Medical Society of NJ Takes Part in HENC to Address Health Disparities

Seven state medical societies, including the Medical Society of New Jersey, announced the creation of the Health Equity Network for Change (HENC), which is focused on improving the health status of medically underserved populations.

HENC employs a new data source, health information exchange data, and analytic tools provided by KAMMCO, a provider-led medical professional liability insurer. Medical societies in each of these states have engaged KAMMCO to build physician-led exchanges: Kansas, Georgia, South Carolina, Connecticut, New Jersey, Missouri, and Louisiana.

According to HENC Chair M. Natalie Achong, MD, MHL, FACOG, “Physicians across the nation are increasingly concerned about health disparities. To address this, HENC brings leading physicians together to examine trends in health disparity data. This will allow HENC to make data-driven recommendations for the establishment of population health priorities at regional, state and national levels aimed at improving health outcomes.”

“The Medical Society of New Jersey (MSNJ) and the state’s physician-led health information exchange, OneHealth New Jersey, are excited to participate in this new initiative,” said Larry Downs, Esq., CEO of MSNJ. “By working together to address universal healthcare issues such as healthcare disparities and population health, we can broaden our impact across the country.”

Laura McCrary, Ed.D, senior vice president of KAMMCO, added, “Health information exchange data is an enormously valuable, rich set of clinical data aggregated across all exchange participating healthcare providers within a region, state or nation. This data provides key insights into healthcare patterns and utilization previously not available from static, outdated or geographically limited clinical data sets.”

HENC has tapped leading physicians with expertise in health disparities to include:

  • Soumen Samaddar, MD, representing the Medical Society of New Jersey. Dr. Samaddar is the Medical Director of Hunterdon Family & Sports Medicine at Hopewell Valley in Pennington, N.J., and is affiliated with Hunterdon Medical Center.
  • Natalie Achong, MD, MHL, FACOG(Chair), representing the Connecticut State Medical Society. Dr. Achong is board certified in Obstetrician and Gynecologist and has practiced medicine for over 15 years. She treats a diverse population of patients and families in Connecticut.
  • Amin Yehya, MD, representing the Medical Association of Georgia. Dr. Yehya is an Advanced Heart Failure and Heart Transplant Cardiologist, Clinical Researcher, and Educator at Piedmont Heart Institute, Athens, Ga.
  • Tracie Collins, MD, MPH, MHCDS, representing the Kansas Medical Society. Dr. Collins is board certified in General Internal Medicine and Vascular Medicine, practicing at the Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center in Wichita, Kan., and serves as Chair of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita.
  • Donnie Batie, MD, ABFM, representing the Louisiana State Medical Society. Dr. Batie is board certified in Family Practice and Geriatrics and serves as the Medical Director of the Skilled Nursing Facility for General Health System and Bethesda Rehabilitation Hospital, Baton Rouge, La.
  • Kirsten Dunn, MD, FACP, representing the Missouri State Medical Association. Dr. Dunn is board certified in Internal Medicine and practices at Mercy Virtual in St. Louis, Mo.
  • Gerald Wilson, MD, representing the South Carolina Medical Association. Dr. Wilson, a retired general and peripheral vascular surgeon, serves as a clinical instructor in the University of South Carolina School of Medicine’s Department of Surgery, Columbia, S.C.

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