Adventist HealthCare Names Executive Director for New Center on Health Disparities
Pesquera to brief General Assembly subcommittee on health disparities
, Md.— Adventist HealthCare has named Marcos Pesquera as the Executive Director of its new Adventist HealthCare Center on Health Disparities, which will look at ways to remove barriers to those who do not have access to health care.
Pesquera, 46, recently served as senior director of Diversity Programs for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States in Rockville. There he helped plan, develop and implement “Centers of Excellence” in culturally competent care to address health disparities in minority populations. Prior to that he was a medical center administrator for the Kaiser Foundation where he oversaw the operations of three ambulatory medical centers. Also, he has held various pharmacist positions in managed care and retail pharmacy.
Pesquera will appear before a Maryland General Assembly subcommittee on health disparities on Wednesday, Feb. 21, at 11 a.m. in Annapolis. The subcommittee, chaired by Del. Shirley Nathan Pulliam of Baltimore, is part of the House of Delegates' Health and Operations Committee.
“We in the health-care field need to connect with our patients at a deeper level to understand what will inspire different individuals to follow a treatment plan, to perceive open access and to believe that we as practitioners truly care,” Pesquera said. “This kind of knowledge and flexibility is what is going to positively impact the health of all our communities.”
In September 2005, the Board of Trustees of Adventist HealthCare approved a Vision for Expanded Access for Washington Adventist Hospital. This vision includes seven initiatives designed to improve access to care for all in the communities served by Washington Adventist Hospital, along with improved hospital facilities and services.
One key element of the Vision for Expanded Access was a call to convene a Blue Ribbon Panel of community leaders to develop a locally-driven approach to addressing and eliminating health disparities in all the communities served by Adventist HealthCare.
After extensive deliberations and discussions, the panel recommended the formation of the Adventist HealthCare Center on Health Disparities with three areas of focus: increased services for underserved populations; a research program to identify and promote best practices; and an education initiative to improve the ability of caregivers to provide quality care to those populations.
"The Center on Health Disparities is an important extension of Adventist HealthCare's mission to demonstrate God’s care by improving the health of people and communities through a ministry of physical, mental and spiritual healing,” said William G. "Bill" Robertson, Adventist HealthCare president and chief executive officer. "Marcos has deep roots in the community and has demonstrated abilities to take ideas and turn them into outcomes. He is just the person we need to take the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Panel and make them a reality."
The panel, which will continue to serve the Center in an advisory capacity, is comprised of a distinguished array of experts with experience in addressing health care issues among various populations.
Pesquera has already started work on five of the panel's recommendations:
- Annual community health disparities report card
- Maternal Services Center
- Patient advocacy program
- Diversity awareness training for physicians and staff
- Infrastructure for health disparities research
“Through training and education of all health-care providers and support staff, we can bring to the surface the issues that knowingly or unknowingly affect the way we perceive and treat each other,” Pesquera said.
Pesquera, R. Ph., MHP has a master’s of public health from Loma Linda University, a bachelor’s of science in Pharmacy from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and completed his pre-pharmacy curriculum at the University of Puerto Rico.
He lives in North Potomac with his wife and two children.
Adventist HealthCare, an integrated health care delivery organization based in Rockville, Maryland, is one of the largest employers in the state of Maryland. The mission of Adventist HealthCare is to demonstrate God’s care by improving the health of people and communities through a ministry of physical, mental and spiritual healing. Adventist HealthCare includes Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, Washington Adventist Hospital, Potomac Ridge Behavioral Health, Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital of Maryland, Adventist Senior Living Services, Greater Washington Sleep Disorders Centers, Hackettstown Regional Medical Center, Adventist Home Health Services, the Reginald S. Lourie Center for Children and Infants and LifeWork Strategies.