CareQuest Institute Hires Kaz Rafia as Chief Health Equity Officer

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–CareQuest Institute for Oral Health® — a leading national nonprofit focused on creating a more accessible, equitable, and integrated oral health system — announced today that Kaz Rafia, DDS, MBA, MPH, has joined the organization’s first Chief Health Equity Officer was appointed.

A former Director of Dentistry, Rafia is a leader in the field of oral health and has pursued equitable clinical outcomes through innovative approaches to healthcare throughout his career. As a member of the CareQuest Institute leadership team, Rafia will use his expertise to drive strategic initiatives and partnerships that advance access to integrated, person-centric and values-based oral health care.

“As a mission-driven organization focused on improving oral health for all, advancing health equity is central to everything we do at CareQuest Institute,” said Myechia Minter-Jordan, MD, MBA, President and CEO of the CareQuest Institute for Oral Health . “Having a leader like Kaz join us as Chief Health Equity Officer sends a powerful message: eliminating health inequalities and lowering systemic barriers to care, particularly for marginalized and underserved communities, is non-negotiable. Kaz’s experience and knowledge as a dentist, government official and educator is an incredible asset to our team and partners.”

Rafia will drive CareQuest Institute’s strategic efforts to advance the integration of oral health and public health through oversight of CareQuest Institute’s health improvement and grant work.

“I am honored to join the CareQuest Institute to create an accessible, equitable and integrated healthcare system for all,” said Rafia. “The disparities in oral health outcomes for people of color, people in rural communities, people with disabilities, people who identify as LQBTQ, and other marginalized communities in the US are unacceptable. The work that the CareQuest Institute is advancing in collaboration with an impressive group of partners at the local, state and national levels is critical to ending oral health inequalities once and for all.”

Before joining CareQuest Institute, Rafia was State Dental Director for the Oregon Health Authority, where he created the equity-driven State Oral Health Strategy Plan. This plan focused on community health actions, health workforce development, optimization of the value-based care coordination model, and telemedicine.

Previously, Rafia was Operations Manager for the Partnership for International Medical Access-Northwest, working to build sustainable, long-term international partnerships with culturally diverse government agencies and leaders to better understand and meet their needs.

Rafia was also a founding partner of Rafia Dental, clinical associate professor at Oregon Health & Science University and clinical director at Kaiser Permanente.

Kaz received his PhD in Dental Surgery from Ohio State University, a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Illinois and a Masters of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University.

About the CareQuest Oral Health Institute®

The CareQuest Institute for Oral Health® is a national nonprofit dedicated to building a more equitable future where everyone can reach their full potential through excellent health. We do this through our work in scholarship, research, health improvement programs, policy and advocacy, and education, as well as through our leadership in dental performance and advances in innovation. We work with thought leaders, healthcare providers, patients, and local, state, and federal stakeholders to accelerate oral health transformation and create a system designed for everyone. To learn more, visit carequest.org and follow us TwitterLinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.

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