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  • Mar 06, 2019

Cambridge Health Alliance Launches Center to Improve Health Equity Education

Danny McCormick, MD, MPH, and Gaurab Basu, MD, MPH

Cambridge, Mass. - Cambridge Health Alliance announced the creation of the Center for Health Equity Education and Advocacy (CHEEA), a CHA-based center that will offer educational programs on health inequities and provide training in advocacy skills to improve health care. The aim of CHEEA is to aid health care providers from all disciplines to become effective agents of change by advocating for a fair health care system for all. The center, co-directed by CHA primary care physicians Danny McCormick, MD, MPH, and Gaurab Basu, MD, MPH, will also act as a hub for research on health equity education.

"Offering training to providers from across specialties and fields is a novel approach to tackling the structural inequalities that plague our system," said Dr. McCormick. "Interprofessional education can provide the knowledge skills and shape attitudes that lead to more effective teams. We know that teamwork will be required to reduce health disparities."

Through several diverse but complementary educational programs, CHEEA will engage learners to think deeply about the historical and systemic factors that create inequities in health care and society. Course participants will work in partnership with the communities they serve to develop advocacy projects that address the underlying social, economic and political factors that influence health outcomes.

Dr. Basu believes that "the center will strive to nurture the values that brought learners to their health profession, develop the capacity to understand our communities' priority health needs and provide the skills to advocate for change at the structural level." CHEEA will launch at CHA in early July 2019 and will deliver educational programs to the CHA community and other medical organizations.

Dr. McCormick is an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, a health services researcher and a co-director of both CHA's department of medicine course on social medicine and research-based health advocacy and the Harvard Medical School's General Medicine Fellowship Program. He has also been a primary care physician and clinical preceptor of internal medicine residents at CHA's Somerville Campus Primary Care center for 20 years. Dr. McCormick is a recipient of the Harvard Medical School's Clifford A. Barger award for excellence in mentoring and CHA Academic Council Award for scholarship and mentoring.

Dr. Basu is an instructor at Harvard Medical School, a primary care physician, clinical preceptor and co-director of internal medicine residency's social medicine and research-based health advocacy course. He is currently taking part in the Robert Wood Johnson's Culture of Health Leaders program and is a recent recipient of the Charles McCabe Faculty Prize for Excellence in Teaching at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Basu has been a Harvard Macy Scholar and a Curtis Prout Academy Fellow at Harvard Medical School.

CHA is an academic community health system committed to providing high-quality care in Cambridge, Somerville and Boston's metro-north communities. CHA has expertise in primary care, specialty care and mental health/substance use services, as well as caring for diverse and complex populations. It includes three hospital campuses, a network of primary care and specialty practices and the Cambridge Public Health Dept. CHA patients have seamless access to advanced care through the system's affiliation with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. CHA is a Harvard Medical School teaching affiliate and isalso affiliated with Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard School of Dental Medicine and Tufts University School of Medicine. For more information, visit .

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