Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston received the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) inaugural Equity of Care Award for its efforts to reduce health care disparities and promote diversity within the organization’s leadership and staff. The award was presented on July 21 at the Health Forum-AHA Leadership Summit in San Diego.
The AHA Equity of Care Award was created to recognize outstanding efforts among hospitals and care systems to advance equity of care to all patients, and to spread lessons learned and progress toward achieving health equity. In 2011, the AHA joined four national health care organizations to issue a call to action to eliminate health care disparities by focusing on increasing the collection of race, ethnicity and language preference data; increasing cultural competency training; and increasing diversity in governance and leadership.
MGH has been a leader in the health care field on efforts to increase diversity and reduce disparities in care. MGH first established a system wide Committee on Racial and Ethnic Disparities in 2003 to focus internal attention on the challenge of disparities, improve the collection of race/ethnicity data, and implement quality improvement programs to reduce disparities. The Disparities Solutions Center (DSC) was established in 2005 in response to national and local calls to address disparities in health care. The Disparities Solution Center is an action-oriented center with a practical focus of moving the issue of disparities in health care beyond research and into the arenas of policy and practice. It serves as a national, regional and local resource for hospitals and other key health care stakeholders. The MGH Committee on Racial and Ethnic Disparities, in partnership with the DSC, has implemented programs that have improved outcomes and eliminated racial and ethnic disparities related to diabetes management, colorectal and breast cancer screening, patient experience, as well as quality and safety for patients with limited English proficiency.
In addition, MGH has is working to embed diversity in all aspects of its strategic plan; undertaken efforts to increase the diversity of its leadership and governance; and developed hospital-wide cultural competency standards as well as deployed a number of specific cultural competency education and training programs for physicians, nurses and front-line staff. MGH also funds and supports many initiatives to increase staff diversity including the Multicultural Affairs Office, several diversity fellowships, English for Speakers of Other Language courses, scholarship programs and various Employee Resource Groups such as the Association of Multicultural Members of Partners, the Office for Women’s Careers, the LGBT Committee and the Committee on Latino Initiatives.
“We are honored and humbled to receive this recognition from the AHA,” said Dr. Peter Slavin, President of Massachusetts General Hospital, “The Institute of Medicine Report Unequal Treatment demonstrated the importance of incorporating efforts focused on equity into a comprehensive quality management program. We have made some progress in identifying and addressing health care disparities at MGH. However, we feel like we have just scratched the surface of this important quality topic. This award will inspire us to intensify our efforts further.”
The Equity of Care Award will be presented annually by the AHA. Hospitals were required to complete an application describing their efforts to provide equitable care and had to participate in the Institute for Diversity in Health Management’s most recent benchmarking survey on diversity and disparities.
Full Press Release
The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has awarded the Disparities Solutions Center at Massachusetts General Hospital the AAMC Learning Health System Challenge award for its work on disparities, equity and quality improvement. The AAMC has selected 13 winners of the award for outstanding innovations in medical education, care delivery, research and diversity and inclusion. The award recognizes institutions that have implemented system-wide processes that improve the opportunity for research within quality improvement, health equity, and research using data from electronic health records.
2013 Gold Professorship
Awarded by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation Professorship Program
The Gold Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the doctor-patient relationship, awarded Dr. Green, Associate Director of the Disparities Solutions Center, a Gold Professorship. The goal of the award is to honor faculty at the Assistant or Associate Professor level who promote the importance of humanistic medicine and the values of professionalism in medical education. This grant will support Dr. Green as he develops and tests educational strategies to ensure that medical and nursing students learn to provide safe, effective, and humanistic care for patients with limited English proficiency.
2013 Provider of the Year Award from International Medical Interpreters Association
The IMIA established this award in 2011 to recognize a healthcare professional who has made a lasting impact in the field of medical interpreting. This award also recognizes the need for outstanding healthcare provider champions who take our mission as their mission for the patient safety of those patients who have a language barrier to healthcare. Dr. Green is a community leader who has joined the interpreter community to fight for universal language rights.
2012 Powermeter Award from El Planeta
El Planeta, the largest Hispanic newspaper in Massachusetts, named Dr. Betancourt of the Disparities Solutions Center one of the Most Influential Individuals in the Massachusetts Hispanic Community. Dr. Betancourt has been on the Powermeter since its inception in 2005. Recipients were selected based on their achievements and contributions through their work and fields to the advancement of the Hispanic community in Massachusetts in 2012.
2012 Senior Cobb Fellow in Health Disparities from W. Montague Cobb/NMA Health Institute
The National Medical Association (NMA) launched the William Montague Cobb/NMA Health Institute in December 2004 to develop, evaluate, and implement strategies to promote wellness and eliminate health disparities and racism in medicine. They named Dr. Betancourt a 2012 Senior Cobb Fellow. Fellows are individuals who have distinguished themselves in addressing healthcare disparities.
2012 Health Care Leadership Award from the Massachusetts Health Council
The Massachusetts Health Council Award has been presented annually since 1988 to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of the general health and well-being of the residents of the Commonwealth. Dr. Betancourt received this award for his expertise and dedication to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health care.
