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2019 Health Equity Summit to Focus on Importance of Census 2020

Allentown, Pa., November 1, 2019—The Hispanic Center Lehigh Valley and the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation are hosting 2019 Health Equity Summit: Census 2020 that will be attended by over 100 representatives from nonprofit organizations and others. The half-day summit, focusing on the importance of the census and the link between hard-to-count communities and health equity in the Lehigh Valley, will be held on Tuesday, November 5, from 7:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. at Lehigh University, Iacocca Conference Center, 111 Research Drive, Bethlehem.

The morning will include information about the impact of a complete and accurate count on the health of the Lehigh Valley community, as well as the nonprofit sector as a whole. The summit will feature breakout sessions for nonprofit staff to learn about hands-on strategies to implement in order to ensure a complete and accurate count for the Lehigh Valley.

The program will start with a panel discussion featuring Susan Wild, U.S. Representative (PA -7th District); Norman Bristol Colón, executive director, Governor’s Census 2020 Complete Count Commission; Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development; Rajika Reed, Ph.D., Senior Network Director of Epidemiology & Strategy, St. Luke’s University Health Network; and Bernie Story, CEO & President, Lehigh Valley Community Foundation.

Three breakout sessions will follow from 9:45 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
They include the following:

  • Facilitated by Erin A. Yasenchak, Partnership Specialist, U.S. Census Bureau, Census 101 will focus on the basics of the census including the impact, at-risk areas, and more.
  • The Hard-to-Count Communities & Interventions That Work session is designed for those who are interested in learning specific strategies on how to successfully engage with hard-to-count communities. The panelists will include Pas Simpson, Promise Neighborhoods Lehigh Valley; Antoinette Cavaliere, ProJeCt of Easton; and Victoria Montero, Hispanic Center Lehigh Valley.
  • Kevin Greene, Chief Operating Officer, FACES International, will present Communication Strategies for Census Outreach, which will be a discussion about the current communications campaign for community outreach for the 2020 census and how nonprofits can plug into the outreach efforts.

Data from the Census 2020 will affect the annual allocation of over $800 billion in federal funds for 300 federal programs which include infrastructure, education, healthcare, and emergency services,“ said Victoria Montero, executive director, Hispanic Center of the Lehigh Valley. “Programs in the Lehigh Valley that rely on census data for the allocation include $10 million for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and $6.7 million in Community Development Block Grants each year. An undercount in the Lehigh Valley puts these and numerous other federal programs at risk for underfunding.”

“In addition, Census data determines the number of seats each state has in the House of Representatives as well as redistricting at the state and local levels,” said Megan Briggs, director of community investments at the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation.” Current census predictions show Pennsylvania losing one congressional seat after the 2020 census, reducing our state’s voice.”

Admission to the summit is free of charge nonprofit staff interested in ensuring a complete and accurate count for the Lehigh Valley are encouraged to attend. Registration is required and seating is limited. To register visit Eventbrite - https://tinyurl.com/yxrcdtkx.

2019 Health Equity Summit: Census 2020