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News Release

Media Contact: Tom Grant
tgrant@adventisthealthcare.com
301-315-3356

Published on December 12, 2005

Press Release

Adventist HealthCare Announces Blue Ribbon Panel to Guide Creation of Center on Health Disparities

A Diverse Panel of Experts to Participate in Development of the Center

Rockville, MD - Adventist HealthCare today announced the formation of a Blue Ribbon Panel to provide guidance and direction for the creation of a Center on Health Disparities.

The Blue Ribbon Panel is comprised of a distinguished array of experts with experience in addressing health care issues among various populations. The Panel will produce a report for Adventist HealthCare with recommendations on the development, implementation and oversight of a Center on Health Disparities.

In September 2005, the Board of Trustees of Adventist HealthCare approved an Expanded Vision for Washington Adventist Hospital that includes six initiatives designed to ensure continued access to care for under-served populations and the development of improved health care facilities and services for the community.

One element of the hospital's Expanded Vision is the creation of a community-based Center on Health Disparities. In making recommendations, Panel members will carefully consider ways to improve access to health care for under-served populations. The Panel will develop initial proposals in at least three areas of activity: health care education, access to care and research.

"We are very grateful to the many committed leaders who are taking time to help us understand and address this very important health care issue," said Bill Robertson, President & CEO of Adventist HealthCare. "We believe it is important to listen and receive guidance from experts before we begin the work of the Center. The Blue Ribbon Panel will provide important insight to ensure we are working in the most effective way possible."

"I applaud Adventist HealthCare for seeking input from a diverse cross section of experts prior to launching the work of this Center," said Patricia Horton, Senior Administrator, Office of Minority and Multicultural Health for Montgomery County. "The work of this Blue Ribbon Panel will be very significant given the very real health disparities that exist among local communities."

"I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of this Panel and look forward to working with others on this critical issue as well as to represent the voice of Latino youth," added Diego Uriburo, Deputy Executive Director of Identity, Inc. "We intend to produce meaningful, concrete recommendations for Adventist HealthCare."

Jere D. Stocks, President of Washington Adventist Hospital, stated: "This Blue Ribbon Panel will do important work in supporting our Expanded Vision for the hospital. We look forward to working with these experts to improve access to, and quality of care for, the richly diverse communities we serve."

In addition to the creation of the Center on Health Disparities, the other components of the Expanded Vision for Washington Adventist Hospital include:

  • Development of a health care center in the Long Branch community to improve access to care for under-served populations. A proposed location for this facility is near the intersection of Flower Avenue and Piney Branch Road.
  • Initiation of the process of moving Washington Adventist Hospital to a new campus within the hospital's current service area that reduces the hospital's impact on residential communities while enhancing the hospital's ability to meet the needs of all residents.
  • A contribution to the completion of the health center/gymnasium that is part of the re-development of the Takoma Park municipal building.
  • Working with CASA de Maryland and others on a multi-year commitment to expand available health care resources to the immigrant community.
  • Re-development of the hospital's Board of Directors to better reflect the diverse community the hospital serves.

Adventist HealthCare is an integrated health care delivery organization based in Rockville, Maryland, that is one of the largest employers in the state of Maryland. Adventist HealthCare includes Washington Adventist Hospital, Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, Potomac Ridge Behavioral Health System, Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital of Maryland, Adventist Senior Living Services, Adventist Health Careers Training Center, Hackettstown Regional Medical Center, Cytology Services of Maryland, Maryland Regional Cancer Care, Greater Washington Sleep Disorder Centers, and Adventist Home Health.

Center on Health Disparities Blue Ribbon Panel Participants

Claudia R. Baquet, M.D., MPH
AHEC Program Director
University of Maryland at Baltimore School of Medicine

Julie Bawa, MPH
Program Manager
Asian American Health Initiative
Montgomery County Department of Health & Human Services

Danielle F. Benjamin
Haitian Immigrant Group

Keena Carter, R.N., MSN, CCRN
Project Director
African American Health Program
Montgomery County Department of Health & Human Services

Olivia Carter-Pokras
Associate Professor
University of Maryland School of Medicine

Tuei Doong
Vice President & Chief Operating Officer
Nakamoto Group, Inc.

Steve Galen
Executive Director
Primary Care Coalition of Montgomery County

Carol Garvey, M.D., MPH
Chair, Montgomery County Collaboration Council
for Children, Youth & Families

Patricia N. Horton, R.N., MBA
Senior Administrator
Office of Minority and Multi-cultural Health
Montgomery County Department of Health & Human Services

Chiehwen Ed Hsu, Ph.D.
Director, Asian American Health Initiative Project
Department of Public and Community Health
University of Maryland/College Park

Elisa Jaramillo-Mayor
Senior Manager of Health Programs
CASA of Maryland, Inc

Malcolm Joseph, III, M.D., MPH
Medical Director
CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield

Dr. Wanjiru Kamau
Director
African Immigrant and Refugee Foundation

Myra Wesley King, MSW
King Associates

Wilbur W. Malloy
Executive Director
People's Community Wellness Center

Sonia Mora
Manager
Latino Health Initiative
Montgomery County Department of Health & Human Services

Sylvia Quinton
President
Strategic Community Services, Inc.

Anna S. Sommers, Ph.D.
Research Associate
Health Policy Center
The Urban Institute

Diego Uriburu
Deputy Executive Director
IDENTITY

Mary Jo Vasquez, M.S.
Deputy Director/Unit Senior Project Director
Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation

Dr. Eleanor A. Walker
President
Health Action Forum

Lois A. Wessel, CFNP
Mobile Medical, Inc.

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