Inquiry Series

The Collaborative Inquiry Series provides opportunities for in-depth action-oriented discussions on current topics surrounding health equity and leadership.

See below for examples of past events.

"Health Equity in Action" Forum 2017



Friday, September 15, 2017

Melva Hardy Memorial Scholarship Luncheon
SPH I 1680 - Community Lounge
12:00pm - 1:30pm
melva hardy

Join us as we congratulate our first scholarship recipient and to seed the scholarship fund for years to come.The Melva Hardy Memorial Scholarship was established to honor HMP alumna, Melva Francine Hardy. Ms. Hardy graduated from the University of Michigan School of Public Health with a Master of Health Services Administration degree in 2000. During her time at Michigan, Hardy served as president of the Public Health Students of African Descent (PHSAD), and went on to establish herself as an academic health leader and entrepreneur with her concierge health firm ImagineMD.

Scholarship button link

Afternoon Panel: "Forgotten Community Epidemics"
SPH I 1680 - Community Lounge
1:30pm - 3:00pm

This panel will discuss the connection between the 2014 Flint Water Crisis and the 2010 Haiti Earthquake. These two widely-known public health crises spurned instant social media coverage, created lesser known health epidemics, and now provide lessons for all of us towards building sustainable Equity In Action.

Featured Panelists

harley HS
Harley Etienne, Ph.D
Assistant Professor, Urban and Regional Planning
University of Michigan

Dr. Harley Etienne is an Assistant Professor of Urban and Regional Planning. He teaches in the areas of urban community development, inner-city revitalization, neighborhood change, urban poverty, and qualitative research issues in planning. Etienne's research focuses primarily on the intersection of social institutions and their relationship to processes of urban neighborhood change. Dr. Etienne is keenly interested in the role that colleges and universities play in contributing to neighborhood-level change and regional economic development. In 2012, he released, Pushing Back the Gates: Neighborhood Perspectives on University-Driven Change in West Philadelphia on Temple University Press. After the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, he worked on several projects examining the role of land tenure policy and land rights in the post-earthquake recovery of Port-au-Prince. In 2014, he co-edited a volume, Planning Atlanta which surveys the history, challenges and successes of planning in that city from its earliest beginnings to the present day. His current projects include quantitative and qualitative studies of the adaptation and survival strategies of community development corporations (CDCs) in Baltimore, Cleveland and Detroit. Before coming to the University of Michigan, Etienne taught at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the School of City and Regional Planning and the School of Public Policy. He earned a B.A. in sociology from Morehouse College in Atlanta, a M.A. in Urban Studies from Temple University and a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University.

Marlisa Hardy
Marlisa S. Hardy, DrPH, MPH
Project Manager
Houston Methodist Hospital

Dr. Hardy, a Flint native with current family experiencing the Flint Water Crisis, currently works as a Project Manager for the Behavioral Health Transitions of Care Program at Houston Methodist Hospital, in Houston, TX. She has been in this position for three years and is responsible for tracking project milestones, budget and revenue received for two multi-million dollar 1115 Medicaid Waiver DSRIP projects. As a panelist, Dr. Hardy will take on the role of family and community advocate. Dr. Hardy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Grambling State University, a Master of Public Health degree in Maternal and Child Health from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and a Doctor of Public Health degree in Community Health Practice with minors in Biostatistics and Leadership from the University of Texas School of Public Health. Dr. Hardy's education and skill set has afforded her the opportunity to work in leadership roles in the City of Houston Health Department, academia, hospital and nonprofit settings. 

