HISTORY

The Disparities Solutions Center builds on Mass General's commitment to respond to national and local calls to action to eliminate disparities in health care. Watch the video below for a look at some of the DSC’s current and past programs.

TIMELINE

2002

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

2003

MGH established a system-wide Committee on Racial and Ethnic Disparities to focus internal attention on the challenge of disparities, improve the collection of race/ethnicity data, and implement quality improvement programs to reduce disparities.​

2005

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

In July, MGH launched the Disparities Solutions Center, a first-of-its-kind national center dedicated to developing policies and changing the delivery of care to help eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health care.

The DSC and the Edward P. Lawrence Center for Quality and Safety collaborated to produce the Annual Report on Equity in Healthcare Quality to analyze key quality measures stratified by race, ethnicity, and language; identify areas for quality improvement; and report on the progress of initiatives addressing disparities at MGH. The report was one of the first of its kind in the nation and is now produced annually.

2007

The DSC launched the Disparities Leadership Program, the first program of its kind designed for leaders from hospitals, health insurance plans, and other health care organizations who are seeking to develop practical strategies to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health care.

2008

The DSC was honored with a Community Leader Award from Health Care for All, an organization dedicated to creating an affordable, accessible and culturally competent health care system. The DSC was selected for its commitment to providing essential research, education and training in eliminating racial and ethnic health care disparities.

The Chelsea Diabetes Program, a collaborative effort among the DSC, MGH Chelsea HealthCare Center, Massachusetts General Physician Organization, and the Center for Community Health Improvement, received a 2008 Program of Excellence award from the Diabetes Coalition of Massachusetts. 

2009

Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino appointed Dr. Joseph Betancourt to the Boston Public Health Commission’s Board of Health. 

2010

The DSC marked its fifth anniversary with a celebration including Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick as a featured speaker.

2012

The DSC hosted its first national conference, the Healthcare Quality and Equity Action Forum, to provide leaders from multiple disciplines and organizations with the background, key drivers, and essential strategies to improve quality and achieve equity in a time of rapid healthcare system change.

2013

The DSC developed the Pediatric Health Equity Collaborative, comprised of 11 organizations working together to establish best practices, lessons learned, and recommendations for the field with regard to race, ethnicity, language, and other demographic data collection in pediatric care settings.

The Association of American Medical Colleges awarded the DSC the AAMC Learning Health System Challenge award for its work on disparities, equity, and quality improvement.

2014

MGH received the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) inaugural Equity of Care Award for its efforts to reduce health care disparities and promote diversity within the organization’s leadership and staff.

The DSC publication, Identifying and Preventing Medical Errors in Patients with Limited English Proficiency: Key Findings and Tools for the Field, was selected for the 2014 Journal for Healthcare Quality Impact Article of the Year award.

The DSC released the Annual Report on Equity in Health Care Quality to the public for the first time.

The DSC hosted its second Healthcare Quality & Equity Action Forum.

2015

The DSC celebrated its 10 year anniversary with an event jointly celebrated with the Center for Community Health Improvement at MGH. Garth Graham, President of the Aetna Foundation and former Deputy Assistant Secretary at the US Department of Health and Human Services, was the featured speaker.

The CMS Office of Minority Health launched the Equity Plan for Improving Quality in Medicare.

2016

Staff members of the DSC and the Edward P. Lawrence Center for Quality & Safety were honored for their work on the Annual Report on Equity in Health Care Quality at the 2016 Partners in Excellence Awards Celebration

The DSC hosted its third Healthcare Quality & Equity Action Forum.

2017

The DSC celebrated its 10th anniversary of the Disparities Leadership Program.

2018

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh Proclaimed April 13, 2018 as Dr. Joseph Betancourt Day in the city of Boston.

The DSC was selected as a TA vendor for the MassHealth DSRIP TA Program.

Dr. Joseph Betancourt launched The Leadership in Equity Project video featuring Peter Slavin, MD, President of Massachusetts General Hospital.

2019

Aswita Tan-McGrory became the Director of the Disparities Solutions Center. DSC Founder and Senior Advisor, Dr. Joseph Betancourt, transitioned from his prior role as director of the DSC to Vice President and Chief Equity & Inclusion Officer of MGH.

The DSC introduced its new podcast, Dismantling Disparities in Health Care, hosted by Aswita Tan-McGrory and produced by Karey Kenst. 

The DSC, the Edward P. Lawrence Center for Quality and Safety, and the MGH community celebrated the release of the 10th edition of the Annual Report on Equity in Health Care Quality.

Contact Us

The Disparities Solutions Center

100 Cambridge St., Suite 1600

Boston, MA 02114

(617) 724-7658

disparitiessolutions@partners.org

 

The DSC is located on Massachusett land. 

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