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Sullivan Alliance

The Sullivan Alliance aims to strengthen the capacity and quality of the nation’s health workforce by increasing the number of historically marginalized people in every area of health care and across all aspects of academic health centers.

Key Programs of the Sullivan Alliance

Established in 2020 by the Sullivan Alliance and the Association of Academic Health Centers (AAHC) and named an AAMC presidential award by the AAMC Board of Directors in June 2022, the Louis W. Sullivan, MD, Award is given to an individual who demonstrates, through their leadership, a commitment to diversifying the health care workforce. The award recipient delivers the annual Sullivan Lecture. Beginning in 2023, the lecture is delivered at Learn Serve Lead: The AAMC Annual Meeting. Find more information about the Louis W. Sullivan, MD, Award, lecture, and nomination process.

A series of case studies culminating in a full report sharing lessons learned and cataloging success factors for pipeline and pathway programs for health equity. The initiative is led by the Chief Academic Officers (CAOs) Executive Leadership Group.

Regular programming featuring the important role academic health centers play in enhancing diversity, equity, access, and inclusion.

Advisory Committee

Louis W. Sullivan, MD
President Emeritus
Morehouse School of Medicine
Former Secretary
U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, 1989-1993

David A. Acosta, MD
Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer

H. Dele Davies, MD, MS, MHCM
Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Dean for Graduate Studies
University of Nebraska Medical Center

Sonja Harris-Haywood, MD
Associate Dean, College of Medicine
Clinical Associate Professor of Family and Community Medicine
Northeast Ohio Medical University

Ronny B. Lancaster, Esquire
Former Senior Vice President of Government Relations
Assurant, Inc.

Ricardo Martinez, MD, FACEP
Chief Medical Officer
Adeptus Health

Reginald W. Miller, DVM, DACLAM
Senior Research Integrity Officer, Mount Sinai Health System
Dean for Research-Operations and Infrastructure
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Marc A. Nivet, EdD, MBA
Executive Vice President for Institutional Advancement
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Wayne J. Riley, MD, MBA, MPH, MACP
SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

Jeanne Sinkford, DDS, PhD
Former Professor and Dean Emeritus
Howard University College of Dentistry
Former Senior Scholar-in-Residence
American Dental Education Association

Valerie N. Williams, PhD
Ex Officio Member
Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Faculty Development
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

Steven L. Kanter, MD 
Ex Officio Member
Special Advisor to the President and CEO, AAMC
Executive Director, AAHCI


2022 Annual Sullivan Lecture

"A Long-Term Strategy to Eliminate Healthcare Disparities: Love, Hope, and Passion”

John W. Bluford, III, MBA, FACHE
Founder and President of the Bluford Healthcare Leadership Institute



2021 Annual Sullivan Lecture

“Developing a More Equitable Health Culture in America”

Wayne J. Riley, MD, MPH, MBA, MACP 
President, SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University
Access the slides 



2020 Annual Sullivan Lecture

“Addressing Inequities in Health Status and Access to Health Care in the 20th and 21st Centuries”

Louis W. Sullivan, MD 
Former Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (1989-1993) 
President Emeritus, Morehouse School of Medicine
Download the speech
Access the slides 


Under the leadership of Louis W. Sullivan, MD, former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, The Sullivan Alliance to Transform the Health Professions was originally organized in January 2005 to act on the reports and recommendations of the Sullivan Commission and the Institute of Medicine Committee on Institutional and Policy-Level Strategies for Increasing the Diversity of the U.S. Healthcare Workforce.

From the beginning, the Sullivan Alliance’s initiatives were prioritized to cross the health professions of medicine, dentistry, nursing, psychology, and public health with the expectation that efforts in these areas will also benefit the other health professions. The Sullivan Alliance also enabled and promoted the development of state alliances and regional consortiums of minority undergraduate colleges with academic health centers. The Sullivan Alliance was formally passed on to become a central program of the AAHC in January 2020.

The AAHC merged with the AAMC in 2022. In June 2022, the Louis W. Sullivan, MD, Award was named an AAMC presidential award by the AAMC Board of Directors, and, beginning in 2023, includes an annual Sullivan Lecture at the AAMC's annual meeting, Learn Serve Lead. More information on the Louis W. Sullivan, MD, Award is available here.