MSTCVS and CQIs Statement on Health Care Disparities and Racism

Dear Colleagues,

Over the past three months, the COVID-19 pandemic exposed health and health care disparities in black and other communities of color and other vulnerable populations. It laid bare the structures, systems, and policies that create social and economic conditions that lead to disparate access to healthcare, poor health outcomes, and lower life expectancy. The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Collaborative Quality Initiatives are committed to using the CQI platform to assess and better understand all health care disparities. We will share information obtained by CQIs with the broader healthcare community in an effort to inform and consider future actions taken by healthcare entities to address these inequities and improve healthcare for all.

The elimination of health disparities will not be achieved without acknowledging the role racism and implicit bias has played in creating and perpetuating health and social inequalities. This includes inequitable access to quality health care services. Racism and the structures and policies which perpetuate and uphold it are antithetical to the oaths and moral responsibilities we accepted as healthcare professionals who have dedicated our lives to advance the health of all, especially the most vulnerable.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Collaborative Quality Initiatives stand against racism and hate in all its forms. We acknowledge that the impact of racial injustice and racism must be addressed. Racism in any setting, form, or structure  – whether health care, law enforcement, or any other – is unacceptable. We are committed to the conversations and actions needed to bring about change and equity. We commit to review of our structures, policies and quality work through an anti-racist lens and welcome feedback as we collectively reflect, learn, and address this critical societal issue. As health care providers, we must lead in making a difference in the health care we provide and the quality we seek to improve across health systems.

Sincerely, Reza Dabir, MD
The Michigan Society of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeons (MSTCVS)
Richard L. Prager,  MD

Endorsed by:

  • The Obstetrics Initiative (OBI)
  • The Integrated Michigan Patient-centered Alliance in Care Transitions (I-MPACT)
  • The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Cardiovascular Consortium (BMC2)
  • The Michigan Hospital Medicine Safety Consortium (HMS)
  • Michigan Urological Surgery Improvement Collaborative (MUSIC)
  • Michigan Society of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeons Quality Collaborative (MSTCVS QC)
  • Michigan Radiation Oncology Quality Consortium  (MROQC)
  • Michigan Anticoagulation Quality Improvement Initiative (MAQI2)
  • Michigan Surgical Quality Collaborative (MSQC)
  • Michigan Value Collaborative (MVC)
  • Anesthesiology Performance Improvement and Reporting Exchange (ASPIRE)
  • Michigan Bariatric Surgery Collaborative (MBSC)
  • Michigan Emergency Department Improvement Collaborative (MEDIC)
  • Michigan Arthroplasty Registry Collaborative Quality Initiative (MARCQI)
  • Michigan Oncology Quality Consortium (MOQC)

Support for the CQIs is provided by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network as part of the BCBSM Value Partnerships program. BCBSM’s Value Partnerships program provides clinical and executive support for all CQI programs. To learn more about Value Partnerships, visit Although Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the CQIs work in partnership, the opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints expressed by CQIs do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints of BCBSM or any of its employees.