Although the quality of health care is poor for many Americans, some specific racial and ethnic groups continue to experience lower-quality health care when compared to White patients. Even when access to care is equal, research consistently shows this to be true. Convincing evidence of these disparities can be seen in cardiovascular care where, for example, Black patients with coronary artery disease or heart attacks are significantly less likely than White patients to receive appropriate procedures or therapies.1

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has made addressing racial and ethnic disparities an integral part of Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q), its signature program to lift the overall quality of health care in targeted communities and provide real models for reform.