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Institute of Medicine (US). How Far Have We Come in Reducing Health Disparities? Progress Since 2000: Workshop Summary. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2012.

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How Far Have We Come in Reducing Health Disparities? Progress Since 2000: Workshop Summary.

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Dennis P. Andrulis, Ph.D., M.P.H., is a senior research scientist at the Texas Health Institute in Austin, where he oversees and conducts research and other work concerning vulnerable populations, the safety net, and urban health, with a special focus on racial/ethnic disparities, cultural competence, and language assistance. Prior to his current appointment, he served as the associate dean for research and director of the Center for Health Equality in the Drexel University School of Public Health, where he assisted in guiding the research agenda for the school and led the work of the center. Before these appointments he held the position of research professor, State University of New York/Downstate Medical Center/Brooklyn, where he conducted research and other activities related to health care for racially/ethnically diverse patients and communities, social and health conditions in the nation's largest cities and suburbs, and the health care safety net. Recent work includes a book entitled Managed Care in the Inner City: The Uncertain Promise for Providers, Plans and Communities, creation of a cultural competence self-assessment tool for health care organizations, and a national conference series called “Quality Health Care for Culturally Diverse Populations.” He has also developed a compendium and analysis of national data sources on the nation's 100 largest cities and their surrounding areas entitled Social and Health Landscape of Urban and Suburban America. His most recent projects include creation of a national consensus panel and the National Resource Center on Diversity and Preparedness and tracking of health care reform legislation and its implications for racially/ethnically diverse patients and populations. He holds a Ph.D. in educational-community psychology from the University of Texas at Austin and a master's of public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Bernardette Arellano has worked for Congressman Mike Honda more than 6 years, first as a senior field representative and caseworker and currently as a legislative assistant. During her time with the Honda office, she has handled a wide variety of issues, including health, transportation, labor, agriculture, Social Security, women's issues, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program/welfare, Native American issues, environmental issues, and civil rights. Currently, she is primarily responsible for health, transportation, labor, and the labor/health and human services component of the congressman's work on the Committee on Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Subcommittee. She is originally from Gilroy, California, and graduated from Princeton University in 2002.

Anne Beal, M.D., M.P.H., is president of the Aetna Foundation, the independent charitable and philanthropic arm of Aetna Inc. The foundation helps build healthy communities by promoting volunteerism, forming partnerships, and funding initiatives that improve the health and quality of life across the United States. As a physician who specializes in pediatric care and public health, Beal brings to the foundation a unique combination of clinical and policy experience. Beal joined the foundation in July 2009 from The Commonwealth Fund, where she directed the fund's program to improve health care quality for low-income and minority patient populations. Prior to that, she was an attending physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and on the faculty at Harvard Medical School.

Beal earned an A.B. degree in biology from Brown University in 1984, a doctorate in medicine from Cornell University Medical College in 1988, and a master's in public health from Columbia University in 1993.

She is a recognized authority in health disparities, quality of care, and children's health, topics on which she has published several articles in the medical literature as well as a book titled The Black Parenting Book: Caring for Our Children in the First Five Years. Beal has been a pediatric commentator and medical correspondent for Essence magazine, the American Baby Show, ABC News, and NBC News.

Paula Braveman, M.D., M.P.H., is professor of family and community medicine and director of the Center on Social Disparities in Health at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). She received a degree in medicine from UCSF and a degree in epidemiology from the University of California, Berkeley, and practiced medicine in a range of settings serving diverse, disadvantaged populations. For more than two decades, Braveman has studied and published extensively on social disparities in health and health care and actively engaged in bringing attention to this field in the United States and internationally. Her research has focused on measuring, documenting, and understanding socioeconomic and racial/ethnic disparities, particularly in maternal and infant health and health care. During the 1990s she worked with World Health Organization staff in Geneva, Switzerland, to develop and implement a global initiative on equity in health and health care. Throughout her career, she has collaborated with local, state, federal, and international health agencies to see research translated into practice with the goal of achieving greater equity in health. She was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies in 2002.

Carolyn Clancy, M.D., was appointed director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) on February 5, 2003. Prior to her appointment, Clancy served as the agency's acting director and was previously director of AHRQ's Center for Outcomes and Effectiveness Research. Clancy, who is a general internist and health services researcher, is a graduate of Boston College and the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Following clinical training in internal medicine, Clancy was a Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. She was also an assistant professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at the Medical College of Virginia, before joining AHRQ in 1990. Clancy holds an academic appointment at the George Washington University School of Medicine (clinical associate professor, department of medicine) and serves as senior associate editor of Health Services Research. She has served on multiple editorial boards and is currently on the board of the Annals of Family Medicine, the American Journal of Medical Quality, and Medical Care Research and Review. She is a member of the Institute of Medicine and was elected a master of the American College of Physicians in 2004. In 2009, Clancy was chosen as the most powerful physician-executive by readers of Modern Healthcare and Modern Physician magazines. She was also awarded the 2009 William B. Graham Prize for Health Services Research. Her major research interests include improving health care quality and patient safety and reducing disparities in care associated with patients' race, ethnicity, gender, income, and education. As director of AHRQ, she launched the first annual report to Congress on health care disparities and health care quality.

