ReThinking Health advocacy
with HealthVisions Midwest of Fort Wayne

The St. Joseph Community Health Foundation recently sponsored the ReThinking Health advocacy event presented by non-profit partner HealthVisions Midwest of Fort Wayne.

The keynote address was presented by Viva Combs Thorsen, PhD, a Fort Wayne native who works for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to strengthen HIV prevention programs for girls and young women in Africa and around the world. Combs Thorsen shared her moving and deeply personal story of health inequity growing up in a single parent household with no steady income. She relayed how her support systems, such as family, church, schools, social groups and more, were critical to overcoming the barriers to achieving health equity.

The keynote was followed by an insightful panel discussion with representatives of all three local healthcare systems, Parkview Health, Lutheran Health Network and IU Health. They discussed the challenges of addressing health inequities in a collaborative manner at the community level.

Stacy Grundy, DrPH, of IU Health stated: “Health equity is making sure everyone has access to healthcare, but it also recognizes that there are structural inequalities that are woven into our system, because of where you live, because of your race, because of your education level, you might need more resources because the systems put people at disadvantage.”

Meg Distler, executive director of the St. Joe Foundation, stated: “We were so pleased to support the recent ReThinking Health event and look forward to the continued collaborative dialogue the event sparked in our community.”

Both HealthVisions Midwest of Fort Wayne and the St. Joe Foundation are sponsored by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ,

To see the entire ReThinking Health event, visit