Health Equity Initiatives


The vision of the DOM Health Equity Initiative, which was established in 2017, is to advance the department’s commitment to health equity by engaging key stakeholders within and outside the department in a structural analysis to address health inequities in our department and community, which will inform and influence hospital-level strategy. This initiative is led by Dr. Stone and Dr. Candace Feldman.

The goals of the initiative are to develop, implement, and evaluate multiple funded equity projects within the DOM, to further advance scholarship related to equity, and to increase commitment to health equity action among its members and DOM stakeholders. Subcommittees include Research, Education, and Operations related to grant-funded projects.

Goals and Effects

Primary GoalsHalo Effects
Goal 1: Engagement Promote faculty/trainee/staff awareness and engagement and action on key equity issues across DOM, beyond current core membershipBuild community among faculty and traineesTrainees as health equity leadersShared sense of possibilityReplicable models which could enhance recruitment in training programs beyond DOM
Goal 2: Programmatic Develop, implement, and evaluate multiple funded equity projects within DOMGeneration of new initiativesNational leadership, partnership, visibility, and sharing best practices
Goal 3: Scholarship Advance scholarship in both traditional and alternative venues (i.e., community-based scholarship)Research and publicationsEngagement and collaboration across departments and institutionally

Health Equity Advisory Council

The Health Equity Advisory Council serves as an oversight body of DOM Health Equity activities. The membership reflects and range of roles and functions within DOM and collectively the Council advises on program choices and strategy. The Council evolved from the former DOM Health Equity committee recognizing that there was a great deal of interest in health equity engagement but that a committee was not the right structure to accommodate all that interest. As a result, the Committee leadership developed the Advisory Council and concurrently a Quarterly Forum structure meant to be more inclusive of many voices and interests in DOM.

Health Equity Innovation Pilot

The Department of Medicine established the Health Equity Innovation Pilot (HEIP) in 2019 to offer grants to support innovative pilot studies that identify and address inequities in patient care and outcomes.

Proposals must identify and address inequities (e.g. race, ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity) with priority given to projects that develop interventions to address the identified inequities and that include a formal role for medical students, residents, or fellows.

Awards provide up to $20,000 total cost from the DOM Health Equity Initiative with an expected matching contribution from the project leader’s DOM Division. This creates a total award of up to $40,000. All awards are for a one-year period.

Current HEIP projects (Year IV – 2022-23)

Project TitleProject Leader(s) and Key PersonnelDivision(s)
Addressing Disparities in Hypertension Control in the Primary Care SettingColleen Monaghan, MD
Lillian Zerihun, MD
Primary Care / Internal Medicine
Decreasing Racial Inequities in the Utilization of Security Emergency Responses in the HospitalRitika Dutta, MD
Sowda Ahmed, MD
Jeffrey Schnipper, MD, MPH
Amrapali Maitra, MD
Hospital Medicine / Internal Medicine
Enhancing Racial Equity for Medicine Admissions Boarding in the BWH Emergency DepartmentBram Wispelwey, MD, MPH
Regan Marsh, MD, MPH
Michael Wilson, MD, MPH
Rose Olson, MD
Hospital Medicine / Department of Emergency Medicine
Evaluating the Visual Representation of Race and Sex in Medical Education and Patient Engagement MaterialsAmirreza Haghighi, MD, PhDGenetics
Impact of Duffy Status on Chemotherapy Administration Among Black Women with Breast CancerMauren Achebe, MBBS
Lauren Merz, MD, MSc
Improving the Quality of Colon Cancer Screening for our Spanish-Speaking Patient PopulationNavin Kumar, MD
Jean Padilla, MD, MPH
Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Endoscopy
The Diabetes Collaborative Care Program to Enhance Outcomes for Hispanic/Latino/Latinx Patients in BWH Primary CareLisa Rotenstein, MD
Marie McDonnell, MD
Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Hypertension / Primary Care
Trauma-Informed Care for Hospitalized Patients with Intimate Partner ViolenceAmrapali Maitra, MD
Stephanie Mueller, MD, MPH
Jeffrey Schnipper, MD, MPH
Hospital Medicine


Vice Chair

Valerie Stone, MD, MPH
Vice Chair for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Dr. Stone is Vice Chair for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion of the Department of Medicine. In addition, she is the Director of Health Equity Initiatives for the Department of Medicine. She is a general internist and HIV focused infectious disease specialist and she sees patients in the Phyllis Jen Center for Primary Care where she also precepts residents. On the inpatient side, she teaches on the ITU. Her research and scholarly writing focuses on health equity, primarily in HIV care, as well as diversity and inclusion in health care, and healthcare leadership. With Dr. Bisola Ojikutu, she is the co-editor of the textbook HIV in U.S. Communities of Color, published in its second edition in 2021. She was for many years a residency program director, so innovations in residency training remains one of her passions and one of her additional areas of scholarship. Dr. Stone is the recipient of numerous awards, including most recently the 2020 W. Lester Henry Award for Advancing Diversity from the American College of Physicians (ACP) and the 2021 Harold Amos Award for Advancing Diversity from Harvard Medical School.

Administrative Leadership

Candace Feldman, MD, MPH, ScD
Assistant Professor of Medicine

Candace Feldman, MD, MPH, ScD is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in the Division of Rheumatology, Inflammation and Immunity. She received her MD from the Yale School of Medicine, her MPH from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and her ScD in Social and Behavioral Sciences from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She completed both her residency and fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Clinically, she is a practicing rheumatologist with a specific focus on the care of patients with lupus as well as patients with complex medical and social needs. Her research focuses on racial, ethnic and socioeconomic health disparities in rheumatic diseases and intervention design to reduce disparities in avoidable outcomes. She was awarded the Mary Betty Stevens Young Investigator Prize by the Lupus Foundation of America, she serves on the Medical and Scientific Advisory Board of the Lupus Foundation of America, she is an Associate Editor at Lupus Science & Medicine and ACR Open Rheumatology, and on the Editorial Board of Arthritis Care & Research. She is the Co-Director of Health Equity Initiatives for the BWH Department of Medicine and leads Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Efforts for the Division of Rheumatology. Her current research is supported by grants from the NIH, the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation and the Arthritis Foundation to study social determinants of health and equity-related issues in rheumatology and musculoskeletal diseases.

Sephora Hollant, MA
Program Manager, Diversity, Inclusion, and Health Equity Initiatives

Sephora is the program manager of DEI and Health Equity Initiatives. She is responsible for supporting program development, planning and implementation, communications, monitoring and evaluation of programs in coordination with hospital and system-wide DEI partners. She supports health equity communications and programming and also supports emerging efforts related to Underrepresented in Medicine (URiM) faculty and trainees.

John Spiers, PhD, SPHR
Director of Faculty Affairs

John is the senior administrative leader for all faculty affairs items in the DOM working with the Vice Chairs for Faculty Development and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, as well as the faculty directors of promotions, programs, and wellbeing, DEI, and health equity. He works with faculty and administrative leaders on strategy, operations, proposal and program development, data analytics, and thought partnership in these areas.