Mary Lou Fulton is a program officer overseeing communications and media grant making at The California Endowment, the state's largest health-focused foundation. She moved to the foundation world in 2009 after a 20-year career in journalism and digital media. Fulton started out as a reporter for the Associated Press and then joined the Los Angeles Times, where she was a reporter and editor for 6 years. She moved to the online world in 1995, joining the Washington Post, where she helped to launch and served as the site's managing editor. Fulton went on to hold senior management positions at a number of online companies, including AOL, GeoCities, and, before returning to the newspaper world in 2003 at the Bakersfield Californian. In Bakersfield, she created a new product development team that was nationally recognized for its participatory media initiatives, including the first citizen journalism publication to be started by a U.S. newspaper. A native of Yuma, Arizona, and a second-generation Mexican American, Fulton holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Arizona State University and a master of public administration degree from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. She blogs at

Howard Koh, M.D., M.P.H., serves as the 14th assistant secretary for health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), after being nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2009. As the assistant secretary for health, Koh oversees the HHS Office of Public Health and Science, the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service, and the Office of the Surgeon General. He also serves as senior public health adviser to the secretary. At the Office of Public Health and Science, he leads an array of interdisciplinary programs. Koh previously served as the Harvey V. Fineberg Professor of the Practice of Public Health, associate dean for public health practice, and director of the Division of Public Health Practice at the Harvard School of Public Health. At Harvard, he also served as the principal investigator of multiple research grants. He was also director of the Harvard School of Public Health Center for Public Health Preparedness. He has published more than 200 articles in the medical and public health literature. Koh served as commissioner of public health for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (1997-2003), after being appointed by Governor William Weld. Koh graduated from Yale College (where he was president of the Yale Glee Club) and the Yale University School of Medicine. He completed postgraduate training at Boston City Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, serving as chief resident in both hospitals. He has earned board certification in four medical fields, internal medicine, hematology, medical oncology, and dermatology, as well as a master of public health degree from Boston University. At Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health, he was professor of dermatology, medicine, and public health as well as director of cancer prevention and control. He is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. President Bill Clinton appointed Koh as a member of the National Cancer Advisory Board (2000-2002). Other awards include being named to the K100 (the 100 leading Korean Americans in the first century of Korean immigration to the United States), the Boston University School of Public Health Distinguished Alumni Award (the highest award of the school). The Boston Red Sox designated him a Medical All Star (2003), which included the opportunity to make the ceremonial first pitch at Fenway Park.

Craig Martinez, M.P.H., is a health policy adviser in the Majority Health Policy Office of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, first under the chairmanship of Senator Edward M. Kennedy and currently under the chairmanship of Senator Tom Harkin. His legislative portfolio on the HELP Committee includes issues relating to public health, prevention, health disparities, and public health preparedness. Martinez is a candidate for a doctorate in public health degree in child and adolescent health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where he examines the effects of acculturation on Mexican American youth. He also holds a master of public health degree from Johns Hopkins and a bachelor's degree from Stanford University. Martinez has more than 10 years of experience working with a number of nonprofit organizations and health care providers that offer community and clinical preventive services to predominantly low-income communities of color in the San Francisco Bay Area and the greater Washington, DC, region.

Diana Ross is the collaborative director of the Mid-City Community Advocacy Network (Mid-City CAN) in the San Diego, California, community of City Heights. Mid-City CAN is a community collaborative of over 200 organizations, government agencies, faith-based organizations, and residents. Mid-City CAN's mission is to promote a safe productive and healthy community through collaborative efforts. For 8 years, Ross has worked with collaboratives that serve diverse communities in Southern California. She worked with the Los Angeles Refugee Immigrant Training Employment program collaborative in Los Angeles, US-Mexico Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition (a binational anti-human trafficking collaborative), and the San Diego Refugee Forum in City Heights. In addition to her work with collaboratives, she is a former director of Refugee Employment Services in City Heights. Ross began her career coordinating medical camps for Rotary International's Polio Plus program in Ethiopia and Nigeria. Later, while working as director of refugee employment services in City Heights, she pioneered a social enterprise model to help health care providers and law enforcement agencies comply with Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. This program grew to provide translation and interpretation services in more than 72 languages and cultural competency consultation and training. The county of San Diego hailed the Refugee Employment Services program as Best of the Best in client participation at its annual Best Practices Provider Seminar in 2006, and Ross was a featured presenter at the state of California Annual Refugee Summit. She has college honors and a bachelor's degree in sociology and international development from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where she was also awarded the Riordan Fellowship at UCLA's Andersen School of Management. Ross has college honors and a master's degree in nonprofit leadership and management from the University of San Diego. She is a former Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholar at the American University in Cairo, Egypt, and speaks English, Arabic, and Spanish.

