2020

Measuring progress in diversity in the health services and policy research field


Five years after a report on improving equity in health services research, a coalition of four American universities are working to measure progress.

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As people around the world stand in solidarity with Americans calling for an end to racism and racial injustice, scholars are measuring whether the field of health services and policy research (HSR) has made any significant progress since a landmark report on the issue was published in 2015.

“The need for diversity stems not only from the need to reflect the changing demographics in the U.S. population, but also from a need to ensure that the best talent from all backgrounds feels at home in HSR,” said Ninez Ponce, professor of health policy and management at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. “An HSR workforce that reflects the people it serves helps achieve the results we need to move forward, equitably and effectively, and improve health care outcomes for all of us.”

The research team of scholars from UCLA, UC Davis, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Louisville will examine the recommendations of The Future of Diversity and Inclusion in Health Services and Policy Research, published by AcademyHealth in 2015. AcademyHealth is a nonpartisan, nonprofit professional organization dedicated to advancing the fields of health services research and health policy.

The team, led by UCLA scholar Taylor B. Rogers, doctoral student of health policy and management, is a multi-disciplinary group of early and mid-career professionals - exactly the sort of academics the field is trying to recruit and sustain in their careers.

“One of the very real issues we need to study is what HSR field needs to do in order for scholars of color to thrive and be sustained in HSR, rather than leaving. As it stands now, Black, American Indian, Pacific Islander, and Latinx individuals are severely underrepresented in the educational pipeline and the HSR workforce,” Rogers said. “In 2015, there were five specified recommendations; we want to understand how they have been followed, and what kind of impact they’ve had on the workforce.”

To do that, Rogers and her team are beginning an intensive, six-month-long study of those working in the field. They will present the findings at the 2021 AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting (ARM) next summer. The study has begun, with a series of surveying and focus groups, at this year’s “virtual” ARM. The effort is fully supported by AcademyHealth, officials said.

“To paraphrase James Baldwin, we can’t change what we don’t face,” said Dr. Lisa Simpson, AcademyHealth President and CEO. “AcademyHealth intends to draw on the results of this survey to inform our policies and practices, and to improve and expand our work to address structural racism in HSR, its training and data resources.”


The UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, founded in 1961, is dedicated to enhancing the public's health by conducting innovative research, training future leaders and health professionals from diverse backgrounds, translating research into policy and practice, and serving our local communities and the communities of the nation and the world. The school has 690 students from 25 nations engaged in carrying out the vision of building healthy futures in greater Los Angeles, California, the nation and the world.

Faculty Referenced by this Article

Dr. Ninez Ponce
Ninez Ponce
Health Policy and Management
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Jody Heymann
Jody Heymann
Epidemiology Health Policy and Management
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Vickie Mays
Vickie Mays
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Naomi Zewde
Naomi Zewde
Health Policy and Management
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Emily Abel
Emily Abel
Health Policy and Management
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Diana Hilberman
Diana Hilberman
Health Policy and Management
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Kadiyala, Srikanth
Srikanth Kadiyala
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Jonathan Fielding
Jonathan Fielding
Health Policy and Management
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Michelle Keller
Michelle S. Keller

Dr. Michelle S. Keller is a health services researcher whose research focuses on the use and prescribing of high-risk medications.

