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Millions of caregivers provide critical support across the United States – from caring for aging parents and children with special health care needs  to connecting individuals with critical resources. All caregivers across the spectrum are essential to ensuring that individuals achieve health and well-being with dignity. And while caregivers have long been the pillars of families and communities, their lived experience and cultural relevance continue to be undervalued.

Consequently, caregivers – who are often women and women of color – face constant obstacles, including unfair pay, inequitable hiring practices, and lack of opportunities for professional advancement. As we collectively face one of the biggest health and economic crises in modern history, caregivers – whose contributions are more critical than ever – and their allies have an opportunity to make a strong, collective case for change.

The National Caregiver Summit is a free one-day, interactive virtual event that will foster learning and collaboration while driving advocacy and action on key issues that impact all caregivers.

Designed by and for caregiver and caregiver allies, the Caregiver Summit aims for attendees to:

Develop a better understanding, appreciation and respect for all caregiver experiences.

Create opportunities for caregiver groups that have been historically siloed to work together and support one another.

Recognize their relationship(s) to caregiving because in one way or another our lives have all been or will be touched by caregiving; either by being a caregiver, becoming a caregiver in the future, or benefiting from caregiving.

Identify the inequities that exist and understand the importance of moving towards building an equitable system that elevates the importance of caregivers across the spectrum and values the contributions caregivers provide to their communities and healthcare systems.

Caregivers have individual strengths and insights that when leveraged together, can create an even stronger platform for progress. To best harness this potential, the Summit will span across three tracks: Equity, Innovation and Policy.

Caregiver Summit 21' Tracks

A central tenet of the Summit is to bring the caregiver voice to the forefront throughout the entire conference - including design of the day of learning. Learn more about our design approach and meet the team of caregivers and caregiver allies that shaped the Summit.

Meet the Design Team

In addition to utilizing their lived experiences to brainstorm themes and topics for our sessions, the Equity Design Team was tasked with creating an overarching statement to weave equity throughout all facets of the Summit.

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A central tenet of the Summit is to bring the caregiver voice to the forefront throughout the entire conference – including design of the day of learning. Composed of a diverse group of caregivers, organizations that advocate for and empoy caregivers, and funders, the Design Team has come together over several months to share their experiences and identify critical challenges and opportunities caregivers face. Through these discussions, the Design team created the Summit’s goals, determined the learning agenda, and identified and helped recruit panelists and participants.


Equity Team

  • Shelisa Howard-Martinez (Team Lead)
  • Jacqueline Cusic
  • Dolores Harden
  • Marsha Quinn
  • Maya Jackson
  • Cara Coleman
  • Elizabeth Blount
  • Norman Espina
  • Edna Williams
  • Brenda Daniels
  • Sarah Khan
  • Jazmine Anderson

Innovation Team

  • Jocelyn Ling Malan (Team Lead)
  • Nanfi Lubogo
  • Sonya Watson
  • Ellen Carbonell
  • Cathy Salazar
  • Carolyn Foster
  • Maria Yefimova
  • Shirley Yan
  • Jay Newton-Small
  • Michael Alison Chandler
  • Danish Nagda
  • Melanie Campos

Policy Team

  • Meg Coumeau (Team Lead)
  • Mia Matthews
  • Elizabeth Zirker
  • Courtney Roman
  • Kate Honsberger
  • Debbi Harris
  • Punreet (Jazz) Bhatti
  • Fatima Rodriguez

Caregivers have individual strengths and insights that when leveraged together, can create an even stronger platform for progress. To best harness this potential, the Summit will center on three focus areas: Equity, Innovation and Policy. Attendees will discuss challenges and solutions in each of these focus areas during the plenary and breakout sessions.

Equity: Support family caregivers by addressing unmet essential needs (e.g. transportation, food, technology). Ensure equitable hiring practices, professional development, and career pathways; provide a living wage which includes health insurance.

Innovation: Respect and value lived experience and cultural relevance and promote self-actualization and self-advocacy. Provide necessary tools, technology, and training.

Policy: Develop and implement policies that enhance support for family caregivers and ensure pay parity and safety in the workplace. Redefine the current return on investment (ROI) justification by highlighting the full value caregivers generate. Evaluate and identify gaps in the existing national and/or regional policy landscape.

Join mailing list for updates


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Stay tuned for more details on Whova, our virtual event platform. Have questions in the meantime? Contact us at caregiversummit@healthleadsusa.org



The Summit invites caregivers across the spectrum, thought leaders, and organizations that represent, advocate for and employ caregivers, such as alliances, healthcare systems, health departments, and those with a policy focus or influence over payment structures. Register today for this free event and join the conversation and help drive the solutions needed for actionable change.




Given the Caregiver Summit has limited spots, we encourage participants to plan on joining for the entirety of this immersive and interactive experience. Unable to attend the whole day? Join our mailing list to receive session recordings.

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