Policy Summit

Racial and ethnic minorities represent the fastest growing subgroups of the U.S. population. About 1 in 3 residents of the United States self-identify as African-American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian/Pacific American, or Latino (Kaiser 2008). Racial/ethnic background is often associated with disparities related to health status, health insurance coverage and health care access and quality. Eliminating these disparities has become a priority for the Health and Human Services Administration (HHS) which has set a national goal of eliminating health disparities by the end of this decade. Although there is a growing attention being placed on eliminating disparities, there is little consensus on what should be done to reduce these disparities. 

On June 8-11, 2009, the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), part of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) sponsored the National Policy Summit on the Elimination of Disparities in Mental Health Care.  The meeting was held in New Orleans, LA.  CMHS engaged the Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO) and AFYA, Inc. to organize this very important event.  The Georgetown University National Technical Assistance Center and the Georgetown University National Center for Cultural Competence used their extensive experience in developing policy summits to also provide content and additional coordination of the event.

After an extensive application and review process, six states were provided with an opportunity to engage in planning for new policies to address the elimination of disparities.  Delegations from six states -- Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Florida, New Mexico and Washington.— spent 3.5 days working with facilitators and expert faculty to develop action plans unique to elimination of health disparities in their state context.

For further information on the National Policy Summit on the Elimination of Disparities in Mental Health Care  please send your inquiries to or contact Roger W. Morrell, Ph.D. at .



Purpose and Objectives

Policy Summit Agenda

State Delegations 


Faculty Bios

Selected Power Point Presentations 


Selected Reading Materials

 Full Participant List