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AAMC Learning Challenge Award

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Welcome to the Disparities Solutions Center (DSC) website, and thank you for your interest in our work. The DSC is dedicated to the development and implementation of strategies that advance policy and practice to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health care.

Specifically we are working to:

  • Create change by developing new research and translating the findings into policy and practice.
  • Find solutions that help health care leaders, organizations, and key stakeholders ensure that every patient receives high-value, high-quality health care.
  • Encourage leadership by expanding the community of health care professionals prepared to improve quality, address disparities and achieve equity.

Our goal is to move beyond research and begin to take action—by developing and disseminating models for identifying and addressing racial and ethnic disparities in health care nationally, regionally, and locally. Through our work, we hope to move all healthcare stakeholders one step forward – and closer to eliminating racial/ethnic disparities in healthcare.

Composed of a multidisciplinary group of health policy experts, health services researchers and physicians, the DSC opened in July of 2005 with initial funding from Massachusetts General Hospital and Partners HealthCare System. It is housed within the MGH Institute for Health Policy and affiliated with MGH and Harvard Medical School’s Department of Medicine.

For more information on how the DSC is working to assure equitable, high quality health care for all, please browse through our website. Thank you.


Recent Updates from the DSC

2016-2017 Disparities Leadership Program
Request for Applications

The Disparities Solutions Center is now accepting applications for the 2016-2017 Disparities Leadership Program (DLP). The Disparities Leadership Program (DLP) is our year-long, hands-on executive education program focused exclusively on helping health care leaders achieve equity in quality. The program is designed to help you translate the latest understanding of the problem of disparities into realistic solutions you can adopt within your organization. Through the DLP, we aim to create leaders prepared to meet the challenges of health care transformation by improving quality for at-risk populations who experience disparities.

Click here to read more about the DLP

Click here to download this year's Letter of Intent Form (optional) and Application

November 20, 2015 Intent to Apply (recommended but not required)
January 29, 2016 DLP Application due
March 25, 2016 DLP applicants are notified
April 1, 2016 Acceptance Deadline
May 6, 2016 Tuition payment is due
May 10-11, 2016 Opening meeting, Seaport Hotel, Boston, MA
February, 2017 Two day meeting, Loews Hotel, Santa Monica, California (dates TBD)


Now Available:
MGH Annual Report on Equity in Healthcare Quality (AREHQ)

Since 2005, MGH has produced the Annual Report on Equity in Healthcare Quality, which measures several key components of quality by race, ethnicity, and language; identifies key areas for quality improvement; and reports on the progress of initiatives addressing disparities at the MGH. This is the first year the report is available to the public for downloading in its entirety. MGH is proud of its leadership to ensure equity in healthcare quality and is pleased to share this report with others in the healthcare arena who are interested in implementing similar initiatives in their organizations. MGH received the Association of American Medical Colleges Learning Health System Challenge Award in 2013 and the American Hospital Association’s inaugural Equity of Care award in 2014 for its efforts to reduce disparities and promote diversity within the organization.

Click here to download a copy of the 2014 AREHQ.

Click here for more information on the AREHQ.

Click here for more information about the AHA Equity of Care Award and the AAMC Learning Health System Challenge Award



Recording Now Available:



The MGH’s Center for Community Health Improvement (CCHI) and the Disparities Solutions Center (DSC) celebrated 20 and 10 years respectively of addressing healthy communities and health care equity with a joint event on June 4 at Mass General Hospital. The event was very well attended with over 400 attendees from MGH and other local organizations. Speakers included: Nicole Bourgeois, Recovery Coach at MGH, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, Victoria Reggie Kennedy and Garth Graham, MD, MPH, President of the Aetna Foundation and Former Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Click here to watch videos of the event.

Click here to read our brochure, which highlights 10 years of key DSC programs and initiatives to reduce disparities in healthcare.

Webinar Recording Now Available:

HPOE Webinar

Making Data Meaningful: Monitoring Performance in Quality and Equity

Click here to view the webinar

The foundation of all efforts to identify disparities, improve quality, achieve equity and deliver value is effective data collection. Developing robust equity dashboards and reports is critical in this effort. This October 14th HPOE webinar held by the Institute for Diversity and Symposium for Leaders in Healthcare Quality highlighted key lessons learned from the Disparities Solutions Center (DSC) at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), the 2014 AHA Equity of Care award winner in regards to dashboards and reports. DSC Disparities Leadership Program alumnus CHE Trinity Health also shared lessons learned, key do's and don'ts, as well as practical steps to both get started and advance ongoing initiatives in equity measurement and monitoring.


  • Joseph R. Betancourt, MD, MPH, Director, Disparities Solutions Center at MGH
  • Aswita Tan-McGrory, MBA, MSPH, Deputy Director, Disparities Solutions Center at MGH
  • Laura Archbold, RN, MBA, Vice President, UCO Operations, CHE Trinity Health

Click here to view the presentation slides only

American Hospital Association Equity of Care Award

Equity of Care Award 2

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. 

Equity of Care Award

“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 

Dr. Betancourt Interviewed for Hospitals and Health Networks Daily
Dr. Joseph Betancourt, MD, MPH, Director of the Disparities Solutions Center, was interviewed for Hospitals and Health Networks Daily at the Health Forum-AHA Leadership Summit in San Diego, where Massachusetts General Hospital was honored with the inaugural American Hospital Association’s Equity of Care Award. MGH received the AHA Equity of Care Award for the organization's leadership in the health care field and initiatives to increase diversity and reduce disparities in healthcare. Full Interview

Full Interview

Save the Date!

The Healthcare Quality and Equity Action Forum

September 29th and 30th
Seaport Boston Hotel, Boston, MA

Our June 2014 Forum was a great success with over 180 participants from across the country. Be sure not to miss the next Healthcare Quality and Equity Action Forum on September 29th and 30th, 2016 at the Seaport Boston Hotel!

Sign up for our mailing list to receive an alert when registration portal goes live!

The Healthcare Quality and Equity Action Forum
sets the stage for interdisciplinary dialogue and will provide the background, key drivers, and essential strategies to improve quality and achieve equity in a time of rapid healthcare system change. Leaders from multiple disciplines and healthcare organizations—including those from health plans, healthcare systems, and children’s hospitals, to name a few—who work in the areas of quality and safety; disparities, diversity and equity; health policy; and health care design and delivery, will find the Forum to be a unique and highly valuable experience.

The Forum promises to be a stimulating, action-oriented, and cutting-edge event where participants will leave better equipped to deliver high-value health care to diverse populations.

Visit the links below for more information, including a sample agenda and speaker bios from our last HQEA Forum: