Join us for our annual Summer Roundtable Series ASTARISQ: Addressing systemic and STructurAl Racism to Improve Safety, Quality, and trustworthiness in health delivery systems (HDS).


The 2024 ASTARISQ Roundtable Series theme is AWARENESSWe cannot address or change a problem if we do not see it. In our 2024 series, we will discuss the impact of racism and on HDS and present opportunities to determine root causes of racial health disparities. The roundtable sessions will ask participants to diagnose structural racism and how it “shows up” in their HDS and enables racial health disparities. Roundtable members will also examine how their intervention efforts in addressing racism have fallen short, or succeeded, and discuss facilitators and barriers to change. Participants will be provided tools to help them further assess the role racism plays in their organization and the readiness of their organization to implement an anti-racist intervention to address health disparities.

2024 ASTARISQ Roundtable and Registration 

Structural Determinants of Health (click to register)

Wednesday, July 17, 2024 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET

Structural racism and institutional policies and practices continue to shape who has access to health-promoting resources and opportunities and who does not. Recent efforts to identify root causes of health inequity have highlighted how historical, systemic, structural, and political forces influence individual risk factors, such as clinical, behavioral, and even social determinants of health. In this year’s ASTARISQ kick-off, our roundtable members will discuss how they have navigated and addressed structural racism in their communities and organizations, as well as opportunities and promising practices for others to take steps to identify and address these factors in their own health delivery system settings. 


Malini B. DeSilva (she/her) is a Research Investigator and the Co-Director of the Pregnancy and Child Health Research Center at HealthPartners Institute. She is also an affiliated faculty at the University of Minnesota and a practicing physician for both the HealthPartners Travel & Tropical Medicine Department and the St. Paul-Ramsey County Tuberculosis Clinic. Health disparities issues have been at the center of both her clinical and research interests, particularly focused on non-English speaking populations, refugee and immigrant health, and vaccine preventable diseases. 

Vu-An Foster (she/her) is the founder and executive director of Life After 2 Losses, a nonprofit organization that prevents reproductive and health injustices. After suffering two preventable second trimester pregnancy losses and nearly dying from severe postpartum preeclampsia, she implemented educational programs and advocacy initiatives to support women, families, and communities coping with pregnancy loss, while simultaneously empowering them to prevent it. She has served on multiple committees and advisory boards surrounding perinatal health and infant mortality, including the New Jersey Maternal Care Quality Collaborative (NJMCQC) with the New Jersey Department of Health, where she serves as the Vice-Chairperson. 

Melissa Moorehead (they/their/ki) is the Co-Director of Data Across Sectors for Health (DASH) at the Michigan Public Health Institute’s Center for Precision Public Health. DASH is a national initiative that elevates models, principles, and practices that support multisector data-sharing ecosystems to achieve health equity. Their expertise includes the Affordable Care Act, particularly Medicaid innovations, health information technology and exchange, and evaluation of prevention interventions and social services care management. 

Ariana Nuñez-Restituyo, MPH (she/her), is a public health consultant for her firm Pro Public Health Consulting, LLC, serves as the Health Education and Social Media Manager for the SIDS Center of New Jersey, and an Adjunct Instructor at the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. She has over 12 years of experience in public health with a specialization in maternal child health and epidemiology.

Improving Patient Safety in Health Delivery Systems (click to register)

Wednesday, July 24, 2024 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET

Patient safety is the freedom from accidental or preventable injury produced by health care and the practices that create a safe care environment. In this session, experts and administrators from MedStar Health will discuss the formation of their Patient Safety initiatives and how they have incorporated health equity frameworks into their implementation for improving and ensuring patient safety across its health system.  


Kate Kellogg, MD, MPH (she/her) is Vice President, Patient Safety & Infection Prevention for MedStar Health, and assistant professor of Emergency Medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine. Dr. Kellogg leads patient safety across the MedStar Health enterprise and oversees systemwide infection prevention operations. Kate’s background includes training in systems and human factors engineering, which she is leveraging as MedStar Health integrates health equity into our patient safety program.

Laura Lee, MS, BSN (she/her) is MedStar Health’s Senior Director for High Reliability and Patient Safety. In this role, Laura is integral to developing and operationalizing MedStar Health’s high reliability and patient safety strategic initiatives. Laura is committed to bringing the principles of high reliability to life through practical applications at the front-line of care delivery and healthcare operations and to advancing MedStar Health as a leader in fostering psychological safety and just culture and designing proactive safety systems that anticipate and prevent hazards and unsafe conditions.

