Press release

Alliance leaders selected for national leadership program to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health care

Scotts Valley, Calif., March 21, 2022 –Three leaders of Central California Alliance for Health (the Alliance) have been selected to participate in a year-long executive leadership program designed to address racial and ethnic disparities in health care. This includes Michelle Nepomuceno Stott, MSN, RN, Quality Improvement & Population Health Director; Dianna Diallo, MD, Medical Director; and Deborah Pineda, MPH, Quality and Health Programs Manager.

The Alliance is the locally managed Medi-Cal provider for residents in Merced, Monterey and Santa Cruz counties, many of whom face social and economic barriers that lead to unequal health outcomes. Stott, Diallo and Pineda are three of only 48 individuals across the United States to be selected for the 2021-2022 Disparities Leadership Program.

“A key focus of the Alliance’s Strategic Plan is health equity,” said Stephanie Sonnenshine, chief executive officer of the Alliance. “Strong leadership in this area is just one facet of our approach to achieve optimal health outcomes for children and youth, and to increase member access to culturally and linguistically appropriate health care.”

The Disparities Leadership Program, the first program of its kind in the nation, is designed for leaders from hospitals, health insurance plans and other health care organizations who are seeking to develop practical strategies to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health care. The program is led by the Disparities Solutions Center (DSC) at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston, Massachusetts. 

Through the DLP, the DSC aims to create leaders prepared to meet the challenges of health care transformation by improving quality for populations who experience disparities. By creating a collaborative learning and networking environment, the program equips health care leaders to understand what causes disparities so they can implement tailored solutions to deliver high-value health care.

“What we have learned from working with other health care organizations for over a decade is that there is a thirst for knowledge on how to operationalize and execute on strategies to address racial and ethnic disparities, but also to be part of a community that can crowd source ideas,” said Aswita Tan-McGrory, MBA, MSPH, Director of the Disparities Solutions Center at MGH. “Especially in this current national climate of a call to action for social justice, participating organizations create a powerful network of leaders coming together to support and learn from each other toward the common goal of eliminating disparities.”

The Alliance has also established a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Steering Committee. The committee assesses policies, programs and perceptions in order to yield a diverse, inclusive and representative workforce, together with achievement of health equity in results for Alliance members.

Central California Alliance for Health (the Alliance) is a regional Medi-Cal managed care health plan, established in 1996 to improve access to health care for nearly 390,000 members in Merced, Monterey and Santa Cruz counties. Using the state’s County Organized Health System (COHS) model, the Alliance delivers innovative community-based health care services by connecting members with providers that deliver timely services and care, focused on prevention, early detection and effective treatment. As an award-winning managed care health plan with a vision of “healthy people, healthy communities,” the Alliance remains focused on efforts to improve access to quality health care for its members. For more information, visit

Since its inception in 2005 as the nation’s first hospital-based disparities center, the Disparities Solutions Center at MGH has been recognized as a national leader in addressing racial and ethnic disparities in care. The Disparities Leadership Program is jointly sponsored by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and supported by Joint Commission Resources (JCR), an affiliate of the Joint Commission. For more information on the Disparities Solutions Center, visit

Linda Gorman
(831) 236-0261