While many health care organizations are motivated to identify and reduce racial and ethnic disparities in the health and health care of their patients, most lack the tools and resources to do so effectively. To identify ways to address disparities more effectively, Aligning Forces for Quality, an initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, partnered with Finding Answers: Disparities Research for Change (Finding Answers) and the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) to work with nine outpatient practices and their communities. This paper shares the lessons learned from these nine organizations in implementing innovative programming to address disparities in their patient populations. It includes concrete recommendations that other health care organizations can use to improve the quality of their health care delivery systems and implement interventions to address inequities in patient care and outcomes.

The health care organizations described in this report are part of Aligning Forces for Quality, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s signature effort to lift the overall quality of health care in targeted communities, reduce racial and ethnic disparities, and provide models for national reform.