What you'll learn

  • Deepen your knowledge of health to include social determinants; a reflection on how American historical factors and political agendas shape power and result in health inequities; and an identification of specific, tangible opportunities to operationalize strategies to advance health equity in your work or practice

  • Gain a greater understanding of the innovative leadership frameworks (such as adaptive leadership, authentic leadership, and transformative leadership) required to make substantial and lasting changes in an organization

  • Identify strategies for managing change in organizations, such as analyzing the major drivers of organizational change; communicating health equity in public and professional environments; and developing strategies to make managerial decisions based on data

  • Examine your personal and professional challenges of maintaining work/life balance, leadership responsibilities, and career aspirations

Course description

One of the most glaring and seemingly intractable challenges facing health care organizations and professionals today is the absence of health equity for their patient population. Disparities in health care between groups defined socially, economically, demographically, or geographically are, in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) definition of health equity, “unfair and avoidable or remediable.” This program will teach you how to recognize, confront and remediate unfair practices and advance health equity in your community or practice. 
Traditional medical education in the United States and Canada lacks on how the health care system is influenced by black and brown racism and how outdated policies perpetuate disparities. To help fill this knowledge gap and refine your leadership skills through a health equity lens, this program delves into the current state of the health care system and the latest research on the social determinants of health. Using this knowledge, we will: 

  • Examine how specific policies adversely affect vulnerable populations and explore inequities from a policy and business perspective
  • Analyze factors impacting patients and health care providers, such as identity/identification, “minority tax,” imposter syndromes, implicit bias, work-life integration, and secondary stress refracted through systems
  • Discover how to lead conversations with colleagues and partners to improve your organization’s policies and procedures and, ultimately, the health of your community at large

By participating in this program, you will gain the skills to be a transformational leader who not only understands population health, but also pioneers innovation in policies, practices, and programs that promote health equity.

Learn from the experts

Improving health equity is a multi-factorial and cross-sectional agenda that requires members of the health care system to be informed and working towards influencing change. To help you make a real difference at your organization, expert Harvard faculty will lead skill-based sessions to help you identify and work to change biased policies and environments—while supporting health equity and diversity in your organization.

Course faculty include one of Harvard T.H. Chan School’s most prominent scholars in the area of diversity and inclusion, Dr. Joan Reede, ScB, MBA, MS, MPH, M.D. She is the current Dean of Diversity, Inclusion & Community Partnership for Harvard Medical School. Also presenting will be Dr. David Williams, PhD, MPH, an internationally recognized social scientist focused on social influences of health, and a host of other clinicians and other health equity experts.

After you complete this dynamic leadership development program, you will:

  • Have a deep understanding of the bias that negatively impacts health equity and its history in the American and Canadian health care systems 
  • Be empowered to facilitate crucial conversations around health equity that can affect change in your organization and community 
  • Understand how you fit into your organization’s staffing and know how to identify allies, mentors, and partners who can help you transform your organization from within

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