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A Seat at the Table Community Webinar Series

A Seat at the Table Webinar Series

Presenting three panel discussions to bring awareness to healthcare disparities facing African Americans.

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Versiti advocates for diversity in blood, organ and tissue, and bone marrow and stem cell donations.
Ask Me Anything Webinars Seat at the Table Webinars

You’re invited to “A Seat at the Table,” community-focused panel discussions supported by a series of relevant, thought-provoking films.

Community is at the heart of what we do at Versiti. That’s why we’re inviting you to have “A Seat at the Table”. Join our free to the public webinar series this November and December to share your view on healthcare disparities faced by African Americans.

In this three-part webinar series of panel discussions, a virtual stage will be set to offer education, resources and opportunities to participate in intentional collaborations for years to come.

Outcomes from this effort will include building community advocates connected to the work of closing the healthcare gap and lessening the disparity in historically underserved communities. Participants will be encouraged to advocate and engage the work surrounding better health outcomes in our communities.

The first two panels will focus on those living with sickle cell disease and an intimate adaptation of the organ donation process from multiple family perspectives.

“A Seat at the Table Webinar Series: Community Views Around Healthcare Disparities Faced by African Americans” event details

1.  Panel discussion focused on Sickle Cell Disease

Live panel discussion:

Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020
4-5 pm CST / 5-6 pm EST

  • Featuring community advocates, healthcare experts, sickle cell patients and families
  • Exploring the true experiences had by someone living with sickle cell disease

Moderator: Tyrone “DJ Bizzon” Miller

All are encouraged to view “Spilled Milk” prior to the discussion though you will still be able to actively participate without having viewed the movie

Spilled Milk is a film about two lifelong friends – a white man from Utah and a Black man from New Jersey. Omar is living with sickle cell disease; Jaqai has uprooted his life to make a documentary about him. (Available on YouTube)


Greg Asmus

Field Marketing Manager of Transfusion Medicine, Versiti Diagnostic Laboratories

James Griffin III

Author, Breaking Silence: Living with Sickle Cell Anemia; Advocate

Cynthia Leonard RN, MSN

Program Coordinator, Sickle Cell Disease Clinic, Froedtert

Emily Meier, MD, MSHS

Director, Sickle Cell Research at Indiana Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center; Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine

Jaqai Mickelsen

“Spilled Milk” Film Director

Latoya Stamper, MSW, APSW

Lead Social Worker, Children’s Wisconsin; Wisconsin sickle cell program and hematology clinic

Save Your Virtual Seat!

2. Panel discussion focused on Organ Donation

Live panel discussion:

Tuesday Nov. 24, 2020
4-5 pm CST / 5-6 pm EST

  • Featuring community advocates, healthcare experts, organ donor family
  • Sharing the intimate journey of organ donation from multiple family perspectives

Moderator: Pastor Christopher R. Boston

All are encouraged to view “A Question of Faith” prior to the discussion though you will still be able to actively participate without having viewed the movie.

In A Question of Faith, a judge remands Maria to a juvenile detention center after the teen strikes 12-year-old Eric with her car while texting. Joining Eric in the hospital is Michelle, a young singer who collapses while auditioning for a major record label. As their respective parents begin to question their faith, a chain of events brings all three families together in unexpected ways. (Available on Prime Video)


Colleen McCarthy

Chief of Staff and Vice President of Organ and Tissue Donation, Versiti

Terra Pearson, MD

Transplant Surgeon, Froedtert Hospital

Colette Shumpert

Donor Mom

Angela White

Producer of “A Question of Faith”

Save Your Virtual Seat!

3. Panel discussion focused on Healthcare Disparities

Live panel discussion:

Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020
4-5 pm CST / 5-6 pm EST

  • Featuring community advocates, healthcare experts, patients and families
  • Focusing on the system that results in healthcare disparity for communities of color

Moderator: Vivian King

All are encouraged to view “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” prior to the discussion though you will still be able to actively participate without having viewed the movie.

About The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks: In 1951, cancerous cells from Henrietta Lacks lead to breakthroughs that change the face of medicine forever. Aided by writer Rebecca Skloot, Deborah Lacks embarks on a quest to learn about the mother she never knew. (Available on Prime Video, Hulu or HBO.)


Stacy Crouther

Living Kidney Recipient

Dr. Bashir Easter

Assistant Director, All Of Us Research

Ed Jenkins

Founder, Lalo’s Lunchbox LLC; Sickle Cell Patient

Stephanie Jones

MSI Quality and Research Supervisor, Versiti

Shelley Mitchell

Regional Manager of Donor Recruitment, Versiti

Save Your Virtual Seat!

Did you know?

One in 10 African American babies are born with sickle cell trait, and blood transfusions are the most common way to treat sickle cell disease.

  • Annually, about eight consistent blood donors support one person living with sickle cell disease.
  • African Americans are the largest diverse race in need of an organ transplant – 32,000 to be exact, on the national wait list.
  • High rates of diabetes and high blood pressure contribute to the increased risk of organ failure in African Americans.
  • African Americans are gravely underrepresented in the blood donor population.

These existing healthcare disparities require greater attention to make a substantial impact for people who need it most. By presenting “A Seat at the Table,” Versiti is looking to better engage African American communities across our five-state footprint (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin) in a fun, impactful and informative way.

Everyone in Versiti’s footprint is welcome to attend: blood, platelet and plasma donors/recipients; marrow donor and recipients; organ and tissue donors/family members, Versiti team members; blood drive hosts; volunteers; community and faith leaders; educators; friends, family and neighbors – everyone!


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