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Gary Puckrein, MD

Gary Puckrein, MD

President, National Minority Quality Forum
Gary Puckrein, MD

Gary A. Puckrein, MD, is the president of the National Minority Quality Forum Inc. (NMQF), a nonprofit organization that he founded in 1998. With support from the Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, under his leadership NMQF launched the Zip code Analysis Project (ZCAP). ZCAP is a comprehensive database that links vital statistics, demographic, environmental, claims, prescription drug, clinical laboratory values, health care access points (for example, hospitals or physicians’ offices) and other data elements into one centralized data warehouse, organized around Zip codes. ZCAP enabled the NMQF to develop the Health Assessment Tool (HAT) that measures and forecasts health status in small geographic areas, evaluates the impact of specific interventions, monitors changes in health outcomes, and undertakes risk assessments (health care utilization and its financial implications). NMQF uses HAT to provide a common set of indicators – geographic and health status referents – to stratify communities by health status. In April 2001, under Puckrein’s leadership NMQF launched National Minority Health Month (NMHM). NMHM is in response to and in support of Healthy People 2010, a national health promotion and disease prevention initiative launched by the US Department of Health and Human Services. NMHM is an inclusive initiative that addresses the health needs of African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans and other minorities. The goal of NMHM is to strengthen the capacity of local communities to eliminate the disproportionate burden of premature death and preventable illness in minority populations through prevention, early detection and control of disease complications. NMQF has received support from a wide variety of organizations such as the United States Department of Health and Human Services, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Pfizer, Amgen, Abbott Laboratories, Amerigroup, AstraZenca, Bristol Myers Squibb, MedImmune, Charter Health, Johnson and Johnson, Sanofi Synthelabo, Biotechnology Industry Organization, and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. Puckrein serves on the Board of Regents, National Library of Medicine. He has served on numerous health care advisory boards, including the National Advisory Board on Health Disparities for the Health Research and Educational Trust, American Hospital Association; CLAS/Health Disparities Expert Panel, National Committee for Quality Assurance; Pharmacy Education Advisory Council, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. Puckrein possesses a unique business and academic background. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Brown University where he received his doctorate (1978) and master’s degree (1974). Between 1974 and 1992 he taught and lectured at Roger Williams College, Brown University, Connecticut College, and Rutgers University (where he was a tenured member of the faculty). Puckrein has received many awards and honors, including being named a visiting scholar and fellow at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and a visiting fellow at Princeton University. Puckrein is the author of a numerous books and articles. He was publisher of American Visions, the country’s leading African-American art and cultural magazine. A publication he launched during his tenure at the Smithsonian Institution and Rutgers University. Puckrein also created and launched Minority Health Today. It is edited to serve the needs of clinicians who practice in minority communities. He resides in Washington, DC, with his wife and daughter.