Reducing Racial Disparities in Health Care

Remove racial biases and barriers. Improve equality in health care.

In partnership with the Disparities Solutions Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, this course will help you deliver high-quality health care to all through organizational change.

Featuring faculty from:
March 2023
Length
5 weeks, 4–5 hours per week
Certificate Price
$1600
Program Dates
Applications Close
Apply today for Reducing Racal Disparities

What You'll Learn

How does your organization address racial equity and access to health care? Is diversity, bias, and inclusion a common conversation or evaluation to improve delivery? How do you address these difficult topics with your leadership and board members?

Racial disparity in the United States health care industry isn’t a new topic; for decades researchers have focused on quality of care, access, and safety of people of color versus their white counterparts. While in recent years quality and access has improved in the U.S. thanks to initiatives like the Affordable Care Act, there is still a gap in the quality of care different groups receive. It’s vital to continue closing the biases and disparities in health care through education, communication, and action. 

In Reducing Racial Disparities in Health Care, you will not only examine the disparities that exist when serving a diverse population, but also approach each inequity head-on to learn more about the causes and how to eliminate these issues. By focusing on data collection and performance measurements unique to your organization, you will identify how core issues in care quality of ethnic and racial minority groups, which are often multifactorial in nature, contribute to poorer health outcomes, lead to higher costs, and exemplify low-value health care.

 

Offered in conjunction with the Disparities Solutions Center at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), this course will use real-world examples, case studies, and insights from leaders in the field to help you digest the latest in understanding racial disparities in health care—allowing you to create strategic approaches that you can apply to your organization. You will learn how to harness and analyze data, how to visualize and communicate the results, and use feedback from stakeholders to begin closing the gap.

Remove racial biases and barriers. Improve equality in health care.

The Harvard Medical School is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The Harvard Medical School designates this enduring material for a maximum of 22 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Upon successful completion of the course, participants will have access to claim their credits through the Harvard Medical School’s continuing education platform. 

The course will be delivered via HBS Online’s course platform and immerse learners in real-world examples from experts at industry-leading organizations. By the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the causes of racial disparities grounded in historical instances of segregation in health care
  • Use the Kotter method to identify organizational gaps and needs, create a vision for change, and implement an executable strategy to close disparities
  • Learn how to collect and analyze data unique to underserved populations to inform organizational change
     
  • Gain greater knowledge regarding how continued inequality affects overall quality and cost of care
  • Create a vision to obtain stakeholder buy-in and a strategic framework to implement solutions leading to high-value equitable health care

Your Instructors

Joseph Betancourt, MD, MPH (he/him/his), is Senior Vice President, Equity and Community Health at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), founder and senior advisor of the Disparities Solutions Center at MGH, an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and a practicing Internal Medicine physician. Dr. Betancourt is an internationally recognized expert in health policy, health care disparities, diversity, and cross-cultural medicine, and served on the Institute of Medicine Committee that produced the landmark report, Unequal Treatment. Dr. Betancourt has secured grants and contracts focused on health equity, and published extensively in this area. He advises private industry, government, and not-for-profit health systems on approaches to eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in health care.

Aswita Tan-McGrory, MBA, MSPH (she/her/hers) is the Director of the Disparities Solutions Center and the Director of Equity in Care Implementation at Massachusetts General Hospital. At the Disparities Solutions Center she leads the mission to address racial and ethnic disparities in health care and oversees the Disparities Leadership Program. As Director of Equity in Care Implementation she provides leadership for assuring equity in access to, and delivery of clinical care, specifically related to the “Doorstep to Bedside” approach of assessing the care delivery continuum at Massachusetts General Hospital. Ms. Tan-McGrory is a subject matter expert and public speaker, and travels across the country to speak to organizations about how race, ethnicity, and language impact the quality of care.

Real World Case Studies

Affiliations are listed for identification purposes only.

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Mitchell Kellaway Headshot

Mitchell Kellaway

Learn best practices for measuring, monitoring, and reporting on race, ethnicity, and language preferences (REaL) data.

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Alvin Powell Headshot

Alvin Powell, MD

Understand how structural racism and discrimination (SRD) has shaped the health care system and what organizations can do to acknowledge past harms.

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Altaf Saadi Headshot

Altaf Saadi, MD

Look ahead to emerging topics in health care disparity and prepare your organization to better serve immigrant populations.

Who Will Benefit

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Health Care Executives

High-level administrative leaders who will benefit from better understanding the disparities and gaps in health care delivery within their organizations, and how to create a strategic solution to deliver more equitable care.

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Equity Officers and Administrative Leaders

Officers and leaders who want to create, fund, and support diversity, equity, and inclusion policies and initiatives in their organizations.

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Rising Health Care Professionals

Focused on the next generation of health care professionals who will benefit from starting their career with an eye toward equitable and inclusive health care.

Syllabus

Reducing Racial Disparities in Health Care introduces strategies that advance policy and practice to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health care. The course begins with understanding our history (Module 1), followed by learning about the foundations of this type of work (Modules 2 through 4), and ending with an examination of emerging topics (Module 5).

Online Course requirements: There are no prerequisites needed to take this online course. In order to earn a Certificate of Completion from Harvard Online, participants must thoughtfully complete all 5 modules, including satisfactory completion of the associated quizzes, by stated deadlines.

Download Full Syllabus

  • Understand how structural racism and discrimination (SRD) has intentionally shaped the U.S. health care system.
  • Identify how Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) explain current disparities in health care.
  • Perform a 5 Whys Analysis.
  • Describe how SDOH and SRD impact disparities in your field.
  • Create a plan to listen to the communities your organization serves.
  • Understand how Nemours Children’s Hospital Delaware, Tufts Health Plan, and Mass General Brigham (MGB) applied the 8-Step Kotter Model.
  • Learn how to use the Kotter Model for leading organizational change.
  • Perform an organizational assessment using the Kotter Model.
  • Use your assessment to create an action plan that will initiate and sustain change.
  • Analyze MGB’s best practices and guidelines for implementing standardized data collection.
  • Recognize the importance of gathering race, ethnicity, and language preference (REaL) data.
  • Understand minimum standards for the collection of REaL data.
  • Learn the inherent problems of collecting REaL data and devise solutions for addressing these challenges.
  •  Develop a plan for REaL data collection using the Plan-Do- Study-Act (PDSA) cycle.
  • Create a process map to understand your organization’s current data collection process.
  • Recognize the importance of measuring and monitoring data.
  • Assess what tools are needed to measure, monitor, and report on your data.
  • Understand how data can inform action.
  • Foresee challenges to monitoring disparities and prepare solutions to address these challenges.
  • Identify disparities in your organization.
  • Develop steps to address the identified disparities.
  • Acknowledge the importance of examining immigrant health disparities as part of the dialogue on eliminating disparities in health care.
  • Understand a framework for improving health care for immigrant populations.
  • Use the toolkit developed with Massachusetts General Hospital faculty to welcome and protect immigrants in health care settings.
  • Explore the possibilities of virtual care.
  • Consider health care pathways for patients with Limited English Proficiency (LEP).
  • Formulate steps to address access to virtual care for LEP patients at your organization.

Earn Your Certificate

Enroll today in Harvard Online's Reducing Racial Disparities in Health Care course.

Apply Now

Still Have Questions?

What are the learning requirements? How do I list my certificate on my resume? Learn the answers to these and more in our FAQs.

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Reducing Racial Disparities in Health Care Sample Certificate

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