Karey M. Sutton, PhD (she/her) is the scientific director for health equity research at the MedStar Health Research Institute (MHRI). Dr. Sutton is responsible for advancing the overall strategy and growth of the system’s health equity research initiatives which seek to investigate health disparities, structural inequities, and social determinants of health in patient safety, patient engagement, digital health, diagnostics, and chronic disease management, and leading the growth of the MHRI Center for Health Equity Research.

Angela D. Thomas, DrPH, MPH, MBA (she/her) is the Vice President of Healthcare Delivery Research at MedStar Health Research Institute(MHRI). Dr. Thomas is responsible for leading a team of experts to apply rigorous scientific methods to enable next-generation healthcare delivery through quality, safety, innovation, health economics, payment reform, outcomes, health services research, data science, and health equity. She also brings nearly 20 years of experience in the scientific and administrative leadership of translational and clinical research from Federal and non-Federal sponsors.

Overcoming Systemic Oppression and Improving Healthcare Delivery (click to register)

Wednesday, July 31, 2024 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET

Research to improve healthcare delivery requires people and community engagement, tools and training to enable healthcare professionals to deliver whole-person care, and an increase in the use of evidence in healthcare policy, coverage, and clinical practice. In this roundtable, our speakers will share their experiences and promising practices in engaging people and communities in care, including strategies to engage and empower patients and caregivers in direct care and care coordination.  

Moderator: L. Marie Asad is a PATIENTS Professor and Manager of Community Outreach & Engagement at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois.


Laura Bray (she/her) is the Chief Change Maker and founder of Angels for Change, a volunteer supported organization on a mission to end drug shortages through advocacy, awareness and a resilient supply chain. Angels for Change advocates on behalf of any patient in a life-saving drug shortage, while building relationships with patients and members of the pharmaceutical supply chain ending all healthcare crises created by drug shortages.

Lillian Mehran (she/her), is the founder of Reframe Health and has more than 15 years of experience in community health and advocacy. As a community health educator, her work focuses on improving health literacy, promoting health equity, and creating programs and resources. Her work has served diverse populations including LGBTQIA+ patients, caregivers, individuals with chronic health conditions, intimate partner violence survivors, and older adults in underserved communities.

Citseko Staples Miller (she/her) leads the Healthcare & Life Sciences Public Affairs team for FTI Consulting. For more than 20 years, Ms. Miller has been engaged in comprehensive, multi-faceted public policy campaigns focused on health care, access to coverage, cancer control and prevention, appropriations and government finance.

Aneri Pattani (she/her) is a senior correspondent at KFF Health News, a national nonprofit outlet covering U.S. health care and health policy. Pattani reports on a range of public health topics, with a focus on mental health, suicide, and substance use. She recently completed her master’s in public health as a Bloomberg fellow at Johns Hopkins University.

Whole-person Healthcare (click to register)

Wednesday, August 7, 2024 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET

Whole-person care is based on the values and circumstances of each individual patient and addressing preventative and chronic physical, behavioral, and social health needs. Effective delivery of whole-person healthcare is critical to optimize health, functional status, and well-being, as well as critical to eliminate health inequities across the life span, emphasizing the needs of older adults and children with complex medical conditions. Roundtable members will discuss their experiences in patient, practice, community, and health system level interventions, designed to improve access, quality, outcomes, and equity care.  


Jason Falvey (he/him) is an Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science and the Director of the Center for Disability Justice at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. His work broadly focuses on mobility justice among older adults recovering from serious injuries, with an overall goal of ensuring that all individuals have the unrestricted ability to move safely and freely in their home and communities, regardless of their identity.

Joe Huang (he/him) is the Medical Director, PSW. Founded in 1995, PSW has led healthcare innovation with the guiding principle of supporting the physician–patient relationship to improve quality of care. PSW’s diverse business offer includes successful management of delegated risk contracts, launching a Medicare Advantage plan, standing up a national leading ACO and building infrastructure to manage population health across all payer models.

Kelsey Sala-Hamrick (she/her) is a Senior Research Scientist at MPHI’s Center for Strategic Health Partnerships (CSHP) and a licensed clinical psychologist. Dr. Sala-Hamrick's work focuses on promoting resilience in youth and families exposed to trauma and adverse childhood experiences. promoting health equity and increasing access to care through developing, implementing and evaluating evidence-based, trauma-informed programs and services and by strengthening ties between community members, researchers, providers, and policy makers for meaningful change.

