Professor Dayna Bowen Matthew ’87 of the University of Virginia School of Law has been chosen for a yearlong executive leadership program to develop solutions for eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in health care.
Matthew will attend the Disparities Leadership Program, hosted by Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, with Dr. Tracey Hoke, chief of quality and performance improvement at the UVA Health System, and Dr. Cameron Webb, director of health policy and equity at the UVA School of Medicine.
UVA is just one of 13 organizations selected to participate in this year’s program, which brings together leaders from hospitals, health insurance plans and other health care organizations from across the nation in a series of meetings.
The UVA team hopes to improve UVA Health System data collection to better evaluate patient outcomes while building from a strategic plan that will offer physicians recommended measures to improve patient experiences. The evidence-based recommendations will be transmitted as part of the LEAN Hospital Management System, which is currently used to monitor quality of care.
As a leader in UVA’s health equity efforts, Matthew’s goal is fewer readmissions and fewer deaths. The knowledge she brings back will directly benefit patients in Charlottesville.
“We are working to enhance the existing hospital management tools,” Matthew said. “Our recommendations will be presented with support of existing research and new data analysis that we will collect, analyze and report.”
Before joining the UVA Law faculty in 2017, Matthew served on the University of Colorado law faculty as a professor, vice dean and associate dean of academic affairs. In the public policy sphere, she worked with a law firm partner to found the Colorado Health Equity Project, served as the senior adviser to the director of the Office of Civil Rights for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and was a member of the health policy team for U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan.
Since joining UVA Law, Matthew has led the Equity Institute Initiative for the Redress of Inequities Through Community Engaged Research as principle investigator. The group of faculty from more than 15 UVA departments, units and colleges is financed by the Office of the UVA Executive Vice President & Provost with a $100,000 grant this year.
“The initiative seeks to identify ways that the University can involve all departments and units in the work of improving our contributions to equity in the region, and better fulfill our duty and role as a public university,” Matthew said.
Author of the book “Just Medicine: A Cure for Racial Inequality in American Health Care,” Matthew has spoken frequently on racial disparities in health care, most recently as commencement speaker at the Morehouse School of Medicine.
In April, she delivered the lecture “Preventive Lawyering: Empirical Evidence That Medical-Legal Partnerships Improve Lives,” marking her appointment as William L. Matheson and Robert M. Morgenthau Distinguished Professor of Law.
Founded in 1819, the University of Virginia School of Law is the second-oldest continuously operating law school in the nation. Consistently ranked among the top law schools, Virginia is a world-renowned training ground for distinguished lawyers and public servants, instilling in them a commitment to leadership, integrity and community service.