Health Equity Webinar Series: Closing the Digital Divides and Achieving Digital Equity

Frank Robinson

Wednesday, October 21, 2020 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm

Location: ONLINE

The SPHHS and the Western Massachusetts Health Equity Network, in partnership with the New England Public Health Training Center, welcome alumnus Frank Robinson ‘94PhD, Vice President of Public Health & Community Relations at Baystate Health Systems, along with Paul Foster, Chief Information and Accountability Officer for the Springfield Public Schools, and Paul Murphy, incoming Board Chair of the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, for a conversation on "Closing the Digital Divides and Achieving Digital Equity." The webinar is part of a series of virtual conversations related to racism as a public health crisis.

The digital divide is a public health crisis now more than ever. In the heightened moment of COVID-19 we see a digital divide gap widening throughout Western Massachusetts. This webinar will discuss how Western Massachusetts communities are addressing the digital divides resulting from digital literacy, internet connectivity, internet infrastructure particularly equipment, and policy. This conversation simultaneously includes urban and rural communities in a collective approach in addressing low income and BIPOC (Black, Indiginous, People of Color) communities.

The health equity webinar series will cover topics such as COVID-19 and Health Inequities, the Digital Divide and Public Health, Reproductive Health Justice, and Intergenerational Conversations on the future and equity. The conversations will replace the biannual in-person Health Equity Summit, which has been rescheduled to September 24, 2021.

Register here.  Note: You will be directed to the New England Public Health Training Center's website to register for this webinar. Questions?  Email

About the Speakers:

Frank Robinson, Ph.D.

In 2015 Frank Robinson, Ph.D., became the Vice President of Public Health & Community Relations for Baystate Health. In this role, Dr. Robinson is responsible for integrating clinical and community care to better serve vulnerable people and populations across the spectrum of diversity and create healthier communities. In leading Baystate’s efforts to expand the definition of health to include economic opportunity; access to education, nutritious food and culture; safe neighborhoods, and other underlying essentials of a person’s and a community’s ability to thrive, Dr. Robinson focuses on building community partnerships to achieve large-scale health improvements, including resource development, health education and health equity initiatives and community benefits.

Dr. Robinson earned his Ph.D. in Public Health - Community Health Education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA; his Master of Arts in Community Psychology from Mansfield University, Mansfield, PA; and his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from State University of New York, Oswego, NY. Residency Program at the Maine Medical Center. She helps co-found the Yarmouth Community Coronavirus Task Force in Yarmouth Maine.

Paul Foster

Paul Foster is the Chief Information and Accountability Officer for the Springfield Public Schools. A member of the Superintendent’s Cabinet, he is responsible for technology, digital learning, assessment, planning and evaluation, computer science instruction, data, and research. In this role he has led the implementation of a one-to-one computing program for every student in the district; expanded the availability and use of data and predictive analytics; launched Springfield’s computer science for all initiative; and, created the community data warehouse for data sharing between the school district and community-based organizations serving children.

Mr. Foster’s background is in research and data analytics in the public sector as he served as the Regional Information Center Manager at the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission; as an Analyst with the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center; and as the founder and first Director of the City of Springfield’s CitiStat performance management program. A proud resident of Springfield, he has a BA in History and African American Studies from Harvard College and an MA in Social Policy from Brandeis University.

Paul R Murphy

Mr. Murphy is a Trustee of Baystate Health and has served on the Board of Trustees of other nonprofit organizations. He is the retired Legal and Administrative Counsel of Amherst College and a former Partner of Foley Hoag LLP, a Boston-based law firm with offices in New York, New York, Washington, D.C. and Paris, France. Mr. Murphy has a BA in Physics from Amherst College and a J.D. from Yale Law School. Paul and his wife, Dale live in Northampton, MA.