Jared Walker (he/him) is the Founder of Dollar For, a national nonprofit that makes charity care known, easy, and fair. Dollar For educates patients about charity care, helps patients navigate the application process, and calls out hospitals that don’t follow regulations. Dollar For is entirely funded through philanthropic grants and donations and has helped eliminated over $50 million in medical bills for patients across the United States.

Tools to Advance Health Equity in Healthcare Institutions (click to register)

Wednesday, August 14, 2024 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET

We aim to build a community of practice as part of ASTARISQ initiative. By sharing lessons learned and promising practices to address structural racism in patient safety, healthcare delivery, and advancing whole-person care, we embrace opportunities for continued learning, implementation, and advancement across health systems. In our final 2024 roundtable, our members will discuss evidence-based practices for addressing and reducing structural racism at the individual and organizational levels and facilitate opportunities to practice the use of various tools in diverse contexts. Together, we will make health delivery systems safer, patient-centered, and higher quality.  


Moacir (Mo) Barbosa (he/him) is the Senior Director of Community Engagement, at Health Resources in Action, who partners with individuals, organizations, and communities to transform the practices, policies, and systems that improve health and advance equity  

Tatiana Bustos (she/her) is a community psychologist and research scientist at RTI International’s Transformative Research Unit for Equity (TRUE). Dr. Bustos applies participatory research methodologies to design and implement projects that promote the inherent strengths, capacities and opportunities of communities for social change. Her work aims to bridge science with practice to enhance the engagement of communities in public health programs and initiatives.

Mathew J. Edick (he/him) is the Director of Center for Precision Public Health at MHPI, a Michigan-based and nationally engaged, non-profit public health institute. Dr. Edick’s work engages families, communities, clinicians, researchers, payers, and other stakeholders to develop new research, support data-driven initiatives, facilitate community-led program development, and provide technical assistance that advances health equity and public health.

Lou Hart (he/him) is a practicing Pediatric Hospitalist, an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Yale School of Medicine, and the Medical Director of Health Equity for Yale New Haven Health. Dr. Hart started his clinical leadership career as Director of Equity, Quality & Safety at NYC Health + Hospitals, our nation's largest comprehensive safety-net healthcare system. By leveraging quality improvement and patient safety frameworks and methodologies, he confronts systems-based drivers of inequity through a just culture approach.  

Deana Williams (she/her) is a Research Investigator at MultiCare Institute for Research and Innovation, whose mission is to partner with our communities to improve quality of life and advance medical science through research. Dr. Williams founded the Health Equity Research Program within her institute, with her research primarily focusing on advancing health equity for LGBTQ+ populations, with an emphasis on the health and wellbeing of racially and ethnically diverse queer and bisexual women.

Click on the topics below to learn more. 


Structural racism within health delivery systems (HDS) and health care providers and administrators’ biases contribute significantly to health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities and other marginalized groups. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) funded ASTARISQ in 2024 as a three year conference series (1R13HS029601-01A1) to achieve three aims:

Aim 1: Identify, prioritize, and co-design with impacted community members trainings on anti-racist strategies, policies, and practices to address structural racism in HDS to improve patient safety, quality of care, and trustworthiness in HDS (Output: Co-develop the conference schedule for training in evidence-based, anti-racist strategies and identify opportunities for mutual learning and collaboration in health communication, addressing misinformation, and community need for transparency to ensure evidence can be understood and used)   

Aim 2: Convene an interactive series of roundtables to train and prepare diverse stakeholder groups to address structural racism in HDS and health services research (Output: Provide resources to attendees such as health professionals, health services researchers, and other stakeholders to address structural racism through themes of implicit and explicit biases, power, stigma, bioethics, health information technology, health literacy, culturally appropriate care, diversity in clinical trials, quality of care, and patient safety)   

Aim 3: Produce and disseminate guidance documents to equip participants and broader audiences with resources and skills in evidence-based, anti-racism-informed strategies to strengthen anti-racist policies and practices (Output: Support a scaling-up and adoption of tools to guide HDS in best practices to incorporate evidence-based anti-racist principles in a practical, sustainable, and scalable manner to make health care safer, higher quality, and more accessible, appropriate, equitable, and affordable)  

↓ AHRQ Funding Statement

This project was funded under grant number 1R13HS029601-01A1 from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The authors are solely responsible for this document’s contents, findings, and conclusions, which do not necessarily represent the views of AHRQ. Readers should not interpret any statement in this report as an official position of AHRQ or of HHS. None of the authors has any affiliation or financial involvement that conflicts with the material presented on this website.