Closing the Disparity Gap in Minority Health and Care

Burgess Harrison, Executive Director of the National Minority Health Association

Closing the Disparity Gap in Minority Health and Care


There can only be health equality once there is health equity.

This episode of Everyone Hates Healthcare is a jaw-dropping conversation with Burgess Harrison, Executive Director of the National Minority Health Association, about eliminating the healthcare disparity gap experienced by minorities. As an answer to how to provide every single person with the best possible healthcare outcomes, the NMHA came up with the Patient Activation Measure (PAM). This scale looks at each person’s willingness and capabilities to take charge of their health and determines how to treat each patient. When living with limited funds, healthcare can often find itself at the back of our priority list, and PAM is a way to help healthcare organizations look out for patients. Burgess discusses primary care alternatives, technology, accessibility, teamwork, and health policymaking as crucial subjects to consider along the journey to making a change.

Tune in to this episode and learn how healthcare delivery has to change to make health equity a reality for minority communities!

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Closing the Disparity Gap in Minority Health and Care

About Burgess Harrison:

Burgess Harrison, MBA, brings a wide breadth of expertise to the National Minority Health Association. He comes with more than 25 years of home health, home care, electronic visit verification, and telehealth technology experience. He is a pioneer in electronic visit verification and possesses a unique understanding of the market and the issues patients and providers face. Burgess is an educator, former adjunct professor, marketing executive, and software business founder who happens to be a unique perspective on minority health. As an Albino with low vision from two black parents, Burgess leads the association with a unique personal healthcare journey and understands the impact of the lack of access as a child, as well as being an experiment or “lab project” for healthcare professionals. He is the co-founder of Statchek, Inc. a pioneer in electronic visit verification in-home care (acquired by Wipro NYSE: WIT), and Ankota LLC, a SaaS home care technology company.

Having a family that has received home care and assisted living as well as elderly relatives afflicted with PICKs and dementia, Burgess is acutely aware of the issues that face minority and disadvantaged Americans when they need simple and complex medical services. Burgess has developed innovative and forward-thinking programs for non-profits as he served on the boards of the American Red Cross of South Central Connecticut and Shoreline Foundation (S.A.R.A.H.). This is Burgess’s passion. He developed the concept for Operation Healthy You and after a year of development, Dr. Dalton saw the potential and joined forces to bring it to life in the NMHA. 




Things You’ll Learn:

  • Health equity means giving people what they need at the time they need it to get the best outcome for them.
  • Health equality means providing everybody the same treatment and resources with the same quality, which can cause under-resourcing or over-resourcing if equity is not achieved first.
  • In every category, minority communities have a worse outcome than their non-minority counterparts.
  • The Patient Activation Measure has a score scale of 1-4, which indicates how activated a patient is, meaning willingness and capability of taking care of their own healthcare.
  • If you keep focusing work on those who need it more, the group as a whole will improve.
  • A solution to the lack of primary care doctors is giving PAs and NPs more primary care work as they take less time to be professionally ready than doctors. 
  • PAs and NPs can do about half of what primary care doctors do
  • The UK has a centralized and single-payer healthcare system.


  • Connect with and follow Burgess Harrison on LinkedIn.
  • Follow National Minority Health Association on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
  • Explore the National Minority Health Association Website!
  • Remember to send us your Healthcare Story to [email protected] with the subject line: “My Healthcare Story”
  • Listen to the Outcomes Rocket Network Podcasts here.