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‘Energizing Health’ to Fight Health Disparities and Champion Health Equity During SXSW 2019

Today, leaders in the healthcare innovation community announced ‘Energizing Health @ SXSW,’ four days of programming occurring at SXSW 2019 in Austin, TX. Organizers are focused on creating opportunities for community advocates, entrepreneurs, health organizations, industry and philanthropy to innovate, collaborate and activate initiatives aimed at increasing health equity by eliminating systemic barriers and building healthier communities.

Working alongside Health Equity Cypher, an organizational leader in the health equity space, Energizing Health will include 17 official SXSW sessions focused on the intersection of health equity and innovation, presented by prominent change makers in the local and national health, innovation, equity and policy communities.

Energizing Health’s sessions will be included on the official SXSW Health and MedTech track.  These include, “Communities as Health Innovation Hubs,” “Health 'Techuity' in Cardiovascular Health,” “Inequity: The Unspoken Factor Fueling Cancer,” and “Opioid Use Disorder and Mass Incarceration,” “Impact Pediatric Health,” and others.  Running in tandem with their official SXSW programming, Energizing Health is also unveiling the first-ever ‘Energizing Health House’ - located at the historic Cooper’s BBQ on Congress Avenue - to serve as a pop-up community center and platform for creative programming and startup engagement.

Organizations collaborating in support of this convening include the Aetna Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Cambia Health Foundation, the St. David’s Foundation, the American Hospital Association, the American Nurses Association, the American Heart Association, and the American Cancer Society and community leaders from across the country.  The Energizing Health sessions represent a unique national collaboration around the topic of health equity.

“SXSW is known as a setting where boundary crossing and innovative dialogue on important topics happen,” said Dr. Alonzo Plough, Chief Science Officer of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “We are proud to partner with Energizing Health to shine a spotlight on issues impacting health equity and to generate collaborative, multisector innovations that help create the conditions for people to lead healthier lives.”

“We are dedicated to providing organizations across the country with the resources and support they need to make a measurable impact in their communities, as reflected in programs such as the Healthiest Cities and Communities Challenge,” said Dr. Garth Graham, President of the Aetna Foundation. “Energizing Health shares the same dedication to positively impacting lives in our communities. We are excited to support this event and look forward to fueling innovation and collaboration in the health equity space.”

Peggy Maguire, President of Cambia Health Foundation, believes that how we care for people with serious illness is a social justice issue. Maguire said she looks forward to “shining a spotlight on the intersection of palliative care, health equity and innovation to improve the experience of ALL people living with serious illness as well as their unpaid caregivers.”

The ‘Energizing Health House’ will feature morning coffee breaks, meeting space, private policy discussions, TedTalk-style sessions, community events, receptions and infusions of culture including a performance by American Texas blues and soul blues singer and songwriter Miss Lavelle White, among others.

“The Energizing Health House is the perfect backdrop for convening and catalyzing philanthropic organizations from across the country,” said William Buster, Executive Vice President of Community Investments for St. David’s Foundation. “We look forward to joining in on the inspirations, collaborations, and connectivity that develop from gatherings during the event.”

Marking the end of the four days of programming, partners will participate in a roundtable discussion entitled “Crowdsourcing a Health Equity Innovation Movement” to process the key learnings and harness the innovative ideas shared to promote health equity.

“The health innovation community at SXSW has exploded over the past several years,” says Hugh Forrest, Chief Programming Officer for the SXSW Conference. “SXSW is committed to fostering growth and change through collaboration, and Energizing Health is the perfect representation of the unexpected discoveries that occur when diverse topics and people come together with a common goal.”

In addition to panel-style discussions, Energizing Health will feature a platform for health startups passionate about health equity to connect with community members, fellow start-ups, associations and interested funders during ‘Office Hours’ and select, SXSW session presentations.

To learn more about Energizing Health please visit and follow us on Twitter at @healergizing

Media Contact:

Christine Rashman

About Energizing Health

Energizing Health is an organization launched in 2014 dedicated to collaborating with community, civic and industry leaders to create opportunities around new and better ways to keep people healthy. By convening educational summits including Energizing Health @ SXSW, the Health Equity Hackathon and Impact Pediatric Health, among others, with community members, policy makers and entrepreneurs, we reach populations that have been marginalized by discrimination and poverty. We champion working with innovators, technology entrepreneurs, early stage healthcare companies, and large healthcare partners to meet the needs of the entire population. To learn more, visit http://Energizing.Health.

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