The Health Disparities Initiative

Resources to identify and address health inequity in your community

Supporting our members in the journey to high-value, equitable care

The American health care system is shifting its focus from providing health care services to optimizing the health of individuals and communities. In response, industry stakeholders are developing new strategies for working with an increasingly diverse population. To achieve high-value care for all patients, stakeholders must acknowledge and address disparities in health care access and patient outcomes associated with factors such as race, gender, sexual orientation, primary language, and socioeconomic status.

The Health Disparities Initiative embodies the Advisory Board Company’s increasing focus on providing members with targeted and actionable resources for achieving equity of care. The Health Disparities Initiative will:

  1. Provide information about the state of health disparities in the United States
  2. Highlight the business case and moral imperative for industry-wide investment in the elimination of health disparities
  3. Identify best practices to reduce disparities and provide equitable care
  4. Serve as a sounding board to help health care providers share ideas and best practices

Inspired by Minority Health Month (April 2016), the Health Disparities Initiative will be releasing a series of resources on strategic imperatives and special topics, including medical interpreter services and building cultural competency in your organization. Look for updates to this page as new resources are released.

Resources and descriptions

Health Disparities 101

What are health disparities? And how can you discuss them within your organization? Our resources provide an overview of the broad topic of health disparities, and equip you to discuss these issues with your colleagues.

Q&A with the Disparities Solutions Center
We spoke with Dr. Joe Betancourt of the Disparities Solutions Center at Massachusetts General Hospital to learn more about the center’s approach to eliminating health care disparities nationwide and lessons learned from the field.

The Business Case for Investing in Diversity
A conversation with Jack Lynch, president and CEO of Main Line Health, about why he views diversity & inclusion as a business differentiator and makes this work a priority.

Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities: Educational Briefing
This brief resource highlights the key points you need to know about health disparities.

Building Cultural Competency in Your Organization

Creating an organizational culture that understands health disparities and is willing to work to overcome them doesn't happen overnight. Use these resources and strategies to build a more culturally competent organization from the ground up.

Take a two-step approach to reducing health disparities
Cultural competency expert Matt Gayer lays out a two-phase process for instilling cultural competence in your organization.

4 tactics for reducing readmissions and health disparities
Advisory Board’s Population Health Advisor team offers four tactics to reduce readmissions in diverse patient populations.

5 lessons on creating gender-inclusive restrooms
Education Advisory Board experts offer tips for converting restrooms to be gender-inclusive, based upon the learnings of facilities leaders at colleges and universities.

Medical Interpreter Job Description
A sample medical interpreter job description from Florida Hospital. Includes preferred and required knowledge/ skills, licensure and certification, and education and experience, as well as a description of job duties and responsibilities.

Community Partnerships

You don’t have to go it alone. Our resources offer guidance in seeking out and partnering with organizations in your community that support underserved populations.

Q&A: How to build community partnerships to fight the root causes of poor health
Forming and maintaining partnerships with community organizations to tackle the root causes of poor health can seem like a daunting challenge. But Rachel Keller Eisman, the executive director of the BUILD Health Challenge, tells us that a few key factors can make all the difference.

Building Community Partnerships to Reduce Disparities
This compendium includes studies featuring health care providers who have successfully partnered with community organizations to address health disparities and social determinants of health. You’ll also find tools that can guide your organization’s community partnership strategy.

Our experts

Kenna Hawes
Kenna contributes to Advisory Board’s Medicare policy insights and on-demand analytical tools as a member of the Data and Analytics Group. Beyond her core responsibilities within Research, Kenna is passionate about reducing health disparities and promoting collaboration between providers, payers, key industry players, and the communities they serve. More

Yena Son
Senior Analyst
Yena brings expertise in retention, succession management, and workforce planning to her work with the HR Advancement Center. She also leads the Health Disparities Initiative, a pro bono research team dedicated to helping members identify and address health disparities to achieve equity of care. More

Continue the conversation

Have a question about these resources? Have suggestions about how the Advisory Board Company can help your organization identify and address disparities in your area? Have a story to share about a relevant initiative at your organization? Please reach out to us at

Next, Check Out

2016 Corporate Social Responsibility Report