2012 Poder Latino Special Recognition Award from ¿Oíste?
¿Oíste? is a non-partisan organization founded in 1999, by several Latino leaders from across Massachusetts. The mission of ¿Oíste? is to advance the political, social and economic standing of Latinos and Latinas in the state. Dr. Joseph Betancourt received this award from the board of the Latin Civic Education Initiative for his impact on the Latino community.
2012 MACEP Distinguished Service Award
The Massachusetts College of Emergency Physicians (MACEP) is dedicated to advancing excellence in emergency care, and advocating for emergency physicians, their patients and the health of the community. MACEP was proud to recognize Dr. Landry for his representation of Emergency Physicians with the Boston Public Health Commission’s NeighborCare and Equity Dashboard task groups.
2012 SNMA Legacy Award for Outstanding Achievement
The Student National Medical Association (SNMA) awarded Dr. Landry the 2012 SNMA Legacy Award. SNMA is committed to supporting current and future underrepresented minority medical students, addressing the needs of underserved communities, and increasing the number of clinically excellent, culturally competent and socially conscious physicians.
2011-2012 Fulbright Regional Network for Applied Research (NEXUS) Scholar from the Fullbright Program
Dr. Roderick K. King has been selected as one of the 2011-2012 Fulbright Nexus Scholars from the United States. Fulbright NEXUS was launched in August 2010 and is organized through the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affair. The Fulbright NEXUS Program supports U.S. foreign policy priorities by sharing best practices to fight poverty and encourage innovation in creative, market-driven and socially responsible ways.
2011 Powermeter: Award from El Planeta
El Planeta, the largest Hispanic newspaper in Massachusetts, named Dr. Betancourt of the Disparities Solutions Center one of the Most Influential Individuals in the Massachusetts Hispanic Community. Dr. Betancourt has been on the Powermeter since its inception in 2005. Recipients were selected based on their achievements and contributions through their work and fields to the advancement of the Hispanic community in Massachusetts in 2011.
2010 Powermeter: Award from El Planeta
El Planeta, the largest Hispanic newspaper in Massachusetts, named Dr. Betancourt of the Disparities Solutions Center one of the Most Influential Individuals in the Massachusetts Hispanic Community. Dr. Betancourt has been on the Powermeter since its inception in 2005. Recipients were selected based on their achievements and contributions through their work and fields to the advancement of the Hispanic community in Massachusetts in 2010.
2008 Harold Amos Diversity Award: Awarded by Harvard Medical School
Dr. Alexander Green, Associate Director of the Disparities Solutions Center, received the Harold Amos Diversity Award in recognition of his significant achievements in moving Harvard Medical School toward being a diverse and inclusive community. This award was established to recognize Harvard Medical School/Harvard School of Dental Medicine faculty who demonstrate a significant commitment to enhancing diversity above and beyond their role and/or responsibilities.
2008 PowerMeter: Award from El Planeta
El Planeta, the largest Hispanic newspaper in Massachusetts, named Dr. Betancourt of the Disparities Solutions Center one of the Most Influential Individuals in the Massachusetts Hispanic community.
Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award
Awarded by The Harvard Medical School Graduating Class of 2008
Presented to Dr. Joseph Betancourt, Director of the Disparities Solutions Center, on Thursday June 5th in recognition of his outstanding contributions.
2008 Program of Excellence Award- Chelsea Diabetes Program
Awarded by the Diabetes Coalition of Massachusetts
The Chelsea Diabetes Program, a collaborative effort among the Disparities Solutions Center (DSC), MGH Chelsea HealthCare Center, Massachusetts General Physician Organization (MGPO), and Center for Community Health Improvement, received a 2008 Program of Excellence award from the Diabetes Coalition of Massachusetts (DCOM) at their spring statewide meeting. The Chelsea Diabetes Program, which aims to reduce racial/ethnic disparities in diabetes by using a bilingual coach, one-on-one visits with a bilingual nurse educator, and bilingual group education sessions, was honored by the Coalition as a model program. The Program of Excellence award is given to organizations with innovative and multidisciplinary initiatives that contribute significantly to the field of diabetes prevention, education, or management.
For more information on the Diabetes Coalition of Massachusetts, click here.
For more information on the Chelsea Diabetes Quality Improvement Program, click here.
2008 Corporate Leadership Award
Awarded by The Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts
The Corporate Leadership Awards are presented to leading organizations that maintain a strong and supportive relationship with the Urban League with the common goals of encouraging economoic and community development through employment, supporting families and protecting civil rights. This honor recognizes MGH's work with the Urban League to address health care disparities in the Boston area as well as its commitment to hiring a diverse workforce. The award was accepted by MGH President, Peter L. Slavin, MD, at the organization's 16th annual awards gala on April 5th.
2008 Community Leader Award
Awarded by Health Care for All
These awards honor leaders make a difference in improving health and health care in their communities through outstanding advocacy, organizing and other means. The Disparities Solutions Center was honored for providing essential research, education, and training for the movement for health care equity and for the elimination of racial and ethnic health disparities. Other recipients include: Lisa Vinikoor - Community Organizer for the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, for her tireless advocacy and organizing, constantly traveling the state to help individuals and families gain a voice in the health care system and Lisa Nash- an invaluable and courageous leader in the Consumer Health Quality Council.The awards were presented at this year’s Policy and Organizing Conference, which took place on March 28th at the Holiday Inn, Boxborough.