The AAMC NEXT Grant provides funding to institutions to develop or enhance a learning opportunity for medical students, residents, and other interprofessional learners that seeks to improve community health and eliminate health disparities with community partners.
For more information, please email AdvancingEquity@aamc.org.
This funding cycle supports initiatives designed to confront racism and advance health equity in partnership with local communities.
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Community Partner: Take Back the Bronx
Project Title: Anti-Racism Community Collaborative in Healthcare (ARCCH)
Community Need(s): This project aims to address systemic racism by building channels of communication, education, accountability, and service between the institution and the community.
Project Description: The Anti-Racism Community Collaborative in Healthcare (ARCCH) project is a multilevel, longitudinal project that will consist of five Community Conversations that serve to build trust, exchange information, and promote partnerships in advocacy between healthcare providers, patients, and the community. Overall, the conversations will promote shared decision-making between healthcare workers and the Bronx community.
University of California, Riverside School of Medicine
Community Partner: Advocate for Nurturing Transition (ANT) Consulting
Project Title: A Communities of Practice Approach to Cultivating Patient Self-Advocacy in Underserved Communities
Community Need(s): For Black patients in Southern California’s underserved Inland Empire (IE) region, self-advocacy skills are a vital means to achieve patient-centered care, as these skills enhance healthcare outcomes, empower patients, enable informed decision-making help navigate the healthcare system, and address healthcare disparities. Learning to advocate for themselves enables patients to achieve better symptom management, overall health, increased confidence, and satisfaction with healthcare services.
Project Description: This project will use the Communities of Practice (CP) model to cultivate self-advocacy skills within participants drawn from inland California’s Black community. CPs have the potential to play a critical role in supporting the development of self-advocacy skills by fostering shared learning, support networks, mentoring relationships, skill-building opportunities, and a culturally-sensitive approach. CPs, or “Circles” as they are called in this project, create spaces where individuals can share experiences, knowledge, and resources, and enable the development of a support network that encourages active participation and mentoring relationships.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Community Partner: Birth Sisters Doula
Project Title: Nurturing empathy among obstetric learners: Enhancement of an anti-racist resident curriculum through community-partnered story sharing
Community Need(s): Impacting the way that obstetric residents see, hear, and demonstrate value of patients is an immense opportunity to improve the delivery of pregnancy-related health care.
Project Description: In this two-year project, a multidisciplinary team, co-led by a doula, will remediate racial-ethnic disparities in obstetric care through collaborative, community-partnered enhancement of the University of North Carolina Obstetrics & Gynecology residency curriculum. The team will determine the feasibility, acceptability, and efficacy of integrating patient-informed racial justice content into resident training through a series of multidisciplinary didactics paired with facilitated reflection and discussion, and co-development of digital stories which reflect both community and learner perspectives.
Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine
Community Partner: Eliminating Racism and Creating and Celebrating Equity (ERACCE)
Project Title: Facing Racism as A part of Medical Education (FRAME)
Community Need(s): The project intends to improve medical students’ understanding of racism as a Social Driver of Health (SDoH) as well as equip them to address health inequities in their future careers by engaging them in anti-racist service-learning and systems-change activities.
Project Description: The FRAME Project aims to enhance longstanding experiential community-based learning opportunities led by Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine (WMed) to advance health equity and address racism as part of our integrated medical school core curriculum and experiences. The FRAME Project will also provide students with meaningful experiences in organizing, implementing, and assessing ‘systems-change’ and ‘systems-navigation’ projects.
Yale School of Medicine
Community Partner: Women Against Mass Incarceration (WAMI)
Project Title: The DEPART Initiative: DEtained Patients’ Advocacy and Rights throughout Treatment
Community Need(s): New Haven County, Connecticut, is the third most populous county yet has the state’s highest incarceration rate, especially among Black and Latino communities. Yale New Haven Hospital (YNHH) is the only health system in the city, making YNHH the only health system where people receive care. Thus, the grant’s proposed partnership with WAMI is critically important given the enduring disconnect between university and hospital systems and the needs of local Black and Brown communities harmed by mass incarceration.
