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Diagnosis Transformed: Innovations & Practice Adaptations to Address Disparities and Care Equity During the COVID-19 Pandemic

June 2, 2021, 10 a.m.–1 p.m. ET

The Diagnostic Excellence Summit is an annual one-day internal Johns Hopkins conference devoted to key topics linked to improving the quality, accuracy and timeliness of medical diagnosis. This year, we have canceled our originally planned program in favor of a three-hour virtual conference open to the public (and recorded) to discuss disparities and equity issues facing patients during the COVID-19 pandemic; consider innovations in care models, research and clinical interventions; and examine knowledge gaps and promising practices for addressing disparities in diagnostic care and outcomes.

This virtual conference is free to registrants, and all interested parties are welcomed.

Johns Hopkins Summit Leaders


Keynote Panelists






Welcome & Introduction to the Diagnostic Excellence Summit (D. Newman-Toker)

The mission of the Armstrong Institute Center for Diagnostic Excellence is to catalyze efforts to improve diagnostic performance, develop the science of diagnostic safety, and enhance diagnostic research. Today’s virtual conference seeks to promote engagement and action in partnership with aligned individual and organizational stakeholders working toward a shared vision of diagnostic excellence.


Improving Diagnosis: A (Still!) Emerging Priority for Healthcare Safety, Quality, and Equity (Jeffrey Brady, MD, MPH, Urmimala Sarkar, MD, and Susan Edgman-Levitan, PA)

Keynote Panel Address presenting a national perspective on health care disparities. Audience members will have the opportunity to submit questions electronically in advance and during the panel.


Understanding the Intersection of Disparities and Diagnostic Excellence (K. McDonald, H. Hughes, Y. Commodore-Mensah, J. Greengold)

The second segment of the conference will feature presentation from leaders currently evaluating access and equity issues impacting our communities. The session will explore key concepts in disparities research as well as innovations in telehealth deployment and education to consider and address challenges in clinical care in this new environment.


Perspectives from the Field: Clinical Innovations to Address Care Equity During the Public Health Emergency

The third and final segment of the conference will focus on real-world clinical experiences led by practicing clinicians in primary care, gyn/ob, emergency medicine and ambulatory specialty care, as well as innovative approaches in patient engagement and research. Faculty will present specific clinical adaptations to improve care quality, access and equity issues during the pandemic and facilitate conversation to learn from other organizations and clinicians around the country. Participants will choose from a variety of virtual breakout rooms to align with their areas of interest, engaging in an interactive examination of challenges and lessons learned during this complicated year.

Breakout Leaders

Primary Care

  • Michael Albert, MD - Chief of Primary Care Clinical Innovation, Johns Hopkins Community Physicians

  • Cherilyn C. Hall, MD - Internal medicine and pediatrics, Quality Improvement Champion, Johns Hopkins Community Physicians

Women’s Health

  • Arthur Vaught, MD - Assistant Professor of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Johns Hopkins Medicine

  • Diana Soffer, MD - Obstetrician and Gynecologist, Chronic Pelvic Pain Specialist

Modeling, Methods, & Technology

Emergency Department

  • Susan Peterson, MD Associate Medical Director for Patient Safety and Quality, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Department of Emergency Medicine

  • Patricia Eugene Pugh, D.O.- Assistant Chair, Department of Emergency Medicine, Howard County General Hospital

Community Engagement


Summary & Closing Remarks (D. Newman-Toker)


Highlights from Last Year

Theme: Diagnostic Strategy for the COVID-19 Pandemic – Bench to Bedside to Blueprint for Policymakers

This three-hour virtual summit focused on diagnosing SARS-CoV-2, COVID disease and non-COVID diseases during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Panel discussions led by Yukari Manabe, professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases in the Department of Medicine, focused on current and future diagnostics for the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
  • A presentation by Joshua Sharfstein, vice dean for public health practice and community engagement, featured a panel of clinical, public health and public policy experts discussing an overall strategy to address both COVID and non-COVID disease diagnosis across different levels of the public health response.
  • Presentations by the leaders of the Center for Diagnostic Excellence included Susan Peterson, assistant professor of emergency medicine, and Kathryn McDonald, a patient safety expert and Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Health Systems, Quality and Safety.
  • Networking with patient safety and quality champions across our health system.
  • Presentations by faculty and staff members throughout Johns Hopkins Medicine.

  • Educational courses:

    • Point-of-Care Lung Ultrasound in the Diagnosis and Stratification of Patients with COVID-19

    • Telehealth Diagnostic Triage of Patients in the Era of COVID

    • Being a Patient in the Midst of a Pandemic: Experiences Seeking COVID and non-COVID Care

    • Preparing for the “Second Wave” of COVID Diagnosis

    • Clinical Data Repurposed for Diagnosing and Tracking the Outbreak

    • View the full program agenda.


For questions, please email

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