Penn State Greater Allegheny to host second panel of its Crossing Bridges Summit

Penn State Greater Allegheny in McKeesport will host a Crossing Bridges Summit event, “Socioeconomic and Environmental Perspectives on Black Women’s Health” at 3 p.m. EDT Thursday, Dec. 10. WPSU will produce the event and broadcast it live at Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and Allegheny Health Network serve as the Platinum Sponsors for the event, which is free and open to the public.

The Crossing Bridges Summit is a signature program at Greater Allegheny. Its purpose is to bring students, faculty, staff and community members together and to bridge racial divides in the Mon Valley. This year, the summit is placing Black women’s health at the center of its work, and examining the topic from a number of perspectives. The first panel, held in October, considered medical perspectives of Black women’s health. 

“Our Crossing Bridges Summit committee identified this year’s theme after reading 'Pittsburgh’s Inequality Across Race and Gender' report (September 2019),” said Jacqueline Edmondson, chancellor and chief academic officer. “Women’s health was identified as a concern. We want to partner with local and national experts to help the campus community and the public understand the issues identified in this report, to consider how these issues are manifest in the Mon Valley region, and to identify areas where the campus can collaborate with community partners to be a catalyst for change.”

Panelists for the Dec. 10 event include Dannai Wilson, program director for Maternal and Child Health, Allegheny County Health Department; Jim Kelly, deputy director, Bureau of Environmental Health, Allegheny County Health Department; Tammy Thompson, poverty expert and executive director, Circles of Greater Pittsburgh; and Germaine Gooden Patterson, community health worker, Women for a Healthy Environment. Johnathan White, lecturer in history at Penn State Greater Allegheny, will serve as the moderator. 

Greater Allegheny will host a virtual Summit Talk at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, allowing campus and community members to discuss the panelists’ perspectives and to identify actionable items to address inequity in the region. There is no cost to attend the Summit Talk, but registration is required at

“Our October Summit Talk marked the first time we offered a live stream broadcast of the event,” said Edmondson. “On the day of the event, it was viewed more than 300 times by audience members in over 19 states and Canada. Over 50 people have watched the archived recording.  hat engagement demonstrates that people want to learn about the serious inequities faced by Black women. We hope as people continue to watch and learn from our panelists, that they will become advocates for meaningful change in their communities.”

The Crossing Bridges Summit began in 2017. It is comprised of five pillars; the Speakers Series, Summit Talks, student-led Unity Talks, a Visiting Scholar program, and a Task Force on Racial Equity and Justice. Additional Speaker Series events and Summit Talks will be held in the spring. During these events, local and national experts will discuss psychological and political influences on Black women’s health. For more information, visit