Eat, Stay, Live: Connecting the Dots in the Social Determinants of Health

Friday, August 17th
8:30am – 10:00am

Many state health policymakers are working to address social and economic elements, such as access to healthy food, safe housing, and reliable transportation, which make up 80 percent of factors impacting people’s health. This session highlights practical strategies for working across state agencies and other sectors to address the social determinants of health. It features accountable health models in Michigan and Rhode Island, and strategies used by Massachusetts to make sure hospital community benefit investments align with state health priorities.


Mary G. McIntyre, Chief Medical Officer, Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH)
Mary McIntyreMary G. McIntyre, M.D., M.P.H., SSBB is Chief Medical Officer for the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH). She is board certified in Public Health and General Preventive Medicine through the American Board of Preventive Medicine. She joined ADPH in January 2011, and served as Assistant State Health Officer for Disease Control and Prevention and State Epidemiologist before taking her current position. Prior to beginning her public health career she served in various roles at the Alabama Medicaid Agency including Alabama Medicaid Medical Director. She provided primary care for eleven years mostly in rural Alabama before joining the State. She is a member of the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, the National Academy for State Health Policy, the American Public Health Association, the Alabama Public Health Association, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, the American Medical Association, and the Medical Association of the State of Alabama. She is most proud of being a wife and mother to four amazing adults and a grandmother to three.



Deborah Garneau, Health Equity Institute Director, Rhode Island Department of Health

Deborah Garneau, MA is the Director of the Health Equity Institute and Title V Maternal and Child Health / Special Needs Director at the RI Department of Health. In this position she is responsible to advance RIDOH’s health equity priorities, identify and address health disparities and shepherd a sustained platform for the advancement of equity in RI through strategic investments, technical assistance, engagement, messaging, and public policy. Ms. Garneau leads the Health Equity Institute in administering community contracts in refugee health, minority health, health equity zones, maternal and child health, and disabilities and health. She provides leadership to addressing the social, environmental and economic determinants of health affecting vulnerable populations and ensuring health disparities are identified and systematically addressed throughout RIDOH programs. Ms Garneau served as a mental health clinician and administrator with at-risk children and their families prior to state service.

Paula Kaiser VanDam, Bureau Director, Michigan Department of Health & Human Services

Paula Kaiser VanDam has served as the Director of the Bureau of Community Services at MDHHS since 2012. In this role, Paula oversees the Department’s work related to housing and homeless services, victim services including domestic and sexual violence, poverty reduction initiatives including Community Services Block Grant funding, community partnerships related to accessing public benefits and local resources, and the implementation of the Community Health Innovation Regions. Through this work Paula is dedicated to providing prevention and services to improve the health, well-being and self-sufficiency of individuals and families.


Sandra Wolitzky, Assistant Attorney General, Massachusetts Attorney General's Office

Sandra Wolitzky is an Assistant Attorney General in the Health Care Division of the Office of the Attorney General of Massachusetts. The Health Care Division enforces health care laws to protect the rights of Massachusetts consumers and works to promote public health and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the health care system. Before joining the Attorney General’s Office, she clerked at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the District Court for the District of Massachusetts and practiced law in the commercial litigation group at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP.