Howard Koh to speak at health care summit

Howard Koh

Lawrence General Hospital is bringing together a range of national and regional leaders to discuss the social determinants of health and the impact they have on vulnerable patient populations. 

The event is scheduled to be held in the Rogers Center at Merrimack College on Monday, April 29, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.,

The keynote speaker is public health expert and Andover resident Howard Koh. Sponsored by Merrimack College, the event is free and open to the public.

Koh's son, Dan Koh, is a selectman in Andover and former candidate for US Congress.

Howard Koh will discuss, among other topics, how economic and social conditions influence the health of both individuals and entire communities. These are the health factors related to living and working conditions (such as distribution of income, housing, and personal power), rather than the individual factors that influence the risk for a disease, such as family history, cigarette smoking, or high blood sugar.

Koh is former US Assistant Secretary for Health and Human Services during the Obama administration and is currently professor of the Practice of Public Health Leadership at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Harvard Kennedy School. in his speech, he will address the social determinants affecting the health of future populations.

Additional speakers include:

-- Dr. Davida Schiff, medical director of the MGH Hope Clinic and instructor in pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. She will speak about targeting equity in perinatal substance use.

-- Vilma Martínez-Dominguez, the community development director in Lawrence, will give a presentation on local approaches to health disparities through partnerships and interdepartmental collaborations.

-- Dr. Robert Sege of the Center for Community-Engaged Medicine, Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies and a professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at Tufts University, will discuss developmental understanding and legal collaboration for everyone, how healthcare can be used as a platform to address social determinants of health for infants.

The event is free, but pre-registration is required. A light breakfast and lunch will be provided. Visit to register!

For questions, please email


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