JACKSONVILLE, Fla., April 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Florida Blue is proud to announce that Deborah Stewart, M.D., has been named a member of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute's Advisory Panel on Addressing Disparities. Dr. Stewart is one of 84 panelists selected to serve a one-year term from among 1,021 individuals who submitted applications to serve on one or more of PCORI's four initial advisory panels. Panel members were approved by PCORI's Board of Governors in a public webinar on March 26. The panel on which Dr. Stewart will serve will identify and prioritize critical research questions for possible funding initiatives under PCORI's Health Disparities research program and provide ongoing feedback and advice on evaluating and disseminating the research conducted under this program. The 21-member panel represents different sectors across the healthcare community, including researchers, clinicians, patients, caregivers, insurers, employers, policymakers, and industry. Dr. Stewart will be participation in the Addressing Disparities advisory panel representing Clinicians. "Dr. Stewart will be a tremendous asset to PCORI's Advisory Panel on Addressing Disparities," said Dr. Jonathan Gavras, senior vice president and chief medical officer at Florida Blue. "Her passion for finding solutions to a variety of health care disparities in a state as diverse as Florida should translate into real-world solutions for PCORI's team." Joining Florida Blue in 2012, Dr. Stewart serves as medical director for provider and client solutions. In her role, she manages relationships with providers, including helping practices transform into patient-centered medical homes (PCMH) and accountable-care based organizations. Her responsibilities include programmatic and organizational focus on health care disparities. Each panel has 21 members representing different sectors across healthcare. Thirty-eight percent of members represent patients, caregivers and patient advocates. Nineteen researchers and 15 clinicians are represented across the four panels. Other stakeholder groups represented are payers, policymakers, healthcare systems, purchasers, and pharmaceutical, medical device and diagnostic manufacturers.