Inside Health Care #82: Abner Mason, LGBTQ+ Equity, and the Value of “Cultural Experience”

June 22, 2022 · David J. Smolar

Abner Mason

For this special episode of Inside Health Care, we continue our celebration of Pride month with Abner Mason, the Founder and C-E-O of SameSky Health. Abner, who is African-American and Gay, says he proudly represents all aspects of himself in his work. He say it was empathy that led  him to create SameSky Health, his company that works with health plans to change their approach to patients. SameSky encourages health care that’s based in “cultural experience”, and avoids traditional, impersonal methodologies, choosing instead to pay more attention to the individual. It envisions plans and systems that encourage dignity, autonomy and companionship.

Abner Mason has spent decades working to reduce barriers to care faced by underserved people nationally and internationally, from the federal to the local level. He’s a policy guru, first working with the Governor of Massachusetts before advancing to roles with President George W. Bush’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS.

Lori FergusonLori Ferguson is now NCQA’s Senior Vice President for Product and Customer Operations. Lori leads a staff of more than one hundred in the implementation, delivery, and ongoing operation of NCQA’s products and programs. Her portfolio includes:

  • NCQA’s flagship Health Plan Accreditation,
  • Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Recognition,
  • and Software Certification (for vendors implementing HEDIS® measures).

Previously, Lori served as a Senior Vice President for the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, working with both Managed Long-Term Care programs as well as structuring Management Services Organizations.

Later in the show, we use our “Matt’s Facts” segment to recall October 6, 2016, the day the National Institutes of Health announced the formal designation of sexual and gender minorities (SGMs) as a health disparity population.

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