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Human Factors in Healthcare Keynote: 'Creating Systems That Promote Equity'

This is a past event.

Friday, March 25, 2022 3:30 pm to 5 pm

This is a past event.

Please join us Friday (March 25) for a Human Factors in Healthcare Keynote presented by Rupa Valdez: "Creating Systems That Promote Equity: A Journey Across Disciplines.”

The keynote will be given from 3:30-4:30 p.m. in ATDC Conference Room 101 and via Zoom. Interactive discussion will follow from 4:30-5 p.m.

Valdez is an associate professor at the University of Virginia with joint appointments in the School of Medicine and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. She is also a core faculty member of Global Studies and the Disability Studies Initiative. Valdez merges the disciplines of human factors engineering, health informatics and cultural anthropology to understand and support the ways in which people manage health at home and in the community.

We encourage faculty and graduate students with any overlap in research, interest in collaboration, or just interest in learning more about Valdez's work/journey/activism to join us!


This event is co-sponsored by the Departments of Cognitive and Learning Sciences (CLS) and Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology (KIP), and the College of Sciences and Arts (CSA). It is also sponsored in part by the Michigan Tech Visiting Professor Program, which is funded by a grant to the Office of the Provost from the state of Michigan’s King-Chávez-Parks Initiative.


Abstract: Catalyzed by the pandemic and by the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many others, there is rapidly growing interest in determining how we can create sociotechnical systems that promote equity rather than perpetuate disparity and injustice. In this talk, I share and critically reflect on my journey toward this goal over the last decade. I begin with earlier efforts to merge approaches from cultural anthropology and engineering to inform the design of patient-facing health information technologies. I end with more recent community-based participatory research and policy-based efforts to reimagine public health education, accessible healthcare, and the role of community in shaping the research process.  My engagement with historically marginalized communities has pushed my efforts from a primary focus on creating technologies aligned with the contexts in which such communities are embedded to a broader focus on working with communities to shift these contexts. In concluding remarks, I reflect on how encouraging such work requires, at minimum, embracing a broader conceptualization of engineering and, more ambitiously, work that may be considered a-disciplinary.


Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer that provides equal opportunity for all, including protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.

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