Ali Thomas, MD, MPH


Medical Director, Pipeline Programs, Washington Permanente Medical Group, Renton, WA

Dr. Ali Thomas was most recently a Consultant in Internal Medicine with Group Health Cooperative in Tacoma, WA, which he joined in 2007 because of its reputation as a high performing health care system. His early quality improvement work led to recognition as an Emerging Clinical Leader in 2008, and he is currently supporting Group Health’s efforts to address racial and ethnic health disparities. His professional activities also include health policy advocacy for the American College of Physicians, community leadership training through Leadership Tomorrow Seattle, and the establishment of a local Health Care Disparities Support Group. Fluent in Mandarin, Dr. Thomas first envisioned a career in medicine and public health while he was a Public Health Sciences Institute Intern at Morehouse College. His interest in U.S. health inequities developed when confronting them as a medicine resident at the John H. Stroger/Cook County Hospital, in Chicago, IL. Dr. Thomas received his medical degree from the University of Michigan in 2002, completed internships in medicine and pediatrics at Rush University Medical Center, in Chicago IL, and graduated from the Internal Medicine Residency at Legacy Health Systems in Portland, Oregon in 2007.

June 6, 2012

Dr. Ali Thomas has helped develop a state legislation for Washington and will be one of the speakers during the webinar titled "Community Benefit: State level changes, resources and working with your local hospitals" on June 6, 2012, 12:00 p.m.

Community Benefit and Equity: How Hospitals Fulfill Wider Societal Obligations in Massachusetts


Community Benefit (CB) embodies hospitals' tradition of caring for poor and other vulnerable populations. Hospital market changes starting in the 1980s prompted both patient advocates and local and state governments to take the lead role in defining norms for CB. Massachusetts hospitals, for which CB guidelines were established in 1994, have extensive experience with CB. Unfortunately, negligible evaluation has been done of these efforts. Under the auspices of Community Catalyst, a national consumer advocacy group, I performed a cross-sectional, qualitative study of CB efforts by Massachusetts hospitals. After reviewing publically-available CB reports from 2009, I requested interviews with a purposeful sample of 21 hospitals to explore: how they define and integrate input from community; how they define and measure success; and what future challenges and plans they envision. I also interviewed public health experts, advocacy groups and other content experts to contextualize hospital reports. A broad range of hospitals agreed to participate.  This presentation will detail the major themes uncovered from this research. Policy implications both for Massachusetts and nationally will also be presented for discussion.

Preceptor and Sponsoring Agency:

Jessica Curtis, Director, Hospital Accountability Project, Community Catalyst