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
  • Pipelines to Pathways Initiative
    A series of Case Studies 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)

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
University of Cincinnati College of Nursing
Associate Vice President for Health Affairs
University of Cincinnati

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

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
President and CEO
Association of Academic Health Centers

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.

2020 Annual Sullivan Lecture

The 2020 Annual Sullivan Lecture was delivered during the opening session at the 2020 Annual Meeting. Louis W. Sullivan, MD, the lecture's namesake and former secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and president emeritus of Morehouse School of Medicine, provided valuable insight on healthcare delivery in the latter part of the 20th century and the historical barriers for underrepresented minorities in healthcare.

Dr. Sullivan highlighted current events that reveal the urgent need for more progress in racial and gender diversity, equity, and inclusion in healthcare.


A series of Case Studies sharing lessons learned and cataloging success factors for pipeline and pathway programs for health equity.

Featured Case Study

The High School Alliance: A Pathways Program for the Biomedical Sciences