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Health Resources and Services Administration Office of Health Equity


To improve health and achieve health equity through access to quality services, a skilled health workforce and innovative programs.

Strategic Goals

  • Improve Access to Quality Care and Services
  • Strengthen the Health Workforce
  • Build Healthy Communities
  • Improve Health Equity


Michelle Allender-Smith is a registered nurse and has more than 25 years of experience in the healthcare arena. She has held several positions within and outside of Bon Secours Health Systems, including serving as director of Perioperative Services, managing budgets, operations and quality improvement efforts for six operating rooms, endoscopy services, preadmission testing, same day surgery, recovery room, sterile processing and the laser eye center. As the Corporate Director for Clinical Resource Management at the Health System Office, a Catholic-owned health system operating 14 acute care and several long-term care facilities in six states, Allender-Smith led at the corporate level the development, communication and promotion of cost saving opportunities and process improvements pertaining to cost effective selection and utilization of clinical related supplies, equipment, information systems, services, and staff for all of the Bon Secours facilities in conjunction with enterprise resource planning and supply chain/materiel management. While at Bon Secours, Allender-Smith initiated several product utilization committees, which have been successful in reducing costs through product standardization as a System. Additionally Allender-Smith served as Supplier Diversity lead for the corporate office and represented the organization as a member of Premier's Group Purchasing Organization committee at the national level. Models for new technology assessment and value analysis were developed as well. She also has worked externally to her department on information system and other system-wide initiatives/projects and was a member of the Clinical Transformation Team. Allender-Smith holds an Associate of Arts degree from Baltimore City Community College, a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Coppin State University, Baltimore, MD., a Master's degree in Administration/Managed Care, and a Post Master's degree in Informatics, both from the University of Maryland in Baltimore. She is Six-Sigma trained and holds a green belt certification.

Following her career in the private sector, Allender-Smith joined The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in 2009 as a Nurse Consultant and was promoted to Health Insurance Specialist in 2010 as the Program Manager and Strategic Lead in the Quality Measurement & Health Assessment Group in the Division of Ambulatory Care and Measure Management for the Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI) and E-prescribing (eRx) of electronic prescriptions incentive programs. In April 2011, Allender-Smith joined a sister agency under Health & Human Services (Health Resource Services Administration - HRSA) with the Office of Special Health Affairs (OSHA) as the Director of Health Equity. Allender-Smith is a prior member of CR Bards Editorial Board for their Value Analysis Newsletter; and was appointed in January of 2011 to the Board of Directors for Action in Maturity, an organization founded in 1970 to provide appropriate activities and services to benefit the quality of life for disparate and elderly people and to support their ability to live independently within the community.

Overview of their work

The Office of Health Equity serves as the principal advisor and coordinator to the Agency for the special needs of minority and disadvantaged populations, including leadership and direction to address HHS and HRSA Strategic Plan goals and objectives related to improving minority health and eliminating health disparities. OHE's vision is to reduce disparities and improve health equity for healthier communities and healthier people.

  • Principal advisor to Administrator and bureaus/offices and coordinator to the Agency for improving health and eliminating health disparities among minority and disadvantaged populations
  • Agency lead and subject matter experts on Health Disparity/Minority Health/Cultural Competency/Linguistic Competency policy/issues
  • Agency lead to implement the HHS/HRSA Action Plan to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities

Achievement Highlights

OHE/HRSA develops and implements plans for annual HRSA sponsored National Minority Health Month activities. In April 2011, more than 300 HRSA employees participated in blood pressure, height, weight and BMI screening, followed by nutritional counseling at an OHE/HRSA sponsored four-hour open house event celebrating National Minority Health Month.

Ways to Connect
follow @hrsa

Media contact

Kathy Cook
(301) 443-7239

Content Last Modified: 3/19/2012 3:27:00 PM
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Office of Minority Health
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