About NMQF

Founded in 1998, National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF) is a United States-based, health care research, education and advocacy organization whose mission is to reduce patient risk and advance health equity by assuring optimal care for all.

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To achieve a just and fair health system that ensures equitable access to optimal care.

As the nation's largest minority healthcare research, education, and advocacy organization, the National Minority Quality Forum is leading the charge for health equity. From data to action, we are working to reduce patient risk and ensure access to optimal care, especially for those who are most vulnerable.


NMQF was founded in



At NMQF, our mission is to reduce patient risk of hospitalizations, emergency room visits, disabilities, and death, while also promoting high-quality, long lives, particularly for the most vulnerable. We do this by using data and research to support and mobilize healthcare organizations, leaders, policymakers, and patients in advocating for optimal care for every individual, especially those in minoritized populations.

5 billion

Patient Records to track health inequities nationwide


Followers of the #HealthEquityMovement


Health Champion Pastors, Community Pharmacists, & Barbers/Stylists

Key Issues

The National Minority Quality Forum Is Dedicated to Improving Quality of Care for All Americans

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that by midcentury, the United States will have no clear majority population group, but rather a rich mosaic of cultural, ethnic, and racial backgrounds. The nation’s current minority populations are emerging as the majority. This fundamental dynamic presents society with an urgent need for credible, objective, reliable data and minority expertise to inform a health-care infrastructure capable of reducing or eliminating health disparities and improving health-care quality for all, including at-risk ethnic and racial minorities. Today’s health system is not structured to accommodate such diversity, even as it struggles to incorporate innovations in genomics, proteomics, and new approaches to personalized medicine, prevention, treatment, risk assessment, and surveillance.

Fostering cultural competency among health-care providers, educating and training tomorrow’s providers and health professionals, and implementing state-of-the-art technology are important issues for improving minority health status. However, there is a lack of fundamental applied science focusing on managing risk, implementing prevention programs, treating illness, and monitoring quality of care for racial and ethnic minorities. Performance and quality measures are being generalized and applied to minority populations without much-needed research.

Underrepresentation of minorities in clinical trials has resulted in science that is inadequate to support recommendations of effectiveness for minorities. Powering clinical trials with sufficient minority participants may be the greatest challenge in determining what constitutes effective and safe care.

The National Minority Quality Forum is committed to linking the disparities movement with the quality-of-care movement. Today’s performance-measurement and pay-for-performance systems are being implemented without input or feedback from minority stakeholders. These new systems are also being embedded in new health-information-technology infrastructures. Lack of minority participation in quality-of-care determinations is putting minority health at further risk and may increase disparities rather than reduce them.

The current American health-care-financing system is normed to the current majority. Changes in population will demand fundamental changes in the system. Health plans will need to anticipate that their member base will become more diverse and that this diversity could bring with it differences in disease-risk profiles and treatment modalities. Pioneering drug companies will have to determine whether to continue relying on the traditional method of developing medications to answer the requisite safety and efficacy questions when current minorities become the collective majority. As government moves to manage costs and set standards for quality, it will have to remember its responsibility to the larger American community lest it institute policies that leave us ill prepared for our future.

The National Minority Quality Forum is working to raise awareness in minority communities that they must participate in the national debate on health-care reform. Public- and private-sector leaders of performance-measurement and pay-for-performance programs must recognize and address the potential for increasing, rather than decreasing, disparities in the quality and safety of health and medical care. The Forum will work with quality-improvement leaders to participate directly in raising awareness of needed changes.


National Minority Quality Forum is governed by a dedicated and diverse volunteer Board of Directors, and managed by an experienced team of staff who represent a diverse cross-section of scientists, data engineers, community engagement experts, and healthcare and policy professionals.

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    Gary A. Puckrein, PhD

    President and Chief Executive Officer

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    Brandon Garrett

    Chief Operating Officer and Chief of Staff

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    Kenisha Adams

    Executive Assistant of President and CEO

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    Bakari Wilkins

    Special Assistant to President and CEO

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    Ashleigh Hill, M.Ed

    Special Assistant to COO and Chief of Staff

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    Margo Payne

    Business Manager

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    Cecilia Masters, MNLM

    Director, Grants Acquisition & Management

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    Katherine Chavez

    Manager, Grants Acquisition & Management

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    Venkata Chittela

    Director, Data Engineering


Promotes equitable healthcare by leading clinical and social research into topics that directly affect minoritized populations.

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    Derrick J. Forney, PhD, MPH

    Research Epidemiologist

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    Salvatore Alesci, MD, PhD

    Senior Vice President

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    Christina Edwards, MHA

    Director, Clinical Trials

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    Shantia Horsford, MBS

    Project Coordinator

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    Liou Xu, PhD

    Vice President, Senior Principal Statistician

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    Jennifer Matas, MPH

    Lead Research Epidemiologist

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    Makella Coudray, PhD, MPH



Promotes health equity through patient education, health communication, health advocacy, stakeholder partnerships, coalition building and community events that educate on a variety of health topics.

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    Adjoa Kyerematen, MS

    Vice President

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    Marilyn Prempeh

    Director, Events and Partnerships

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    Dane White

    Manager, Internal Communications


Our private cloud data warehouse, consisting of 5 billion patient records, advances health equity through evidence based, data-driven methods.

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    Kelelaye Emiru, MBA

    Vice President

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    Michael DeSalvo Solarte, MSW

    Program Manager


Provides leadership to advance changes to policies that impact the health of minoritized populations.

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    Gretchen Wartman

    Vice President
    Director, Institute for Equity in Health Policy and Practice
    Director, National Alliance for Brain Health and Awareness

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    Britt Weinstock, PhD, MA

    Special Advisor

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    Keiko Purnell, JD

    Analyst, Health Policy


Promotes healthy communities by working with health systems, faith leaders, barbers/stylists and pharmacists to deliver community interventions.

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    Laura Lee Hall, PhD

    President Emeritus

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    Chinonso "Chinnie" Ukachukwu, MPH


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    Akeia Blue, MPH, MS


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    Leslie Zuniga-Rivas, MPH

    Project Manager

News & Updates

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June 06, 2024

By Akeia Blue

National Minority Quality Forum Educates Congressional Staffers on the Importance of Providing Medicare Access to Anti-Obesity Medications

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