L. D. Britt, MD, MPH, DSc(Hon), FACS, FCCM, FRCSEng(Hon), FRCSEd(Hon), FWACS(Hon), FRCSI(Hon), FCS(SA)(Hon), FRCSGlasg(Hon), Henry Ford Professor and Edward Brickhouse Chairman, department of surgery, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, and a Past-President of the American College of Surgeons (ACS), was recently awarded a multimillion-dollar National Institutes of Health (NIH) research grant. The grant will be used to develop strategies to address health care disparities in the various surgical specialties. Specifically, the emphasis of this research is “to determine the specific measures of health care disparities in the various surgical specialties in order to develop targeted interventions to mitigate such disparities,” said Dr. Britt, principal investigator of the research project.
The NIH R01 grants are among the most competitive awards in scientific research. Dr. Britt’s research team comprises experts in the field who work in medical organizations and academic institutions, such as the ACS; Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; and the University of California, Los Angeles.
Dr. Britt has dedicated his career to patient care and addressing the multifaceted disparities in health care, and he believes that this research grant is a pivotal step toward countering one of the greatest challenges facing this country. He is particularly thankful for the unwavering support of David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS, ACS Executive Director; the Board of Regents; and the ACS Committee on Health Care Disparities, which he chairs. Adil Haider, MD, MPH, FACS, professor and director of the Center for Surgery and Public Health, Harvard Medical School, serves as Vice-Chair of the committee.
“This is a big step for the American College of Surgeons,” Dr. Britt said. “With its 100-plus year history of using data to address quality of care in surgery, if the College, in collaboration with the NIH, can’t solve this problem, no one can.”
Dr. Britt added that he anticipates that the College’s efforts to address disparities in health care with the help of the NIH will serve as a template for other professional organizations so that all patients have access to the services they need, from primary care to obstetrics-gynecology, and from cardiology to psychiatry. “Dr. Hoyt and I hope this is the start of movement to address health care disparities in all specialties, but it starts with the College.”