Project Description: This project is partnering with Women Against Mass Incarceration (WAMI), a community organization dedicated to advocacy against carceral discrimination, to produce an interdisciplinary curriculum and clinical care pathway including a Patient Bill of Rights to minimize police involvement for hospitalized people who are accompanied by law enforcement.
This cycle funded projects that sought to address COVID-19 inequities, systemic racism, or both.
George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences (GW SMHS)
Project Title: GW SMHS COVID-19 Community Service Learning Project
Community Need(s): Address the disparity in the accessibility of PCR testing as well as accurate health information for populations most vulnerable to COVID-19 in Washington, DC.
Project Description: GW SMHS aims to expand their COVID-19 testing and support services in partnership with Bread for the City, a community-based non-profit that operates a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in Northwest DC. Medical students and residents will further develop and manage DC COVID Connect, an open-access, up-to-date, peer-reviewed online information resource. Learners will also participate in training and student volunteer activities to increase access to low barrier COVID-19 testing in DC and address health care and social service access barriers.
Key Project Highlights:
- Promoted learning and professional development of medical students and residents by building interpersonal, communication, and program management skills while strengthening their cultural humility.
- Supported public health measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the local DC population.
- Expanded the DC COVID Connect website which provided DC residents with a comprehensive list of available health care and social services as well as information about COVID-19.
- Created anti-racism teaching resources that will equip student volunteers with the knowledge and skills needed to incorporate anti-racism in their community service.
- Medical students create guide to navigate pandemic
- SMHS Students Create Guide to Connect D.C. Community to Accurate COVID-19 Information
University of Miami (UM) Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine
Project Title: COVID-19: Evaluating Fault Lines in the Health of Our Communities and Developing Community-Centered Solutions
Community Need(s): Identify, document, and respond to disparities exacerbated by COVID-19 in the West Grove community of Miami.
Project Description: This project is a collaboration between the UM Miller School of Medicine; the UM School of Law, Center for Ethics and Public Service; Grove Rights and Community Equity (GRACE), Inc.; and Coconut Grove Ministerial Alliance (CGMA). It aims to train learners to identify and develop data-driven solutions and policies that address the long-term impact of COVID-19 on the mental, financial, and physical health of residents in the West Grove community of Miami.
Key Project Highlights:
- Medical, law, and public health students trained to be future leaders and agents of change by working with the community to identify health care needs and risk factors, and find solutions to improve health outcomes and social determinants of health.
- Students gained community engagement skills, techniques for community needs assessments, and data visualization and analysis skills.
- The connections fostered by the award formed a basis for creating a partnership with federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) in the area and has launched a project that lays down infrastructure for the creation of a social determinants of health (SDOH) clinic in one of the partnering FQHCs.
- Outreach to the Underserved: The Miller School is awarded a national grant to address health disparities during the pandemic
University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center (UNM HSC)
Project Title: Tools for Community Empowerment and Social Change
Community Need(s): Increase vaccine uptake among marginalized communities, such as commercial sex workers and those experiencing housing insecurity, as those populations are more vulnerable to COVID-19.
Project Description: UNM HSC aims to adapt and pilot the existing “Tools for Community Empowerment and Social Change” community-based participatory research (CBPR) curriculum to a COVID-19 health equity context with medical students and Family & Community Medicine residents. Learners will also participate in an experiential learning opportunity that addresses COVID-19 inequities and access to care for people experiencing homelessness through a partnership with the “Corona Crushers”, a multi-sectoral group with members from academia, government, health care, and the community.
Key Project Highlights:
- Collaborated with local community health councils and organizations such as New Mexico’s Department of Health to improve vaccine equity.
- Guided students in the recognition that they have a shared role with community members and leaders as change agents for health equity through their work with eight community populations.
- Developed the critical reasoning skills of learners to guide capacity to search, analyze, and use data for decision making, program management, and research that addresses community priorities.
- Student recommendations resulted in the New Mexico Department of Health Mobile Vaccination Teams meeting community members where they are to administer COVID-19 vaccines.
- Developed a working guide, “A Playbook for Integrating Multidisciplinary Teams in Community Equity Work”, to assist with implementing health equity curriculum for medical students and residents.
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine (UTRGV SOM)
Project Title: Learners engaging with Hispanic communities to address COVID-19 inequities - ¡Si se puede!
