In follow up to the November 2020 statement detailing its racial equity strategy, AcademyHealth today announced the formation of an Advisory Group on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in Health Services Research.

The Advisory Group is providing strategic insights on how to develop continuity across AcademyHealth’s DEI activities, using an equity lens based on successful approaches and best practices from the experiences of the group members. The Group’s primary objective is to advise the AcademyHealth Board of Directors on how to prioritize and implement tangible efforts to define, facilitate, and measure meaningful change within the organization and, using its role in the broader health services research (HSR) ecosystem, to influence individuals, organizations and the policies that support health care and research.

The formation and launch of the Advisory Group is the next step in a long term commitment to work with the Board of Directors and other advisors to shape a sustainable, transparent, and action-oriented strategy to advance DEI in the field. Although the initial focus is primarily on health equity and racial justice, the strategy is intended to be intersectional and inclusive of other marginalized communities. 

“After several years of working to diversify the workforce and build a community through networking and mentoring, we want and need to do much more to accelerate systemic change,” said Dr. Lisa Simpson, President and CEO of AcademyHealth. “Black, Latinx, and American Indian researchers are still under-represented in the field, and several studies point to hostile environments as a barrier in retaining diverse researchers. At the same time, disparities in health and health care that are driven by systemic racism and the structures and policies of white privilege continue to endanger the lives of so many. Health services research and health policy must respond, and AcademyHealth is committed to helping model and lead those changes.” 

The Advisory Group members represent a variety of lived experiences, racial/ethnic identities, gender identities, geographies, organizational settings, areas of professional expertise, career stages, and perspectives on DEI. All bring a familiarity with research culture and a track record of innovation, and they reflect a range of experiences with AcademyHealth activities and the field of HSR. They are:

  • Alyce Adams, PhD, MPH, Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Associate Director, Health Equity and Community Engagement, Stanford Cancer Institute (effective 2/1/2021)
  • Anne Beal, MD, MPH, Founder and CEO, AbsoluteJOI Skincare
  • Kellan Baker, MPH, Doctoral student and Centennial Scholar, Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Twyla Baker, PhD , President, Nueta Hidadtsa Sahnish College
  • Jameta Nicole Barlow, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor, The George Washington University
  • Margo Edmunds, PhD, FAMIA, Vice President, Evidence Generation and Translation and Director, Center on Diversity, Inclusion, and Minority Engagement, AcademyHealth
  • Michael “Chris” Gibbons, MD, MPH, Chief Health Innovation Adviser, The Federal Communications Commission, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, The Greystone Group
  • Rachel Hardeman, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor, Health Policy and Management, Blue Cross Endowed Professor of Health and Racial Equity, Division of Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota
  • Cara James, PhD, President and CEO, Grantmakers in Health
  • Rishi Manchanda, MD, MPH, President and CEO, HealthBegins
  • Karen Minyard, PhD, Chief Executive Officer Director Georgia Health Policy Center, Department of Public Management and Policy Georgia State University
  • Cecilia Oregón, MPP, MPH, Executive Director, Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health Policy
  • Ninez Ponce, PhD, MPP, Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health
  • Elena Ríos, MD, MSPH, FACP, President and CEO, National Hispanic Medical Association, President, NHMA National Hispanic Health Foundation
  • Eduardo Sanchez, MD, MPH, FAAFP, Chief Medical Officer for Prevention, American Heart Association
  • Abdul Shaikh, PhD, MHSc, Director of Population Health Innovation, Guidehouse Consulting
  • Lisa Simpson, MB, BCh, MPH, FAAP, President and Chief executive Officer, AcademyHealth
  • Joseph W. Thompson, MD, MPH, President and CEO, Arkansas Center for Health Improvement (ACHI)
  • Reginald Tucker-Seeley, MA, ScD, ScM, Edward L. Schneider Chair, Gerontology, Assistant Professor, Gerontology, USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, University of Southern California

The group, which is accountable to the AcademyHealth Board of Directors, is co-led by Dr. Edmunds and Dr. Shaikh. Strategic consulting and facilitation services are provided by Dorcas Lind of Diversity Health Communications.

“This is a group of people who are willing to listen to each other, to engage in challenging conversations about structural racism and the hard work of real diversity and inclusion to co-create a plan for transforming the field,” said Dr. Edmunds. “We’ve tried to promote diversity within existing structures, and that approach just continues to marginalize people instead of celebrating and amplifying their voices and their careers. The collective work of this group will help AcademyHealth activate levers for change within its realm of influence.”

AcademyHealth will provide regular updates on the work of the Advisory Group and how members, partners, and other stakeholders can get involved via their website and member newsletters. 

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Kristin Rosengren

Vice President and Co-Director - AcademyHealth

Kristin Rosengren is Vice President, Strategic Communications, and co-director of the AcademyHealth Translatio... Read Bio

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