February: Equitable Access to Healthcare

Education not only shapes values and beliefs, but it also helps people grow and develop physically, The crippling effects of a successful and sustainable national healthcare system in the United States has long been a swinging pendulum of high expectations and abysmal failures. The skyrocketing costs of insurance and premiums, the unemployed without the means to matter to those with means, the costs of prescriptions required to keep one alive versus the cost of feeding one’s family, has led to a crisis of seemingly insurmountable proportions for the majority of persons in need of care within our country.

Panelists: Dr. Patrik Johansson, MD, MPH., Sister Carol Keehan, D.C., & Crystal N. Lewis, JD, MPH – Learn more about our panelists below.
Host: Charish Badzinski

  1. Hold your land grant institutions accountable.
  2. Commit to strong, focused advocacy as an individual and in groups for the most critical parts of the BBB legislation, such as child tax credit, early childhood education, climate change and health care, as well as legislation to protect voting rights.
  3. Have at least one open and honest conversation with someone regarding racism, sexism, ableism, etc.

Meet Our Panelists

Dr. Patrik Johansson, MD, MPH., Director of NW HERON
Practitioner, Director, Rural Health Education Network, Advocate

Patrik Johansson, is an Associate Professor in the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine at Washington State University. With Northwest Health Education and Research Outcomes Network (NW HERON), he uses his expertise in conducting community-based participatory research and teaching partnerships among academic institutions, primary care clinics and local health departments in rural settings. His research focuses on chronic disease prevention and management in rural and indigenous populations. Dr. Johansson’s work includes the development of rural interprofessional education models for health profession students rooted in community-oriented primary, geographic, racial, and ethnic disparities in health, and public health curriculums for students enrolled in rural pipeline programs. 

He is currently conducting a pilot study in partnership with a primary care clinic affiliated with a critical access hospital and a local health department to reduce cardiovascular disease risk factors through the deployment of an RN/community health worker team using mobile health technology. Dr. Johansson earned his medical degree at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, College of Medicine; his master’s in public health at the Harvard School of Public Health; and his bachelor of art’s degree in international relations at Brown University.


Sister Carol Keehan
Sister, Health Access Proponent
Daughter of Charity of St. Vincent DePaul

Sister Carol Keehan is a Daughter of Charity of St. Vincent DePaul. She has a BS in nursing magna cum laude and a Masters in healthcare finance from University of South Carolina. She has over 50 years experience in healthcare, first as a nurse and nurse manager and then 18 years as a hospital CEO in two hospitals and finally 14 years as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Catholic Health Association of the United States. She retired from that position in June 2019.

She currently serves as the head of the health task force for the Vatican’s COVID-19 commission. She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and played a central role in advancing the affordable care act. She has served on many boards in healthcare, education and insurance. She recently retired from the St. John’s board. She currently serves on eight other boards including Georgetown University and two international boards. She has received 11 honorary doctorates and many other awards.

Crystal N. Lewis, JD, MPH
Educator, Analyst, Author

Crystal N. Lewis, J.D., M.P.H., is a Public Health Law & Policy Analyst for the Institute for Healing Justice and Equity (IHJE) and an Adjunct Professor of Law at Saint Louis University’s School of Law. Crystal graduated in 2019 from St. Louis University but has several years of social justice and legal research experience; specific expertise includes policy surveillance and transdisciplinary collaboration. 

Crystal is currently teaching a class on Health Equity, Policy, and Advocacy and working with the IHJE tracking declarations of racism as a public health crisis across the United States. Crystal has also recently published co-authors reports including Governmental Use of Racial Equity Tools to Address Systemic Racism and The Social Determinants of Health and Racism is a Public Health Crisis. Here’s How to Respond. The latter report was used to support the passage of Connecticut House Bill No. 6662, that declares racism as a public health crisis as well as cited in the American Psychological Association Resolution to Combat Racism and in the 2020 Health Equity report for Boone County, MO.  

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