(Toll Free)
Monday - Friday
8:30am - 5pm ET

Scientific Symposium

This year all IHI Forum attendees are welcome to participate in the Scientific Symposium, as it is included as part of the IHI Forum price.

In the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become increasingly clear that the health care field needs evidence to be produced, evaluated, and applied more rapidly than ever. Moreover, the inequitable impact of COVID-19 across racial groups in the United States has brought the ongoing struggle for health equity to the forefront.

This year's IHI Scientific Symposium will include a special focus on:

  1. How improvement methods can contribute to the rapid production of practical evidence
  2. Applying improvement methods to dismantle structural racism and inequity. 

The IHI Scientific Symposium aims to attract the best work in the science of improvement in health and health care.
  • Keynote speakers that push the field forward with their thinking, sharing their view of what the improvement field needs to do in order to stay rigorous and implement scientific approaches to challenges.

    Speakers include:
    • ​​Jara Dean-Coffey, Founder and Director of the Equitable Evaluation Initiative.​
  • O​ral presentations showcasing scientifically rigorous and methodological work from the improvement field.
  •  Intensive methods sessions on new and foundational scientific approaches to improvement.

    Method sessions include:
    • How improvement methods can contribute to the rapid production of practical evidence.
      Applying improvement methods to dismantle structural racism and inequity. 
  • Poster presentations featuring examples how peers have applied scientific methods to health and health care improvement.

Who ​Should Attend

  • Those involved with the design and execution of quality and safety improvement and implementation initiatives:

    mprovement Advisors, Implementation leads, Directors of Quality & Safety, Department Leaders, Clinicians, Epidemiologists, Scientists, Researchers, Statisticians.
    Those responsible for understanding the impact and identifying the learning from improvement and implementation initiatives:

    Evaluators, Analysts, Researchers, Evaluators, Analysts, Instructors, Professors, Lecturers, Deans.
    Those seeking to publish their improvement work:

    Medical Students, Residents, Fellows, Nurse Researchers, Researchers.

CE Credits

The 2019 edition of the Scientific Symposium offered a maximum of 6 credits for physicians, and pharmacists. The 2020 edition of this program will be under evaluation for CE credits in the fall.


  • The Scientific Symposium is included in the IHI Forum ticket ($750 per person).​


All times listed are in Eastern Time (ET).

11:00 AM –​ 12:00 PM

Welcome and Keynote Presentation

  • Pierre Barker, MD, MBChB, Chief Scientific Officer, IHI
  • Marianne McPherson, Senior Director, IHI   
  • Jara Dean-Coffey, Founder and Principal, Luminare Group; Founder and Director, Equitable Evaluation Initiative
12:00 PM –​ 1:00 PM Parallel Abstract Presentations
2:00 PM

​Methods Sessions

Applying Principles of Equity and Antiracism in Improvement Work

  • Karthik Sivashanker, Medical Director of Quality Safety and Equity, Brigham Health
  • Lachelle Dawn Weeks, Hematology Fellow, Dana Farber Cancer Institute 
  • Moderator: Keziah Imbeah, Research Assistant, Innovation, IHI

Rapid Evaluation of Emerging Evidence for Improvement

  • Bela Patel, Vice Dean of Healthcare Quality, Professor of Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center
  • James Mountford, Director of National Improvement Strategy, NHS England and NHS Improvement
  • Moderator: Patricia McGaffigan, Vice President, Safety Programs, IHI
​2:00 PM –​ 2:30 PM Posterboard "Walkarounds"


Keynote Spea​kers

​​​​​​​​​​​Jara-Dean--Coffey-Headshot-Image-3.jpgJara Dean-Coffey is Founder and Director of the Equitable Evaluation Initiative. For the past twenty-five years, Jara has partnered with clients and colleagues to elevate their collective understanding of the relationship between values, context, strategy and evaluation and shifting our practices so that they are more fully in service of equity. Her consulting practice, jdcPartnerships and now Luminare Group, has consistently sought to push practice and incubated the initial explorations of equitable evaluation (EE) as a next step for the field. Jara, co-authored Raising the Bar: Cultural Competence and Equity - Equitable Evaluation (2014) that led to funding for the two-year Equitable Evaluation Project in partnership with the Center for Evaluation Innovation and Johnson Center for Philanthropy. More recently, Jara published What’s Race Got To Do With It, Equity and Philanthropic Evaluation Practice (2018) in the American Journal of Evaluation as part of special edition on race and evaluation. She is currently working on a chapter titled “Values, Voice and Validity” for a book by the Center for the Study of Social Policy. She is also a founding member and Steering Committee Member of the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers, and sits on the Philamplify Toolkit Advisory Committee and the Board of Directors of the American Evaluation Association.