Health Equity and Social Justice Discussion Club

The Health Equity & Social Justice Discussion Club will alternate between traditional books and a curated collection of virtual content.

This club is a safe and respectful virtual space to discuss important literature on topics of social justice and health equity all from the comfort of your home or office. Guided conversations will provide unique opportunities for insightful reflection and open minded sharing with your peers. Each session will take place via Zoom under the guidance of a physician moderator.

Registration is free an open to all Ohio Academy of Family Physicians (OAFP) members as a benefit of membership.

Members participating in the Health Equity & Social Justice Discussion Club can submit a Continuing Medical Education (CME) Reporting Form to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) member resource center to claim CME credit as a professional enrichment activity. Credit may be claimed, commensurate with participation, for partaking in other medical educational experiences and activities, such as informal self-learning activities. These activities may or may not be documented, and are not certified by the AAFP, AMA, AOA, but are of a nature of professional enrichment to the family physician.

Financial support for this program was provided by the AAFP Foundation to the Family Medicine Philanthropic Consortium (FMPC) and is funded by members like you! Help programs like this continue to support family medicine by giving to the AAFP Foundation. Select “Chapter Grants” when making your gift online. Thank you!

Wednesday, September 21, @ 7:30 p.m. | Discussion Registration | Discussion Questions | Moderator: Roxanne Cech, MD, FAAFP | Special Guest: William Cooke, MD, FAAFP
Canary in the Coal Mine: A Forgotten Rural Community: A Hidden Epidemic, and a Lone Doctor Battling for the Life, Health, and Soul of the People

William Cooke, MD, FAAFP, family physician and author of the Canary in a Coal Mine, will be tour featured guest. Dr. Cooke is the founder of Foundations Family Medicine in Austin, IN, the 2019 recipient of the American Academy of Family Physicians’ Family Physician of the Year Award, and was presented the 2019 Ryan White Distinguished Leadership Award for his remarkable fortitude in leading his small, rural Indian town through the opioid and HIV epidemic. WATCH: Dr. Cooke’s fight to save a town from the opioid epidemic – Canary in the Coal Mine: Book Trailer

When author and family physician Will Cooke, MD, FAAFP, an idealistic young physician just out of medical training, set up practice in the small rural community of Austin, IN, he had no idea that much of the town was being torn apart by poverty, addiction, and life-threatening illnesses. But he soon found himself at the crossroads of two unprecedented healthcare disasters: a national opioid epidemic and the worst drug-fueled HIV outbreak ever seen in rural America.

Confronted with Austin’s hidden secrets, Dr. Cooke decided he had to do something about them. In taking up the fight for Austin’s people; however, he would have to battle some unanticipated foes: prejudice, political resistance, an entrenched bureaucracy―and the dark despair that threatened to overwhelm his own soul. Canary in the Coal Mine is a gripping account of the transformation of a man and his adopted community, a compelling and ultimately hopeful read in the vein of Hillbilly ElegyDreamland, and Educated.

Tuesday, November 29, @ 7:30 p.m. | Discussion Registration | Moderator: Dana Vallangeon, MD
Health Equity for Marginalized Populations Struggling with Homelessness, Mental Health, and Substance Use Disorder

Participants will review a selection of virtual content including videos, articles, and blogs to inform their discussion.

How the Discussion Club will Function

  • Each discussion will be conducted using the Zoom video conferencing system
  • Participants will need to register in advance in order to receive their unique Zoom login
  • A physician moderator will guide each session through a list of preset questions for group reflection
  • Depending on the size of the group, smaller breakouts may be warranted
  • Each session will begin promptly at 7:30 p.m. and last approximately one hour
  • Registration is free an open to all OAFP members as a benefit of membership.

Discussion Club Participation Guidelines

  • The purpose of this discussion club is to discuss literature on topics of social justice and health equity in a safe and respectful virtual space
  • Please respect the authority of the moderator
  • Inappropriate behavior and/or language will not be tolerated
  • Disagreements among participants is permitted so long as it is handled respectfully
  • Keep on topic, but feel free to introduce information that is relevant to the discussion (historical facts, bio details, book background, related authors, or topics)
  • When you speak, please state your name
  • Have fun and remember that this is an opportunity to build comradery with peers across the healthcare continuum.


For more information, please contact Deputy Executive Vice President Kate Mahler, CAE, or call 800.742.7327.