The AAHC Sullivan Alliance aims to strengthen the capacity and quality of the nation’s health workforce by increasing the numbers of ethnic and racial minorities in every area of healthcare and across all aspects of academic health centers.

Key Initiatives of the AAHC Sullivan Alliance

  • The Annual Sullivan Lecture
    An initiative of the AAHC Sullivan Alliance

    A lecture held each year at the AAHC Annual Meeting. The 2022 Annual Sullivan Lecture was delivered by John W. Bluford, III, MBA, FACHE
  • Pipelines to Pathways Initiative
    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 AAHC Chief Academic Officers (CAOs) Executive Leadership Group
  • Regular programming across all AAHC meetings featuring the important role academic health centers play in enhancing diversity, equity, access, and inclusion
Steven Kantor and Dr.Sullivan
Dr. Steven L. Kanter and Dr. Louis W. Sullivan: January 2020


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

David Acosta, MD
Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer
Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)

H. Dele Davies, MD, MS, MHCM
Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Dean for Graduate Studies

University of Nebraska Medical Center

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

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

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

Greer Glazer, RN, CNP, PhD, FAAN
Dean Emeritus
University of Cincinnati College of Nursing

Ricardo Martinez, M.D., FACEP
Chief Medical Officer
Adeptus Health

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

Brenda J. Thames, EdD
Vice President and Chief Academic Executive Officer
Prisma Health

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

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

Steven L. Kanter, MD – Ex-Officio Member
Special Advisor to the President and CEO, AAMC
Executive Director, Association of Academic Health Centers International

Association of American Medical Colleges

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 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 AAHC in January 2020.

AAHC merged with the Association of American Medical Colleges (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 AAMC's annual conference, Learn Serve Lead. For more information on the Louis W. Sullivan, MD Award, click here.

2022 Annual Sullivan Lecture

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

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, US Department of Health & Human Services (1989-1993), President Emeritus, Morehouse School of Medicine

Sullivan Alliance Award Recipients Honored at AAHCI Global Innovation Forum

Sullivan Lecturers Receive Distinctive Medallion and Praise for Their Health Equity Leadership

April 2023

Opinion: Outreach Key to Boosting Vaccination Rate

Feb. 9, 2021 - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Politics around Masks, Social Distancing and Vaccines is Making America Sicker

Oct. 27, 2020 - MarketWatch interview with Dr. Louis Sullivan