Racism, Social Determinants of Health & COVID-19 Webinars

In this webinar, we will examine how historic social injustices continue to operate today through structuring exposures to the social determinants of health, including individual socioeconomic status and neighborhood resources.

We will also examine how persistent socioeconomic disadvantage elevates risk of COVID-19, chronic disease, and death among communities via behavioral as well as physiologic mechanisms of embodiment involving the sympathetic nervous system and immune function.

Finally, we will conclude with individual-, and organizational-, and community-level strategies nurses can implement to ameliorate racism in healthcare.

During this two part webinar, attendees will learn about:
Part 1: Race, racism, and social determinants of health & Racism and biobehavioral mechanisms of disease.
Part 2: Anti-racist strategies and the role of nurses on an individual-level, organizational-level & community-level.

Downloadable Webinar Resources –

Open to all RNs and LPNs who live or work in Pierce, Thurston, Mason, Kitsap, Grays Harbor, Clallam and Jefferson counties. Webinar recording will be available for six weeks for all nurses in our region. Certificate of Attendance provided to all attendees who attend the live webinar or watch the recording and complete an evaluation form. For more information, contact Rainier Olympic Nurses at (253) 572-7337 or email office@rainierolympicnurses.org.


Wendy Barrington, PhD, MPH

Dr. Barrington is an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing as well as Adjunct Associate Professor in the Departments of Epidemiology and Health Services in the School of Public Health at the University of Washington. She also is an Affiliate Investigator with Fred Hutch and serves as the Faculty Lead for the Urban Populations Program within its Office of Community Outreach and Engagement. She obtained her B.S. in Earth Systems from Stanford University, her MPH in Epidemiology from the University of New Mexico, and her PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Washington. She is an instructor of health practitioners and a health disparities researcher; her work falls within two main schema: promoting healthy communities and addressing racial disparities in clinical outcomes. She applies community-based participatory research principles to engage marginalized communities in health promotion and also works with health systems to transform policy, practices, and processes to address racial disparities in health service outcomes including cancer screening.

Sharon S. Laing, PhD

Dr. Sharon Laing is an Assistant Professor of Nursing and Healthcare Leadership at the University of Washington Tacoma (UWT) and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the School of Public Health at University of Washington Seattle. Dr. Laing received her BA (Honors) Psychology degree from McMaster University in Ontario, Canada and her PhD in Developmental/Health Psychology from Howard University in Washington DC. She completed post-doctoral work in health promotion and chronic disease prevention at Rutgers University’s Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute and University of Washington’s Health Promotion Research Center. Dr. Laing conducts research that address health promotion and chronic disease prevention in low-resourced and economically disadvantaged communities. Her scholarship is designed to support underserved communities in gaining access into existing healthcare systems. Dr. Laing’s work also explores a re-imagining of digital healthcare technologies to be more tailored to and maximally supportive of marginalized and disadvantaged communities.