John Ruffin, Ph.D., is director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD). He oversees the NIMHD budget of approximately $210 million. In addition, he provides leadership for the minority health and health disparities research activities of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which constitutes an annual budget of approximately $2.8 billion. He has served as associate director for minority programs, Office of Minority Programs, and associate director for research on minority health, Office of Research on Minority Health. Under his leadership, NIH convened its first summit on health disparities, the NIH Science of Eliminating Health Disparities Summit, in December 2008. He has received an honorary doctor of science degree from Spelman College, Tuskegee University, the University of Massachusetts in Boston, North Carolina State University, Morehouse School of Medicine, and Meharry Medical College. He has been recognized by the National Medical Association, the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science, the Association of American Indian Physicians, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, the Society of Black Academic Surgeons, and the National Science Foundation. The John Ruffin Scholarship Program is an honor symbolic of his legacy for academic excellence bestowed by the Duke University Talent Identification Program. Ruffin has also received the Martin Luther King, Jr., Legacy Award for National Service, the Samuel L. Kountz Award for his significant contribution to increasing minority access to organ and tissue transplantation, the NIH Director's Award, the National Hispanic Leadership Award, the Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society Award, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Special Recognition Award, and the U.S. Presidential Merit Award. He received a B.S. in biology from Dillard University, an M.S. in biology from Atlanta University, and a Ph.D. in systematic and developmental biology from Kansas State University and completed postdoctoral studies in biology at Harvard University.

Susan Sher, J.D., is assistant to the president and chief of staff to First Lady Michelle Obama. In this role, Sher works closely with the First Lady and her staff on various issue areas with a focus on military families, national service, childhood obesity, and healthy living. In addition to her role in the Office of the First Lady, Sher works on Jewish Outreach for the White House. Her first position in the Obama administration was in the White House Counsel's Office, where she served as associate counsel to the President, until taking over as the First Lady's chief of staff in June 2009. Before coming to Washington, D.C., in January 2009, Sher worked as vice president for legal and governmental affairs and general counsel of the University of Chicago medical center and was responsible for all legal, government, regulatory, and community affairs at the medical center. She also worked on governance and many other board-related issues. From 1993 through 1997, she was the corporation counsel for the city of Chicago, the city of Chicago's chief lawyer, reporting to the mayor and responsible for representing the mayor, city departments, boards, and commissions on all legal matters. She was the first assistant corporation counsel from 1989 to 1993. Previously she was associate general counsel of the University of Chicago and earlier was a partner at Mayer Brown & Platt, specializing in labor and litigation. She is a cum laude graduate of the Loyola University of Chicago School of Law. She has served on many boards, including vice chair of the Board of Trustees of Mt. Sinai Hospital Medical Center and Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital and Care Network, the board of directors of High Jump, and the board of directors of YWCA of Greater Chicago. She is past chair of the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools and of The Chicago Network. She is on a variety of task forces and committees involving not-for-profit corporations and health care, including the Illinois Hospital Association, the attorney general's Charitable Advisory Task Force, and the Donor's Public Trust Task Force.

Brian D. Smedley, Ph.D., is vice president and director of the Health Policy Institute of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington, DC. Formerly, Smedley was research director and cofounder of a communications, research, and policy organization, The Opportunity Agenda (, whose mission is to build the national will to expand opportunity for all. Prior to helping launch The Opportunity Agenda, Smedley was a senior program officer in the Division of Health Sciences Policy of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), where he served as study director for studies culminating in the IOM reports In the Nation's Compelling Interest: Ensuring Diversity in the Health Care Workforce and Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care, among other reports on diversity in the health professions and minority health research policy. Smedley came to the IOM from the American Psychological Association (APA), where he worked on a wide range of social, health, and education policy topics in his capacity as director for public interest policy. Prior to working at APA, Smedley served as a congressional science fellow in the office of Congressman Robert C. Scott (D-VA), sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Among his awards and distinctions, in 2004, Smedley was honored by the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition as a Health Trailblazer award winner; in 2002, he was awarded the Congressional Black Caucus's Healthcare Hero award; and in August 2002, he was awarded the Early Career Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest by APA.