Health Policy and Management
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Pamela Davidson
Health Policy and Management
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Robert Brook
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Felicia Hodge
Felicia Hodge
Health Policy and Management
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Mangione, C
Carol Mangione
Health Policy and Management
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Burt Cowgill
Burt Cowgill
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Risha Gidwani
Risha Gidwani
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Thomas Rice
Thomas Rice
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Anthony Schiff
Anthony Hunter Schiff
Health Policy and Management
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Isomi Miake-Lye
Isomi Miake-Lye
Health Policy and Management
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Freund, Deborah
Deborah Anne Freund
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Kenneth Wells
Kenneth Wells
Health Policy and Management
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Gerald Kominski
Gerald Kominski
Health Policy and Management
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Mark Litwin
Health Policy and Management
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Annette Maxwell
Health Policy and Management
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Patricia Ganz
Patricia Ganz
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Aria Fallah
Aria Fallah
Health Policy and Management
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Aronberg, Sandra
Sandra Aronberg
Health Policy and Management
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Thomas Priselac
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Jose J. Escarce
Health Policy and Management
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Z. John Lu
Health Policy and Management
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Galper, Michael
Michael Galper
Health Policy and Management
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Yusuke Tsugawa
Yusuke Tsugawa
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Joann Elmore
Joann G. Elmore
Health Policy and Management
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Warren Scott Comulada
Warren Scott Comulada
Health Policy and Management
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Avram Kaplan
Avram Kaplan
Health Policy and Management
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Leah Vriesman
Leah Vriesman
Health Policy and Management
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Sangeeta Ahluwalia
Sangeeta Ahluwalia
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Paul Fu, Jr.
Paul Fu, Jr.
Health Policy and Management
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Rosenstock
Linda Rosenstock
Environmental Health Sciences Health Policy and Management
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Michael Ong
Michael Ong
Health Policy and Management
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Susan Ettner
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. William McCarthy
William J. McCarthy
Health Policy and Management
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Jean Balgrosky
Health Policy and Management
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Ron Andersen

Dr. Ron Andersen is the Wasserman Professor Emeritus in the UCLA Departments of Health Policy and Management.

Health Policy and Management
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David Hayes-Bautista
Health Policy and Management
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Paul Chung
Paul Chung
Health Policy and Management
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James Macinko
James Macinko

Professor of Community Health Sciences & Health Policy and Management, and Associate Dean for Research

Community Health Sciences Health Policy and Management
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Arlene Fink
Health Policy and Management
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Corrina Moucheraud
Corrina Moucheraud
Health Policy and Management
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Moira Inkelas
Moira Inkelas
Health Policy and Management
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Julie A. Elginer

EMPH Academic Program Director with expertise in healthcare marketing, finance, and reproductive health policy, teaching in the EMPH, MPH, MHA program

Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Dylan Roby
Dylan Roby
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Stephanie Taylor
Stephanie L. Taylor

Nationally recognized health services researcher and sociomedical scientist with 25+ years' experience in effectiveness and implementation research.

Health Policy and Management
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Emmeline Chuang
Health Policy and Management
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Thomas D. Gordon
Health Policy and Management
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Daniel Eisenberg
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Jennifer Wortham
Jennifer Wortham
Health Policy and Management
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Roshan Bastani
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Alice Kuo
Alice Kuo
Health Policy and Management
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Ron D. Hays
Ron D. Hays

@UCLA since 1997

Health Policy and Management
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Nadereh Pourat
Nadereh Pourat
Health Policy and Management
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Clifford Ko
Clifford Ko
Health Policy and Management
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Olivia Jung
Olivia Jung
Health Policy and Management
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Comanor, Bill
William Comanor
Health Policy and Management
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Steven Teutsch
Health Policy and Management
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Robert Kaplan
Robert Kaplan
Health Policy and Management
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Jack Needleman
Jack Needleman
Health Policy and Management
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Brennan Spiegel
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Arturo Vargas Bustamante
Arturo Vargas Bustamante
Health Policy and Management
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Jeanne Miranda
Jeanne Miranda
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Frederick Zimmerman
Frederick Zimmerman
Health Policy and Management
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Neal Halfon
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Beth Glenn
Beth Glenn
Health Policy and Management
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Alan Tomines
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Samuel Sessions
Samuel Sessions
Health Policy and Management
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Laura Erskine
Laura Erskine
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Yvonne Flores
Yvonne Flores
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Xi Zhu
Xi Zhu
Health Policy and Management
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Ty Robbins
Health Policy and Management
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Lori Pelliccioni
Health Policy and Management
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Barbara Berman
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Elizabeth (Becky) Yano
Elizabeth (Becky) Yano
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Lillian Gelberg
Lillian Gelberg
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Kristen Choi
Kristen Choi
Health Policy and Management
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