Community Need(s): Address the underlying mistrust and systemic racism that contribute to drastic COVID-19 inequities in south Texas.
Project Description: Medical students, masters of social work students, and resident physicians at UTRGV SOM, a Hispanic-Serving Institution, partnered with El Milagro Clinic and the HOPE Family Health Center to develop a guide to culturally competent public health messaging and execute “¡Si se puede!,” an interdisciplinary public health education campaign to address COVID-19 inequities, systemic racism, and mistrust of health systems in south Texas.
Key Project Highlights:
- Connected Spanish speakers with culturally competent public health messaging on COVID-19.
- Learners gained interdisciplinary leadership and communication skills in a learner-led, community-engaged public health messaging campaign.
- Developed, implemented, and distributed three novel cultural competence guides for multiple audiences: general use, Hispanic communities, and Hard of Hearing communities.
- Provided 360 total influenza vaccines to those in need.
- UTRGV School of Medicine receives AAMC Award to improve healthcare messaging to underserved communities
Wayne State University School of Medicine
Project Title: Healing Between the Lines
Community Need(s): Develop partnerships with community-based organizations to address structural racism and health inequities in Detroit.
Project Description: Healing Between the Lines (HBL) seeks to enhance the Health Equity and Justice in Medicine (HEJiM) longitudinal curriculum that currently trains Wayne State University School of Medicine and Detroit Medical Center residents on social determinants of health, advocacy, and cultural humility. HBL’s sub-curriculum will expand HEJiM to include medical students and educate learners along the medical education continuum about the historical intersection of systemic racism and health by exploring and untangling the impact of redlining on the health outcomes of Detroit Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) communities. HBL learners will learn how to effectively and sustainably collaborate with Detroit BIPOC communities to advocate for health justice.
Key Project Highlights:
- Established Justice Circles, a monthly forum between community organizations and learners, that created deeper relationships between the emerging medical workforce and the community they serve.
- Organized a virtual symposium with learners and partner organizations to discuss community challenges and solutions for a more equitable Detroit.
- Educated medical students and residents on the historical intersection of systemic racism and health by analyzing the impact of redlining on the health outcomes of Detroit’s communities.
- Increased learner competency in collaborative policy development and legislative advocacy.
- School wins $10,000 from AAMC to develop ‘Healing Between the Lines’ sub-curriculum
Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California
Project Title: Trojan Trainer Patient Navigator Program
Community Need(s): Increase access to health care, improve health outcomes, and reduce disparities for individuals experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles.
Project Description: The Trojan Trainer (TT) patient navigator program invites medical and physician assistant students to collaborate with Keck School of Medicine (KSOM) Street Medicine, University of Southern California (USC) health system leadership, and community partners to address medical and psychosocial needs by bringing care directly to patients experiencing homelessness. The program centers the patient by establishing them as the "Trainer," recognizing their critical role as educators in medical training.
Key Project Highlights:
- Learners in the TT program served as extensions of the KSOM Street Medicine Team, bringing Trainers’ needs to their interprofessional health care providers.
- Learners had increased opportunities to advocate on behalf of their Trainer and help identify appropriate services and resources.
- Learners received in-depth training on psychosocial and wellness challenges affecting individuals experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles County; safety measures, strategies, and tools of motivational interviewing and trauma-informed care; and history-taking and Street Psychiatry while performing Street Medicine.
- The TT program expanded from four learner teams to nine, going from 25 to more than 50 medical and physician assistant learners participating.
- Street Medicine: Caring for the Homeless with Radical Humility | Brett Feldman | TEDxGrandPark
- We Can't Let Homeless People Die: USC Street Medicine on Skid Row
Project Title: ENHANCE (Engaging in Health Advocacy through Neighborhood Collaboratives and Education)
Community Need(s): Develop and sustain meaningful partnerships with community-based organizations to address primary care and health education gaps.
Project Description: The Engaging in Health Advocacy through Neighborhood Collaboratives and Education (ENHANCE) community health track provides internal medicine, pediatric, and family medicine residents and nurse practitioner students the opportunity to develop interprofessional community-based projects that assess the impact of the social determinants of health on primary care outcomes.
Key Project Highlights:
- Collaborated with community-based organization (CBO) sites to conduct community needs assessments and relevant community-based projects to address needs (e.g., nutrition and parent education on common pediatric topics).