George Hurtt

George Hurtt 
President and Founder
Hurtt Foundation

Mr. Hurtt is the President and Founder of the Hurtt Foundation and also serves as Pastor and Teacher at Mt. Sinai Church in Los Angeles, California. The Hurtt Foundation fosters human capital, social awareness and civic engagement values whose guiding principles are educational assistance, economic economic empowerment and environmental development. Mr. Hurtt via the Hurtt Foundation leads yearly alternative mission trips to Haiti for interested students, facutly and professionals where they work on community projects and evaluate the current healthcare, public policy and administrative need of the community. Mr. Hurtt graduated Cum Laude from the University of Detroit Mercy with both a Bachelor of Science in Health Service Administration and a Bachelor's of Arts degree in Religious Studies. He finished the requirements for the latter degree at the historical Oxford University in Oxford, England where he studied Reformation and Renaissance Studies under renowned theologians, such as Dr. Alister MvGrath. After returning from England, Mr. Hurtt earned a Master's of Health Management and Policy degree from the University of Michigan. 

James Taylor

James Taylor, Ph.D
Chief Diversity, Inclusion and Learning Officer
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

James E. Taylor is both Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer & Chief Learning Officer at UPMC, one of the nation's largest and most successful integrated health systems. In his capacity as Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Taylor is responsible for the development and implementation of strategic diversity initiatives which differentiate and advantage UPMC (something) in a diverse community crisis city. To this end, Taylor executes leading-edge and next-generation diversity strategies to advance the organization's diversity management capability, and its national presence as a diversity leader. As Chief Learning Officer, Taylor is responsible for developing an integrated learning strategy that provides the organization with highly-effective and technologically-advanced employee learning, leadership development, and consultative services aligned to the institution's strategic priorities. Taylor earned both a doctorate and master's degree in Organizational Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University, and completed his undergraduate studies at Ithaca College in New York, where he now serves on the Board of Trustees. Taylor has been awarded for his work both within and outside of health care, as he is actively engaged in many philanthropic and community based endeavors, holding multiple board appointments and supporting numerous charitable activities.


Gyasi Chisley

Gyasi Chisley
Chief Strategy Office and SVP of Payment Policy/Innovation

Gyasi Chisley is the new Chief Strategy Officer and SVP of Payment Policy/Innovation at UnitedHealthcare. Gyasi Chisley leads a new Strategic Initiatives team, which emphasizes bringing sharper focus and maximum value to our network design and payment strategies, while also delivering market solutions that ensure a continued pace of innovation. Mr. Chisely transitioned from his previous role leading Clinical Integration/Strategic Initiatives. Mr. Chisley brings more than 17 years' experience working closely with providers of all sizes to negotiate contracts and improve operations, efficiency and quality, including previous roles as CEO of Methodist Healthcare in Tennessee and COO within the Mercy Health Network in Ohio. Mr. Chisley holds dual Bachelors' degrees in Biology and Psychology from Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA. He also has Masters Degrees in Health/Business Administration from the University of Michigan. Gyasi is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and board certified in project and healthcare management. He is engaged in several professional organizations including the National Association of Health Services Executives (NAHSE), National Black MBA Association, and the Institute for Diversity in Healthcare Management. 

Afternoon Session: "Equity in Action"
SPH I 1690 - Auditorium
3:15pm - 4:30pm

We will engage in a community planning session to develop the Collaborative Equity in Action agenda for 2018. Participants will commit, champion, support and engage with other participants to learn how to act in collaborative ways for the 2010 Haiti Earthquake, the 2014 Flint Water Crisis, and other prevalent community epidemics facing our communities. 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Air Force Falcons vs. Michigan Wolverines
12:00pm - 3:00pm

Michigan Stadium
1201 S. Main Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Join us for food and fun during the 12pm kickoff vs. Air Force Falcons. Limited number of tickets available for purchase. Please contact Mr. Christopher Clarke at

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Church & Community Service
10:00am - 3:00pm

Grace Emmanuel Baptist Church
3502 Lapeer Rd.
Flint, Michigan 48503

During this day of service, we will demonstrate Equity in Action by visiting Flint, Michigan for fellowship and community service. Immediately following church service led by Pastor - Teacher George Hurtt, we will host a youth-focused informational to foster mentorship, educational/professional awareness and share the great work of the University of Michigan, Hurtt Foundation, Health Equity Leadership Pipeline Collaborative and the University of Michigan Summer Enrichment Program.