Dheerendra Kommala Speaks at National Health Equity Summit on Embedding Health Equity in Patient Safety

June 7, 2021 | 10:00 a.m. ET


The Virtual National Health Equity Summit is intended to explore solutions to racial inequities, as well as racial and ethnic discrimination and disparities, in both health and health care. The goal of the Summit is to define the issues; provide sophisticated historical, social, epidemiological and demographic context; set forth specific challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic; feature practical and actionable approaches to addressing and improving access and equity; and help to foster a community of researchers and change agents committed to redressing health inequities.

During a panel discussion entitled Embedding Health Equity in Patient Safety and Clinical Quality Initiatives, Dheerendra Kommala, MD, ECRI’s Chief Medical Officer, discusses racial and ethnic disparities in health, the number one issue on ECRI’s Top 10 Patient Safety Concerns for 2021. In his presentation, Dr. Kommala discusses:

  • How racial health disparities impact patient safety
  • How patient safety event and population health data can drive action
  • How healthcare administrators can create structures and processes to improve and support health equity and address institutional racism within the healthcare organization


Dheerendra Kommala, MD

Chief Medical Officer, ECRI
Dheerendra Kommala, MD, was appointed ECRI’s Chief Medical Officer in early 2021 after serving two years as Chief Strategy Officer. Dr. Kommala brings more than 20 years of experience as an academic clinician, researcher, and chief medical officer. He successfully introduced new products and services to markets throughout the world by working collaboratively with major health systems, industry leaders, clinicians, and patients. Throughout his career, he has been a vocal advocate for patient safety and a visionary leader managing large teams.

Prior to joining ECRI, Dr. Kommala was global vice president of medical affairs for Baxter Healthcare. Previous experience included working as chief medical officer/global vice president of medical affairs for ConvaTec, and as associate medical director of Global Pharmaceutical Research for Renal Care, Abbott Laboratories. Dr. Kommala received his initial medical training in India, and completed a fellowship in nephrology at the University of Missouri, Columbia School of Medicine.


Donald M. Berwick, MD
President Emeritus and Senior Fellow, Institute for Healthcare Improvement
Former Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Kedar Mate, MD
President and Chief Executive Officer, Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)
President, IHI Lucian Leape Institute
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College

Ronald M. Wyatt, MD, MHA
VP and Patient Safety Officer, MCIC Vermont
Former Chief Quality Officer, Cook County Health
Former Chief Quality Officer, Hamad Health Care Institute (Qatar)
Former Patient Safety Officer and Medical Director, The Joint Commission

Mark Smith, MD, MBA (Moderator)
Founding President and Former CEO, California Health Care Foundation
Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
Attending Physician, Positive Health Program for AIDS Care, San Francisco General Hospital


The Virtual Health Equity Summit is the leading national forum on practical case studies and solutions for advancing health equity. It is produced by Global Health, LLC, and supported by the Commonwealth Fund, California Health Care Foundation, Blue Shield of California Foundation, The John A. Hartford Foundation, the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), and The Scan Foundation.


For more information about the virtual Summit and to register at no cost, visit: https://healthequitysummit.com/.