- Provided resident training on the principles and evaluation methodologies for community-based participatory research.
- Established ongoing relationships with CBOs that were pivotal in transitioning to virtual monthly sessions due to the COVID-19 pandemic and supporting response activities (e.g., virtual town hall series on COVID and vaccines).
University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine
Project Title: Working with Interpreters as a Team in Healthcare (WITH Care)
Community Need(s): Improve limited English proficient (LEP) patient care experiences with health care providers and professional health care interpreters to reduce communication-related adverse events.
Project Description: The Working with Interpreters as a Team in Healthcare (WITH Care) simulation curriculum seeks to improve the population health leadership skills of medical students and trainees through the integration of a validated interprofessional collaborative practice curriculum into the establishment of a new immigrant-refugee clinic.
Key Project Highlights:
- Increased learner knowledge about the experience of LEP patients and professional health care interpreters and how to collaborate effectively with professional health care interpreters.
- Converted WITH CARE workshop training curriculum to a Family Medicine context for delivery in a virtual format that allows for future expansion to more learners.
- Customized simulation cases to the authentic experience of LEP residents in Iowa that focused on the areas in which they may work (e.g., agriculture, food service/production, and meat packing) and included mental health education associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Enhanced collaborative relationships with hospital interpreters who speak Mandarin, Cantonese, and Spanish to identify and address health care challenges at the interpersonal and systemic levels to improve health care delivery experiences.
University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville
Project Title: ROOT CAUSE: Advancing Community Health and Active Citizenship
Community Need(s): Increase access to health services in the Dunean community.
Project Description: ROOT CAUSE: Advancing Community Health and Active Citizenship is a monthly health and public services fair that aims to address the root causes of disease by increasing access to health care and promoting healthy lifestyle choices while simultaneously affecting students’ and residents’ perceptions on diversity and inclusivity, empathy, and burnout.
Key Project Highlights:
- Increased health education on topics such as healthy eating, gun safety, and addiction recovery and access to health care through monthly service fairs with 45 community partners.
- Collaborated with community partner organizations to assemble and distribute health kits and health care resources to community members at multiple family practice locations to support local COVID-19 response efforts.
- Increased community cohesion and networking through new relationships as part of monthly fairs and COVID-19 response (e.g., student-student, student-community partner, community partner-community, community-community, community partner-community partner).
- Emphasized active citizenship by broadening student engagement with the community.
- Presented posters at the 2020 and 2021 Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM) conferences and the 2020 South Carolina Upstate Research Symposium. Awarded the Blue Ribbon Award for Outstanding Poster at STFM 2021.
Weill Cornell Medicine
Project Title: Weill Cornell Medicine (WCM) Wellness Qlinic
Community Need(s): Address the existing mental health disparities seen in LGBTQ+ populations in New York City.
Project Description: The Weill Cornell Medicine Wellness Qlinic is a student-run, free mental health clinic training medical students, residents, and psychologists to treat lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and other sexual and gender identity (LGBTQ+) individuals and address mental health disparities seen in this population. The Wellness Qlinic program aims to improve the LGBTQ+ community’s access to culturally competent mental health care and provide academic opportunities for students and trainees to learn and study LGBTQ-informed mental health.
Key Project Highlights:
- Established the WCM Wellness Qlinic and converted all workflows and services to virtual and telehealth platforms during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Expanded LGBTQ+ education for students and residents through development of virtual modules, academic projects, and training for a 12-week Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills-based group therapy module.
- Transitioned psychiatry residents’ participation in the WCM Qlinic from a volunteer activity to a universal rotation for all PGY-2 residents during the 2020-21 academic year.
- Created a medication reimbursement program to offset the cost of medications for patients and provided access to an online mental and emotional well-being tool.
- Partnered with National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) NYC to co-sponsor eight sessions of “NAMI Peer-to-Peer for LGBTQ.”
- Safe Space: New student-run clinic offers free mental healthcare to New York’s LGBTQ community
- How Microaggressions Affect the LGBTQ+ Community
The 2019 and 2020 cycles of the AAMC NEXT Grant were supported by Cooperative Agreement Number 5 NU36OE000007 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.