As part of MGH Equity and Community Health 10-point Structural Equity Plan, the goal of Initiative 4 is to improve access to care and identify and eliminate disparities in health care delivery. The MGH Equity Innovation Grant Program provides a funding mechanism for interventions that address racial and ethnic disparities in health care. This program is designed to attract applicants to develop, test, and implement innovative solutions to improve quality and address gaps in care for our diverse population.

We invite employees across MGH with dedication and passion for improving diversity, equity, and inclusion to apply. Funded projects will be developed and administered as small pilots of change to identify interventions that are successful and sustainable.

Please note these grants are only available to MGH employees 


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Disparities in NTSV C-Section Quality Improvement Project

Project Lead: Allison Bryant, MD, MPH, Obsetrics and Gynecology

Monitoring and analysis through the MGH Annual Report on Equity in Health Care Quality revealed disparities in NTSV Cesarean rates, with Black patients having Cesarean deliveries at a higher rate than White patients (32.1% vs. 21.%, respectively from 2016-2019). Research shows high rates of mistreatment of birthing patients in the US, especially patients of color. The OB/Gyn Department, the Disparities Solutions Center, the Center for Quality and Safety, and MGH Equity and Community Health are collaborating on a Qualitive Improvement initiative to better understand and address this disparity. We are conducting in-depth semi-structured qualitative interviews with up to 25 NTSV C-Section patients to explore their experience with their delivery and the care they received at Mass General. Findings from this investigation will be used to inform improvement plans going forward. Goals of the project include 1) investigating the experience of patients who had an NTSV Cesarean birth at Mass General, 2) understanding patients’ expectations for the birth and how they feel about having had a C-Section, 3) understanding patients’ perspectives on the reason(s) for having a C-Section, 4) comparing patients’ understanding of why they had a C-Section with the reasons recorded in their chart, 5) exploring patients’ perceptions of the birth experience, how they were treated, and satisfaction with the results of care, 6) understanding patients’ experience of care provided by physicians, nurses, midwives, and other staff.

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Addressing Equity in Telemedicine at MGH Chelsea

Project Lead: Carina Spencer, MD, MGH Chelsea Healthcenter

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a rapid and wide-scale implementation in the use of telemedicine. Despite significant rates of smartphone ownership among adult patients, including in the healthcare center setting, disparities in access to care via telemedicine have quickly emerged. This research project focuses on developing a thorough understanding of the factors that result in reduced access to video-based technologies by identifying patients using phone only technology. By assessing a variety of barriers including access, limited English proficiency/digital literacy, and privacy issue concerns, as well as community assets, this project aims to target, adapt, and scale telemedicine interventions specific to the community’s needs. As care for acute and chronic disease management in the era of COVID is redesigned, it is imperative that the systems put in place are engineered with equity as a central value.

Making Basic Life Support (BLS) Basic

Project Lead: Anezi Uzendu, MD, Cardiology

In predominantly Black and low-income neighborhoods, out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA) victims are 50% less likely to receive bystander CPR than those in high-income, predominantly White neighborhoods. In part, this is due to fewer opportunities for CPR training in communities of color. Anezi Uzendu, MD and the Make BLS Basic team piloted a virtual CPR training platform for predominantly community members and students of color to 1) improve out of hospital cardiac arrest outcomes in neighborhoods of color, 2) teach 300 individuals of color in Boston Hands Only CPR, 3) implement a train the trainer model, and 4) assess the feasibility and effectiveness of a Virtual CPR training. The Make BLS Basic Team examined whether this approach could be effective in building knowledge and confidence on delivering bystander CPR. In total, 150 families were trained. Portable Hands Only CPR training kits provided by the MGH CDI and Boston AHA were sent to each family prior to the Zoom sessions. Families kept the kits to pass along the training to loved ones.

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Prospective GI Symptoms Assessment (ProGISA) during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Project Lead: Christopher Velez, MD, Gastroenterology

This prospective research study aimed to assess and track the development of functional GI disease symptoms and psychological distress in patients 6 months after presentation to an outpatient respiratory illness clinic during the COVID-19 pandemic. There were 276 surveys administered to assess the severity of gastrointestinal symptoms after infection and to determine if there is an association of functional GI disease and psychologic distress as a factor of race/ ethnicity and socioeconomic status during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Results showed that in marginalized communities there was a high burden of chronic GI symptoms associated with female sex and depression/anxiety. Finally, GI symptom severity correlated with psychological distress which is suggestive of FGID-development in communities heavily impacted by the pandemic.

Experience of Patients with Functional Dyspepsia in Medically Underserved Areas

Project Lead: Christopher Velez, MD, Gastroenterology

This single-center, pilot qualitative research study aims to examine the experience of patients in medically underserved areas (MUAs) with functional dyspepsia presenting for evaluation with a gastroenterologist and/or primary care physician at a Mass General Brigham Healthcare facility. The goal of the study is to better understand how patients feel and think about their GI symptoms by way of semi-structured interviews with both English- and Spanish-speaking patients. The study aims to understand how these disorders impact quality of life as well as identify potential barriers to care so that providers may address an un-met need and further improve outcome and management of this patient demographic.


  • Microgrants of up to $3,000 are awarded to MGH employees committed to the design and implementation of quality improvement projects based on a defined area of need.

  • Funds do not include effort for time, but rather expenses related to quality improvement or research projects.


  • All MGH employees are eligible to apply for funding. Grant funding is available for MGH employees only.

  • Applicants must propose a quality improvement or research project that is focused on health disparities, diversity, equity, and/or inclusion.



  • Applications are completed online and reviewed by the MGH Equity and Community Health team on a rolling basis.

  • Eligible applicants can expect a response to their proposal within 3 to 4 weeks of submission.


Contact Esteban Barreto at with questions about the grant program.