NIH Health Disparities Seminar Series – January 2014

The National Institutes of Health welcomes Dr. Charles Lee and Mr. Bill Z. Tan as the speakers for the NIH Health Disparities Seminar Series on January 30, 2014.

Health disparity is a complex issue that results from the interaction of many factors that may be biological or non-biological in nature. As a result, the elimination of health disparities demands a multi-faceted approach involving multi-disciplinary partners. The role of academic institutions and research facilities are well understood. There is increasing understanding about the value of community-based organizations, but very little is known about the importance of small businesses in advancing the elimination of health disparities.

As part of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program, each year, designated federal departments and agencies award a reserved portion of their research and development (R&D) funds to U.S. small businesses and to partnerships between small businesses and nonprofit research institutions to bring innovative technologies to market. The objectives of this highly competitive program are to increase the participation of small businesses in federal R&D; to increase private sector commercialization of technology developed through Federal R&D; and to foster and encourage participation by socially and economically disadvantaged small businesses and women-owned business in the program. An overarching objective of NIMHD’s investments in SBIR/STTR programs is to ensure health disparity populations benefit from innovations leading to improved health outcomes and the reduction and elimination of health disparities.

In their presentations, Dr. Charles Lee and Mr. Bill Z. Tan will discuss the role of small businesses in advancing the elimination of health disparities. They will share some of the innovative technology solutions they have developed for people with low functional health literacy and limited English proficiency to better access health care and social services.

Dr. Charles Lee is the President and Founder of Polyglot Systems, Inc. He has been a leading advocate to reduce health disparities in access to health information for underserved populations. Dr. Lee is the recipient of several SBIR grants from the NIH to improve healthcare communication and reduce health disparities. Dr. Lee also serves as a consultant to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Risk Communication Advisory Committee. He is a past recipient of the Tibbetts Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Health Care Heroes Award from the Triangle Business Journal. A board certified physician in internal medicine, Dr. Lee earned a medical degree from the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine. He is a past National Library of Medicine Fellow in medical informatics at UNC Chapel Hill/Duke University; a Fellow in faculty development research at Michigan State University; and completed a fellowship in internal medicine at Aultman Hospital in Canton, Ohio.

Mr. Bill Z. Tan is the founder and CEO of Transcendent Endeavors, which addresses communication challenges in healthcare, social services, and education with a focus on underserved populations. He is the Principal Investigator of several SBIR grants awarded by the NIH. He previously held an appointment as Adjunct Assistant Professor of Medicine at New York University School of Medicine, and currently serves on the External Advisory Board for the Center for Advanced Information Management at Columbia University. Tan was named one of Crain’s Under 40 Rising Stars, and was named by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg as a New York City Venture Fellow. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the Stern School of Business at New York University, where he was elected President of the Entrepreneurs Club.

Presentation Title:

The Role of Small Businesses in Advancing the Elimination of Health Disparities

Guest Speakers:

Charles Lee, MD (Click here for bio)

President and Founder of Polyglot Systems, Inc.

Morrisville, NC

Bill Z. Tan (Click here for bio)

Founder and CEO of Transcendent Endeavors

New York, NY


Thursday, January 30, 2014

3:00 - 4:30 P.M.

Seminar Video Recording:

Click here to view January's video recorded seminar.


NIH Campus

Natcher Conference Center, Balcony C

45 Center Drive

Bethesda, MD

Additional Information:

Additional Information: There is limited parking on the NIH campus. The closest Metro is Medical Center. Please allow adequate time for security check. The seminar will be video cast and made available in the NIH Video archives and on the NIMHD website after the seminar. Sign language interpreters will be provided. Individuals with disabilities who need reasonable accommodations to participate should contact Edgar Dews at 301-402-1366 or the Federal Relay at 1-800-877-8339.