Mildred Thompson, M.S.W., is senior director and director of the PolicyLink Center for Health and Place and leads PolicyLink's health team. As part of her work, she conducts research focused on understanding community factors that affect health disparities and identifies practice and policy changes needed to improve individual, family, and community health. She has authored several reports and journal articles focused on reducing health disparities, increasing awareness about social determinants of health, and effective ways to bring about policy change. Prior to joining PolicyLink, she was director of community health services for the Alameda County Public Health Department; director for Healthy Start, a federal infant mortality reduction program; and director of San Antonio Neighborhood Health Center. Thompson has degrees in nursing and psychology and an M.S. in social work from New York University. She has also taught at Mills College and San Francisco State University and has worked as an organizational development consultant. She speaks frequently on health and place issues and serves on several boards and commissions, including The Zellerbach Family Foundation and the Institute of Medicine's Roundtable on the Promotion of Health Equity and the Elimination of Health Disparities.

Kelly Whitener, M.P.H., completed her M.P.H., specializing in health policy, at the University of California, Los Angeles. Upon graduation, she was recognized for her scholastic achievement, personal integrity, and dedication to social justice with her induction into the Iota Chapter of Delta Omega, the honorary public health society, and the Ruth Roemer Social Justice award. Prior to moving to Washington, DC, Whitener worked as a case manager in community mental health clinics in Los Angeles. As part of her graduate work, Whitener evaluated the treatment modalities and program goals of a mental health clinic and presented the findings to the executive leadership team of a hospital system for consideration. After the preliminary evaluation, she identified areas for continuous quality improvement and assessed the effectiveness of new evidence-based treatment strategies for the identified patient population. After finishing her undergraduate work at the University of Michigan, she joined the United States Peace Corps and was invited to serve in Ecuador. At the beginning of her service, she worked as an urban youth development volunteer in Quinindé, a small urban center in the Afro-Ecuadorian province of Esmeraldas. After fulfilling 2 years of service, Whitener was asked to relocate to the capital city of Quito to work as a cotrainer for the incoming group of volunteers and as liaison between volunteers in the field and the headquarters office. Whitener describes her Peace Corps experience as fulfilling and formative, leaving her committed to improving the health of disadvantaged populations. She currently works with the Senate Committee on Finance in the office of Chairman Max Baucus, which gives her an exceptional opportunity to witness the intersection of policy and politics while striving to enact meaningful and comprehensive health reform.

David R. Williams, Ph.D., M.P.H., is the Florence and Laura Norman Professor of Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health and professor of African and African American studies and of sociology at Harvard University. His first 6 years as a faculty member were at Yale University, where he held appointments in both sociology and public health. The next 14 years were at the University of Michigan, where he served as the Harold Cruse Collegiate Professor of Sociology, a senior research scientist at the Institute of Social Research, and a professor of epidemiology in the School of Public Health. He holds a master's degree in public health from Loma Linda University and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Michigan. He is the author of more than 150 scholarly papers in scientific journals and edited collections; and his research has appeared in leading journals in sociology, psychology, medicine, public health, and epidemiology. He has served as a member of the editorial board of eight scientific journals and as a reviewer for more than 50 others. According to ISI Essential Science Indicators, he was one of the top 10 most cited researchers in the social sciences during the decade from 1995 to 2005. The Journal of Black Issues in Higher Education ranked him the second most cited black scholar in the social sciences in 2006. In 2001, he was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. In 2004, he received one of the inaugural Decade of Behavior Research Awards, and in 2007, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has served on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics and on six panels for the Institute of Medicine. He has held elected and appointed positions in professional organizations such as the American Sociological Association, Academy Health, and the American Public Health Association. Currently, he is a member of the MacArthur Foundation's Research Network on Socioeconomic Status and Health. His current research includes the health of black Caribbean immigrants in the United States, examining how race-related stressors can affect health and assessing the ways in which religious involvement is related to health.

Steven Woolf, M.D., M.P.H., is professor at the Departments of Family Medicine, Epidemiology, and Community Health at Virginia Commonwealth University. He received an M.D. in 1984 from Emory University and underwent residency training in family medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University. Woolf is also a clinical epidemiologist and underwent training in preventive medicine and public health at the Johns Hopkins University, where he received an M.P.H. in 1987. He is board-certified in family medicine and in preventive medicine and public health. He has published more than 100 articles in a career that has focused on evidence-based medicine and the development of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines, with a special focus on preventive medicine, cancer screening, quality improvement, and social justice. From 1987 to 2002, he served as science adviser to, and then member of, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Woolf edited the first two editions of the Guide to Clinical Preventive Services and is author of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention in Clinical Practice. He is associate editor of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine and served as North American editor of the British Medical Journal. He has consulted widely on various matters of health policy with government agencies and professional organizations in the United States and Europe and in 2001 was elected to the Institute of Medicine.

Copyright © 2012, National Academy of Sciences.
Bookshelf ID: NBK114241
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