Health Affairs Briefing

Pursuing Health Equity

National Press Club

529 14th Street NW, Washington, DC (Metro Center)

Tuesday, June 6, 2017, 9:00 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.


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With an eye toward understanding how to achieve greater equity through interventions both inside and outside the health services sector, in 2016 Health Affairs launched a multi-year project to examine and overcome the factors that contribute to disparities in health and health care. The results of the first phase of this work are contained in the recently released June 2017 issue of the journal, “Pursuing Health Equity.” 


On Tuesday, June 6, a forum at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, featured a high-level conversation on the issues with experts and theme issue advisers Paula Braveman of the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, and Joseph Betancourt of Harvard Medical School, plus panels of journal authors presenting their studies.  Topics covered were:


Pursuing Health Equity 
Addressing Social Determinants of Health 
Evidence of Inequities in Health Care 
Addressing Inequities in Health Care


The program featured the following presenters: 


·     Mariana Arcaya, Assistant Professor, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, on Emerging Trends That Threaten To Exacerbate Inequities


·     Julia Berenson, Research Associate, Center for Health Innovation, New York Academy of Medicine, and PhD candidate, School of Social Work, Columbia University, on Identifying Policy Levers and Opportunities for Action across States to Achieve Health Equity


·     Joe Betancourt, Founder and Director, Disparities Solutions Center (DSC), and Senior Scientist, Mongan Institute for Health Policy Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Health Affairs Theme Issue Adviser, on Achieving Equity Through Organizational Change: Lessons From 10 Years Of The Disparities Leadership Program


·     Paula Braveman, Professor of Family and Community Medicine, and Director, Center on Social Disparities in Health, University of California San Francisco, and Health Affairs Theme Issue Adviser


·     Amy Carroll-Scott :  Assistant Professor, Department of Community Health and Prevention and Urban Health Collaborative, Drexel Dornsife School of Public Health, on The Role Of Non-Profit Hospitals In Promoting Health Equity In Cities: A Content Analysis Of Community Health Needs Assessments And Implementation Strategies


·     Scott Cook, Deputy Director, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Finding Answers: Solving Disparities Through Payment and Delivery System Reform Program Office, University of Chicago, on Solving Disparities Through Payment and Delivery System Reform:  A RWJF Program To Achieve Health Equity


·     Robert Drake, Andrew Thomson Professor of Health Policy and Clinical Practice, Dartmouth College, on Integrating Social Determinants Within Mental Healthcare For Ethnic And Racial Minority Populations


·     Joachim Hero, Graduate Student, Harvard University, on United States Leads In Differences By Income In Perceptions Of Health And Health Care


·     Renee Hsia, Professor and Director of Health Policy Studies, Department of Emergency Medicine, Institute of Health Policy Studies, UCSF School of Medicine, on Black Patients With Acute Myocardial Infarction Experience Higher Mortality During Moderate To Long Hours Of Emergency Department Crowding


·     Winta Mehtsun, Research Fellow, Department of Health Policy, Harvard School of Public Health, on Racial Disparities In Surgical Mortality – Are We Narrowing The Gap?


·     Taylor A. Melanson, Taylor A. Melanson, Doctoral Student, Department of Health Policy and Management, Laney Graduate School, Emory University, on New U.S. Kidney Allocation System Eliminates Racial/Ethnic Disparity In Kidney Transplantation Among Waitlisted Individuals


·     William Schpero, Doctoral Student, Department of Health Policy and Management, Yale School of Public Health, on Racial And Ethnic Differences In Receipt Of Low-Value Health Care Services


·     Shira Shavit, Associate Professor, Family Community Medicine, UCSF School of Medicine, on Implementing A National Network Of Primary Care Clinics For Individuals Recently Released From Prison: Challenges To Success And Lessons For The Future


·     Donna Washington, Director, Office of Health Equity–Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI), Partnered Evaluation Center, Veterans Affairs Health Services Research and Development, Greater Los Angeles VA Medical Center, on With Veterans Health Administration Implementation Of Patient-Centered Medical Homes, Racial/Ethnic Disparities In Clinical Outcomes Narrowed For Some Groups


·     Steven H. Woolf, Director, Center on Society and Health, and Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Population Health, Virginia Commonwealth University, on Achieving Health Equity: Progress Requires Attention To Root Causes


Health Affairs is grateful to The Kresge Foundation, The California Endowment, Aetna Foundation, The Colorado Health Foundation, Episcopal Health Foundation and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for their financial support of the issue and briefing.