Chair Files

Leaders in Equity of Care

A national leader in health care equity, Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston has developed successful initiatives to promote diversity, improve quality, address disparities and achieve equity. Building on the work of its diversity committee, the hospital created its disparities committee in response to the 2002 Institute of Medicine report “Unequal Treatment.”  This committee—a diverse group of leaders from departments across the hospital—developed a plan to 1) better identify and eliminate care disparities, 2) improve patient experience and access to care and 3) increase all employees’ education and awareness about communicating and caring for diverse populations. In 2005, MGH established the Disparities Solutions Center to provide continued support for its initiatives, as well as national leadership on major issues of disparities. The “MGH Annual Report on Equity in Health Care Quality,” which is disseminated widely and available on the Internet, is a tool for measuring performance in the area of equity by stratifying quality measures by race, ethnicity, language and education. MGH has successfully implemented programs to improve outcomes and eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in such areas as diabetes management, colorectal and breast cancer screening, and patient experience. It continues to focus on diversity initiatives, including expanding diversity of its board. MGH received the AHA’s first Equity of Care Award, presented July 21, 2014, at the Health Forum/AHA Leadership Summit in San Diego. Also recognized were Henry Ford Health System in Detroit; Lutheran HealthCare in Brooklyn, N.Y.; and University Hospitals in Cleveland.

For more information, contact Joseph Betancourt, MD, director of the Disparities Solutions Center, at

Visit for more information on this topic. has case studies, webinars and guides on equity in health care from AHA resources and other groups.


Additional Resources

Webinars December 13th, 2017

Equity of Care Webinar SeriesPart 2: Aligning Diversity and Inclusion, Community Engagement, Busi......

Webinars November 20th, 2017

Equity of Care Webinar SeriesPart 1: Aligning Diversity and Inclusion, Community Engagement, Busi......

Webinars November 17th, 2017

Transportation and the Role of Hospitals This AHA webinar on “Transportation and the Role of Hos......