Health Equity Advisory Board


What is the Health Equity Advisory Board (HEAB)?


Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health (LDCPH) is committed to creating conditions in which all people in the county have opportunities for health and well-being. The purpose of the group is to serve as an advisory body to Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health, by helping to:

  1. Guide LDCPH’s community engagement and outreach efforts 
  2. Advise LDCPH’s strategic and community health planning efforts and support implementation 
  3. Inform & recommend decisions around new initiatives for LDCPH



The HEAB consists of 9 community members selected based on their lived experience and identities as members of racial or ethnic  groups historically marginalized. Their identities also intersect with other populations experiencing inequities. 

sierraSierra Two Bulls is an Oglala Lakota originally from the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota and has been heavily involved in community and advocacy work since moving to Lawrence, Kansas in 2012. Sierra is the Haskell/KU Exchange Program Coordinator in the Native American Initiatives office of the Equity & Success Initiatives Department as well as adjunct teaches social work courses at Haskell Indian Nations University.


My name is Nafiza Akbar, and I am a senior at KU. My involvement with public health organizations such as HEAB taught me the importance of advanced research and health promotion for vulnerable populations who are at risk to racial disparities and inequity. 


lauraLaura Canelos has been involved in community work and advocacy since she moved to Lawrence from her native Ecuador, in 2009.

Laura is the Director of Community Outreach at UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Kansas and is passionate about health access and health equity.


robertoRoberto Gonzalez has done business around the world, specializing in marketing, sales, and business development. He currently resides in Lawrence and lends his expertise and experience to the HEAB.

Health Equity Advisory Board

Name Position
(vacant) Member
Laura Canelos Member
Nafiza Akbar Vice-Chair
Sierra Two Bulls Chair
Jose Eduardo Romero Member
Roberto Gonzalez Member
(vacant) Member
(vacant) Member

Accomplishments of the HEAB

Over the history of the HEAB, the group has contributed to important work at LDCPH, including:

  • Selecting priorities for LDCPH’s strategic plan
  • Reviewing policies to be adopted by LDCPH
  • Directing creation of COVID-19 communications
  • Input in the hiring of the new LDCPH director

How does the HEAB work? 

The HEAB meets monthly to work on an agenda that is shaped by HEAB members and LDCPH staff. HEAB members are paid and gain other benefits by participating:

  • Shape and direct the work of LDCPH
  •  Support efforts to improve health equity
  •  Connect with others who want to improve equity
  •  Be compensated for contribution ($30/ hr)

How do I get involved?

Contact: Tatiana ( or Vicki ( for more information