaders in Public Health Fellowship, and she was selected to join the Council of Innovation Advisors for ConvergeUS.

Throughout her career, Burke has viewed health as a product of complex interactions among systems and factors, such as education, employment, environmental conditions, access to technology, housing, transportation, and health care. She seeks to understand the root causes of poor health in connection with these elements along with other factors, such as genetics, personal health behaviors, and the contexts that influence our lives and decisions. Through her work, Burke’s public health and health care experience have grown to include technical assistance and capacity building for national and international corporate entities, academia, and philanthropy—as well as federal, state, and local governments.

Currently, Burke co-directs the Culture of Health Leaders National Program Center and serves on the Ventures Advisory Group for ReThink Health. She is a member of the NationSwell Council and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Equity Advisory Group.

Students, faculty, staff and members of other academic institutions or community organizations are invited to submit abstracts by Friday, March 31 [extended from March 24] for consideration in a poster session. Abstracts should be 300 words or less and describe health disparities research or practice, particularly in the areas of the science of health disparities, social justice and special populations. The poster session will include a limited number of selected abstracts and will be held during the reception immediately following the lecture.

For more information or questions about the 2017 Clyburn Lecture or the poster session, please contact David S. Simmons, Associate Dean, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at or 803-777-8282.

About the Lecture

Congressman James E. Clyburn, along with Senator Ernest F. Hollings, was instrumental in securing funding to establish the Institute for Partnerships to Eliminate Health Disparities in 2003. The Institute created a Lecture to honor Congressman Clyburn. The Lecture was established as a mechanism to allow national and regional health disparities researchers, public health researchers, practice professionals, policy makers and community leaders to share their findings, best practices, and lessons learned with students, faculty, and the community, in order to facilitate research and community engagement efforts focused on reducing and eliminating health disparities. Since its inception, the Lecture has been well attended by local government officials, the university’s faculty, staff and students and the community.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.