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National Projects

Current Projects

Aetna Foundation
“Leading the Way for the Elimination of Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health”
The Disparities Solutions Center, in collaboration with the Aetna Foundation, is working to design and implement a program focused on developing new leaders and empowering existing leaders interested in disparities reduction efforts. The program includes a one-year HealthCare Disparities Fellowship designed to train new leaders in the areas of cultural competence, community oriented research and elimination of racial/ethnic disparities in health care. It also includes a Disparities Leadership Forum – a one-time event that provides an opportunity for leaders who are addressing racial/ethnic disparities in health care to come together for a semi-structured, interactive, strategy session and think-tank on eliminating disparities.
Project Directors: Alexander R. Green, M.D., M.P.H. & Joseph Betancourt, M.D., M.P.H.
Time Frame: January 2007 – December 2009

The Disparities Leadership Forum took place on June 18-19, 2008. To read about the background and goals of the meeting and review the notes, click here.
Read more about this year's fellow, Lenny Lopez , MD, MDiv, MPH.



Previous Projects

The National Committee for Quality Assurance
“Small Grants to Encourage Medical Groups to Address CLAS” and “CLAS Awards”
This project is designed to encourage the provision of culturally and linguistically appropriate health care services (CLAS) by health plans and medical practices. The Disparities Solutions Center will work with the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) to develop a program awarding innovative practices in health plans and partnering organizations, and a separate small grants demonstration program for medical practices. The Disparities Solutions Center will work with NCQA to design and implement both programs, and will provide technical expertise and advice as NCQA identifies innovative practices to improve the provision of culturally and linguistically appropriate services.
Project Directors: Joseph R. Betancourt, M.D., M.P.H. & Robin Weinick, Ph.D.
Time Frame: February 2006-February 2008

The California Endowment
“Policy Briefs: Cultural Competence, Health Disparities and Quality of Care”
The Disparities Solutions Center is preparing two manuscripts that address current issues in the field of cultural competence, quality, and racial/ethnic disparities in health care. Providing robust evidence from the medical literature, foundation reports, and other sources, these papers will be targeted toward influencing policy, practice, and end-users in the healthcare community. To facilitate the transition from publication to public action, the Center will also develop a dissemination plan for the findings, reaching out to a wide audience of key health care decision makers.
Project Directors: Joseph R. Betancourt, M.D., M.P.H. & Alexander R. Green, M.D., M.P.H.
Time Frame: December 2005-December 2006

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
"Moving Hospitals to Action"
The Institute of Medicine Reports Crossing the Quality Chasm and Unequal Treatment both stress the importance addressing racial/ethnic disparities in health care by improving quality. Despite this, there are few examples of hospitals who have eliminating disparities high on the leadership agenda or who have tools to monitor for disparities within their standard quality monitoring. Furthermore, there is no venue for end-users, such as hospitals, to stay current on key issues related to eliminating racial/ethnic disparities in health care. To meet these needs we (1) developed a Disparities Leadership Toolkit that makes the “case” to hospital leaders for why and how they should address disparities within their organizations; (2) we released the Creating Equity Reports: A Guide for Hospitals, which provides hospitals with guidance on how to monitor for disparities; and (3) we conducted routine Web Seminars to broadly disseminate current, practical, actionable strategies to track and address disparities.
Project Directors: Joseph R. Betancourt, M.D., M.P.H. & Alexander R. Green, M.D., M.P.H.
Faculty: Roderick King, M.D., M.P.H. & Robin M. Weinick, M.D., M.P.H.
Time Frame: April 2007-September 2008

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Cultural Competence Consulting
The Disparities Solutions Center is providing an integrated, interactive organizational consultation to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in the area of cultural competence in health care. The approach emphasizes the role of cultural competence as a mechanism for reducing racial and ethnic disparities in the quality of care, as well as assisting the Foundation’s Disparities Team in understanding how they can incorporate these issues into their interactions with each other and the grant making process.
Project Directors: Joseph R. Betancourt, M.D., M.P.H. & Alexander R. Green, M.D., M.P.H.
Time Frame: February 2006

Please visit our archives to view our web seminars that addressed issues on collecting Race/Ethnicity data which was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Please see our case study of Aetna, Inc. which highlights promising disparities solutions which was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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