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About the Center

The DSC is dedicated to the development and implementation of strategies that advance policy and practice to improve quality, eliminate racial and ethnic disparities, and achieve equity in health care in a time of rapid transformation.

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 to action—by developing and disseminating models for improving quality and 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 towards achieving equity in healthcare.

Composed of a multidisciplinary group of health policy experts, health services researchers and physicians, the DSC is housed within the MGH Mongan Institute for Health Policy and is affiliated with MGH and Harvard Medical School’s Department of Medicine.

Motivation

The creation of The Disparities Solutions Center follows and builds upon a commitment by MGH to eliminate health care disparities. 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 Center has been established in response to the national and local calls to action to address disparities in health care.

 

  • National. In March 2002, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released the landmark report Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Health Care. The IOM report revealed striking disparities in the quality of health care services delivered to minority and white patients. As a result, the IOM urged the development of interventions and educational efforts to eliminate disparities.

  • Boston. Following a two-year process involving health experts, community leaders, and city residents, on June 23, 2005 Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino launched a citywide project aimed at eliminating disparities in health care. The Mayor’s recommendations include concrete action steps for hospitals and other health care organizations.