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Aetna/Disparities Solutions Center (DSC) HealthCare Disparities Fellowship

The Disparities Solutions Center would like to thank the Aetna Foundation for their support of the Aetna/Disparities Solutions Center (DSC) HealthCare Disparities Fellowship. We are pleased to have worked with the Aetna Foundation and are excited by the opportunity provided by their support of this program.

The Disparities Solutions Center is currently no longer accepting applications for the Aetna/Disparities Solutions Center (DSC) HealthCare Disparities Fellowship. Please click here to join our listserv and receive updates about other announcements and events from the DSC.

What is the Aetna/DSC HealthCare Disparities Fellowship?

The Aetna/DSC HealthCare Fellowship program was created to develop new leaders in health care equipped with the tools and skills necessary to work towards the elimination of racial/ethnic disparities. Aetna/DSC Disparities Fellows will learn from a cutting-edge, multi-disciplinary staff at the DSC with expertise in racial/ethnic data collection, performance measurement and reporting, disparities interventions, evaluation, and cultural competence. The fellowship is a hands-on working experience, focused on action-oriented research and strategies for addressing disparities. Fellows will either develop a project of their own with guidance from DSC faculty or will play a major role in one of the on-going projects of the DSC. They will also participate in various national, regional, and local activities of the DSC. In addition, the Fellows will get to shadow DSC faculty, and get regular, customized, one-on-one instruction on individual faculty member’s area of expertise.  Funding for this fellowship was made possible through the generous support of the Aetna Foundation, and one fellow will be selected per year. For more information about the Aetna Foundation's work with Racial and Ethnic Health Care Equity, click here.

Aetna/DSC HealthCare Disparities Fellowship Activities
The Aetna/DSC HealthCare Disparities Fellow will be involved in several core activities:

Primary Disparities Project

Disparities fellows will be expected to engage in one primary disparities project for which they will play a leading role. This project may be a research project, quality improvement project, or policy oriented project focused on addressing disparities in health and health care with an emphasis on action and change. It may be part of an existing DSC project or an entirely new project as long as this is agreed upon in advance. DSC faculty will provide primary mentorship on this project and it should fit well with the DSC’s scope of work.

DSC Ongoing Projects

The DSC is actively engaged in a wide variety of efforts and projects designed to help organizations take action toward the elimination of racial/ethnic disparities in health care both locally and nationally. Aetna/DSC Fellows will become part of the DSC team for a year and will be integrally involved in this work. Fellows will engage more intensely on their own specific project for which they will play a leading role. They will also get regular, customized, one-on-one instruction on individual faculty member’s area of expertise. Through this process, fellows will be prepared to lead efforts based on the DSC approach at other institutions around the country.

Integrating Community Perspectives into the Elimination of Disparities

MGH has long and excellent track record of working with communities through its Community Benefits Office and its affiliated community health centers. The Aetna/DSC Fellow will work collaboratively with the DSC to advance community-oriented projects and research. Emphasis will be placed on conditions where racial and ethnic disparities have already been documented. Given the one-year time frame, the fellow's project would ideally represent either a "spin-off" project from an on-going DSC effort or a manageable short-term project.

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Disparities Solutions Center: Faculty

Joseph R. Betancourt, MD, MPH, is the Director of the Disparities Solutions Center, Senior Scientist at the Institute for Health Policy, and Director of Multicultural Education at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). He is also an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and a practicing internist at MGH. He has served on several Institute of Medicine (IOM) Committees, including those that produced “Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Health Care”, “Guidance for a National Health Care Disparities Report”, and “In the Nation’s Compelling Interest: Ensuring Diversity in the Health Care Workforce.”  He served on the Boston Public Health Commission's Disparities Committee, the Massachusetts State Disparities Committee, and now co-chair’s MGH’s Disparities Committee and is on the Massachusetts State Disparities Council.

Alexander R. Green, MD, MPH, is the Associate Director of the Disparities Solutions Center and Senior Scientist at the Institute for Health Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is also Chair of the Cross-Cultural Care Committee at Harvard Medical School. His work focuses on programs designed to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in care, including the use of culturally competent quality improvement interventions, leadership development, and dissemination strategies. He has studied the role of unconscious biases and their impact on clinical decision-making, language barriers and patient satisfaction, and innovative approaches to cross-cultural medical education. He has also served on several national panels on disparities and cultural competency including the Joint Commission's "Hospitals, Language, and Culture" project.

Roderick R. King, MD, MPH, is currently Senior Faculty at the Disparities Solutions Center and an Instructor in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School.  Dr. King’s work focuses on leadership & workforce development, and improving health systems performance as they relate to addressing health disparities and improving the health of underserved populations.  In addition, Dr. King was recently selected as one of two Inaugural Institute of Medicine Anniversary Fellows, where he serves on the Board on Global Health, which oversees the study, “The US Commitment to Global Health”. In addition, he also serves on the Board on Population Health and Public Practices which oversees the IOM “Roundtable for Racial and Ethnic Disparities.”  He most recently served as the Director for the Health Resources and Services Administration, Boston Regional Division and as a Commander in the US Public Health Service, U.S. Department of HHS. 

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