September 21, 2021

Vizient’s Shaifali Ray and Karyl Kopaskie Selected for National Leadership Program to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care

IRVING, Texas (BUSINESS WIRE), September 21, 2021 – Vizient, Inc. today announced that Shaifali Ray, senior networks director, and Karyl Kopaskie, associate principal, will participate in a year-long executive leadership program designed to address racial and ethnic disparities in health care. Ray and Kopaskie, experts in health equity strategy and implementation, are among 48 individuals from 21 health care organizations from around the United States to be selected for the Disparities Leadership Program 2021-2022. They will join a cohort of 203 other organizations who have or are currently participating in the Disparities Leadership Program from 2007-present.

The Disparities Leadership Program, the first of its kind in the nation, is designed for leaders from hospitals, health insurance plans, and other health care organizations who are seeking to develop practical strategies to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health care. The program is led by the Disparities Solutions Center at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston, Massachusetts.

“We are thrilled to have Shaifali and Karyl participate in the Disparities Leadership Program. Both are leading work at Vizient to help our members understand the disparities in health equity in their communities and implement strategies to begin to close gaps,” said Julie Cerese, group senior vice president, performance management and national networks. “Participating in this program will enable them to gain additional insights and develop an integrated approach to support our members on their health equity journey.”

Through the Disparities Leadership Program, the Disparities Solutions Center aims to create leaders prepared to meet the challenges of health care transformation by improving quality for populations who experience disparities. The program has three main goals:

  • To equip health care leaders with a rich understanding of the causes of disparities, the vision to implement solutions, and the strategies to transform their organization to deliver high-value health care.
  • To help leaders create strategic plans or projects to advance their work in reducing disparities in a customized way, with practical benefits tailored to every organization.
  • To create a professional learning and networking environment for leaders in health care to engage in peer-to-peer learning, crowd sourcing of ideas and strategies for reducing disparities, resource sharing, collaboration, and ongoing support in the form of a national DLP alumni network.

“What we have learned from working with other health care organizations for over a decade is that there is a thirst for knowledge on how to operationalize and execute on strategies to address racial and ethnic disparities, but also to be part of a community that can crowd source ideas,” said Aswita Tan-McGrory, MBA, MSPH, Director of the Disparities Solutions Center at MGH. “Especially in this current national climate of a call to action for social justice, participating organizations create a powerful network of leaders coming together to support and learn from each other toward the common goal of eliminating disparities.”

Since its inception in 2005 as the nation’s first hospital-based disparities center, the Disparities Solutions Center at MGH has been recognized as a national leader in addressing racial and ethnic disparities in care. In addition to fostering a movement among leaders from 203 organizations nationally and internationally through the Disparities Leadership Program, the Disparities Solution Center has worked with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Office of Minority Health to design, implement, and evaluate a portfolio of quality improvement programs to reduce health disparities.

In addition, the Disparities Solution Center has partnered with hospital leaders in quality and safety at MGH for over a decade to produce the publicly available Annual Report on Equity in Health Care Quality, which stratifies hospital data by race, ethnicity, language, and other factors to monitor for disparities, identify areas for quality improvement, and report on the progress of initiatives to eliminate disparities.

Disparities Solution Center faculty have also played an important role in the well-recognized effort among Boston hospitals to eliminate disparities under the leadership of Boston Public Health Commission. These experiences have uniquely positioned Disparities Solution Center faculty to provide training to those interested in addressing disparities through quality improvement.

The Disparities Leadership Program is jointly sponsored by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and supported by Joint Commission Resources (JCR), an affiliate of the Joint Commission.

About Vizient, Inc.

Vizient, Inc. provides solutions and services that improve the delivery of high-value care by aligning cost, quality and market performance for more than 50% of the nation’s acute care providers, which includes 97% of the nation’s academic medical centers, and more than 20% of ambulatory care providers. Vizient provides expertise, analytics and advisory services, as well as a contract portfolio that represents more than $110 billion in annual purchasing volume, to improve patient outcomes and lower costs. In 2021, Vizient acquired Intalere, which expanded its footprint with ambulatory and rural acute care providers. Vizient has earned a World’s Most Ethical Company designation from the Ethisphere Institute every year since its inception. Headquartered in Irving, Texas, Vizient has offices throughout the United States. Learn more at

Media Contact
Donna Ledbetter
(972) 830-6321

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