The White House has invited NASW member Sarah Gehlert, PhD, MSW, dean of the University of Southern California Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, to join its new nonpartisan White House Health Equity Leaders Roundtable.
The White House Office of Public Engagement established the group to provide key communication and expert perspectives regarding health care access, one of the Biden administration’s central issues. The roundtable consists of 14 health care leaders from across the United States who have been tasked with providing expertise, counsel, and potential solutions to the nation’s highest office on critical issues of health equity and disparities.
Gehlert is the group’s only representative of the social work profession. Her appointment reflects the increasing recognition that the discipline is gaining as a core member of health care teams and a leading voice in any discussion of social determinants of health.
“I am honored to have been asked to join this exceptional group of innovators and researchers with long-term experience in community health working together to create meaningful change in health care access across the country,” said Gehlert, who also serves as the endowed Ernest P. Larson Professor of Health, Ethnicity and Poverty at USC. “Social work is getting a well-earned seat at the table in setting health care policy, and I am privileged to represent the tens of thousands of social workers across the country who are on the front lines of health care delivery every day.”