Dr. Luis Diez Morales
Dr. Marcus McKinney
(Hartford/Boston May 8,
2015) – Dr. Luis Diez Morales and Dr. Marcus McKinney of Saint Francis Care, Hartford, CT, have been selected to participate in a year-long executive
leadership program designed to tackle racial and ethnic disparities in health
Drs. Diez and McKinney are among 60 individuals from 21
health care organizations from around the United States to be selected for the
Disparities Leadership Program 2015-2016.
They will join a cohort of over 120 other organizations who have
participated in the Disparities Leadership Program from 2007-2015.
The Disparities Leadership Program is the first program of
its kind in the nation, and is designed for leaders from hospitals, health insurance
plans, and other healthcare organizations who are seeking to develop practical
strategies to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare. The program is led by the Disparities
Solutions Center at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston,
Through the DLP, the DSC aims to create leaders prepared to
meet the challenges of healthcare transformation by improving quality for
at-risk populations who experience disparities. The program has three main
healthcare leaders with a rich understanding of the causes of disparities and
the vision to implement solutions and transform their organization to deliver
leaders create strategic plans or projects to advance their work in reducing
disparities in a customized way, with practical benefits tailored to every
the goals of health equity with health care reform and value-based purchasing
“This program is about developing new leaders and taking
action. It is about helping individuals
and their healthcare organizations understand the critical connection between
improving quality and eliminating disparities in care through a concerted,
coordinated effort to change our health care system,” said Joseph R.
Betancourt, MD, MPH, Director of the Disparities Solutions Center at MGH, and a
member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Committee, which produced the 2002
landmark report Unequal Treatment:
Confronting Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Health Care. This report revealed striking disparities in
the quality of healthcare services delivered to minority and white patients --
even for patients of the same socioeconomic background and access to care.
“These health care organizations are clearly distinguishing themselves as
national leaders by taking action to identify and address disparities,” Dr.
“The Curtis D.
Robinson Center for Health Equity was established to further Saint Francis’
goals for achieving equitable care for those we serve in Connecticut. This
leadership program promises to shape a clear, measurable plan for Saint Francis
to address disparities in our health system,” noted Dr. McKinney, who serves as
Vice President, Community Health Equity and Health Policy at Saint Francis.
“This learning opportunity is uniquely designed to assist
health systems like ours, committed to making a difference for our
communities,” said Dr. Diez. “The experience will help us incorporate best
practices for direct care while planning ongoing strategies for quality and
outcomes in Connecticut.”
Created in July 2005 as the nation’s first, hospital-based
disparities center, the Disparities Solutions Center at MGH has significant
experience in addressing racial and ethnic disparities in care. The Center has
worked with several leading health plans across the country (Aetna, Blue
Cross-Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Florida, among others)
to develop strategies to identify and eliminate disparities. In addition, DSC
faculty have staffed the Massachusetts General Hospital Committee on Racial and
Ethnic Disparities, pioneering activities such as the Disparities Dashboard, an
innovative way to identify and monitor disparities, as well as the development
of a culturally competent diabetes disease management program. The DSC faculty
has also played an important role in the well-recognized effort among Boston
hospitals to eliminate disparities under the leadership of the Boston Public
Health Commission. These experiences have uniquely positioned DSC faculty to
provide training to those interested in addressing disparities through quality
The Disparities Leadership Program is jointly sponsored by
the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), and supported by Joint
Commission Resources (JCR), an affiliate of the Joint Commission.