Health Disparities for Diverse Communities

Saturday, September 24
1:00 - 2:00 PM
Bodek Lounge, Houston Hall
About this Session: Pioneering efforts for increased access to health through research, practice and policy.

Featured Speakers

Senator Vincent J. Hughes

Democratic Chairman PA Senate Appropriations Committee


Senator Vincent J. Hughes is a leading progressive voice on local, state, and national issues. He was elected by his colleagues in 2010 to be the Democratic Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. He has been a member of the Pennsylvania Senate for over 20 years, first elected to represent the 7th Senatorial District in 1994. Senator Hughes served as a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 1987 to 1994. During that time, he was the chair of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus from 1991 to 1994. 􀀀 As a key member of the Democratic leadership team in the Senate, Senator Hughes has been a champion on major policy issues such as expanding healthcare for low-income workers, raising the minimum wage, defending the right to vote, fighting for increased funding for public education, and rebuilding PA’s distressed communities. As Democratic Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Hughes also plays a major role in developing Pennsylvania’s annual budget of over $30 billion and guiding the state’s spending priorities.

Senator Hughes was a leader in the fight for the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act in Pennsylvania. The centerpiece and final part of this struggle was the successful implementation of Medicaid Expansion, which is providing health insurance to over 500,000 low income working people who previously could not afford to purchase coverage on their own.

Senator Hughes has recently received national attention for his bold proposal for universal voter registration. Under his legislation, all eligible individuals who interact with state government—such as getting a driver’s license, accessing social services, or obtaining a hunting permit— would automatically be added to the voter rolls This unique bill goes further than any other legislation in the country to expand the right to vote and increase voter participation.

Senator Hughes has also been recognized both locally and nationally for his work on HIV/AIDS, and the challenges of mental/behavioral health in the African-American community. His commitment to creating access to college is demonstrated through his service on the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency and the Cheyney University Council of Trustees. Senator Hughes and his family have also established the James Hughes Memorial Scholarship Fund in honor of his late father. The fund has given out more than $1 million in scholarships to over 400 students.

In all of his work, which has taken him across the state and around the world, Senator Hughes is staunchly committed to the progress of his 7th Senatorial District, which encompasses portions of Philadelphia and Montgomery County. Senator Vincent Hughes is a member of the Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, and is supported by his loving wife, actress, entertainer and activist Sheryl Lee Ralph, and their blended family of four children.

STATE SENATOR VINCENT HUGHES Democratic Appropriations Chairman Serving the 7th Senatorial District and the People of Pennsylvania

Anne Koch, DMD D'77, GD'93

Real World Endo
Department of Endodontics
University Of Pennsylvania


Dr. Anne L. Koch received both her DMD and Certificate in Endodontics from the University of Pennsylvania.  She is also the founder and past Director of the Postdoctoral Program in Endodontics at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine.   Following her clinical and academic career, Annie formed her own successful technology and development company, Real World Endo, of which she was CEO and President.  

The author of more than one hundred and fifty articles in her prior specialty field, Dr. Koch has presented more than one thousand lectures worldwide.  Dr. Koch is an active member of the ADA, AAE, MDS, and BDDS.

Dr. Koch maintains a faculty position at PENN (Department of Endodontics) as well as serving as a Senior Fellow with Penn Medicine.
She also is a member of the Board of Overseers for the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine.


Lisa M. Lewis, Ph.D., RN, FAAN

Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusivity
School of Nursing


Lisa M. Lewis, PhD, RN, FAAN is Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusivity and an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania. She also holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Africana Studies. She received her PhD in Nursing, along with a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2002 after completing a BSN from Syracuse University in 1991 and an MA in Nursing Education from New York University in 1998. Dr. Lewis’ program of research focuses on reducing the racial disparities in blood pressure control. She studies determinants of medication adherence in hypertensive blacks with an emphasis on psychosocial factors such as self-efficacy, social support, depression, spirituality, and perceived discrimination. Dr. Lewis also has expertise in the development and testing of community-based interventions targeted at improving the behavioral management of hypertension in settings such as faith-based organizations. As an educator, Dr. Lewis’ main focus has been to prepare nursing students who provide health care to the nation’s ever increasing diverse populations.


Patricia Martín M’85

University Trustee
Medical Imaging of Lehigh Valley P.C


Dr. Patricia Martín M’85 is a partner at Medical Imaging of Lehigh Valley P.C., a subspecialized radiology practice at Lehigh Valley Hospital and Network in Allentown, Pa. After graduating from Harvard University in 1981 and from the Perelman School of Medicine in 1985, she completed her radiology/neuroradiology training at NYU Medical Center in 1991. Dr. Martín practiced academic neuroradiology at Stony Brook University Hospital in New York before moving to Pennsylvania in 2000.

Dr. Martín’s professional leadership roles include as neuroradiology section chief and treasurer and vice president of her practice’s professional corporation. She has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Radiological Society since 2006. In 2013, she became a Fellow of the American College of Radiology.

Patricia has served as a board member and an officer of the Association of Latino Alumni since 2007 and in 2012, she was appointed to the Board of Overseers of Penn Nursing.

She is married to Kevin Bannon C’76, and together they have raised two daughters. Patricia is most interested in promoting diversity and inclusion at Penn.

Related Articles