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Action Plan 9: Position the AAMC as a National Leader in Health Equity and Health Justice

Philip Alberti, PhD, discusses the Center for Health Justice, which offers a space to work together and look beyond medical care to the other factors that create opportunities for communities to thrive.

Despite decades of effort by various sectors — including public health and medicine — health inequities and injustices persist in our nation.

This action plan created the AAMC Center for Health Justice in September 2021 to contribute to the solutions to health inequities by innovating, collaborating, and digging deeper to ensure that systems and structures shift toward justice. The center will spark community collaborations with diverse sectors and individuals contributing their unique resources in service of the common cause of health justice.

Where we are now

  • In partnership with the REDCap team at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, we launched the two year-long pilot implementation phase of the cloud-based version of the Health Equity Inventory with enhanced reporting, data sharing capabilities, and greater applicability to sectors beyond medicine.
  • We have convened a Multisector Partner Group from sectors representing the diverse social and political determinants of health at the national and local levels. The center meets with the group regularly, leveraging their expertise and leadership to contribute to the strategy and agenda of the Center for Health Justice.
  • The center continues to promote and amplify the Principles of Trustworthiness through workshops to help institutions build community connections through humility, authenticity, intersectionality, and long-term commitment.
  • The center polls a nationally representative sample of adults across the United States to gather public opinions in real-time. Since December 2021, the center has released several polling research briefs.
  • The center published a proceedings report to summarize themes and concepts highlighted during the May 2022 Maternal Health Incubator. The center is committed to developing a collaborative, multisector effort aimed at addressing maternal health inequities. More information will be available in 2023.
  • The center continues to participate in the Federal government’s request for feedback on governmental activities, including proposed policy and regulation. In November 2022, we submitted a response to the Department of Health and Human Services’ request for feedback on the Healthy People 2030 initiative and the proposed addition of voting as a social determinant of health. The center is also involved in the Office of Management and Budget’s efforts to revise their standards on race and ethnicity (Directive No. 15). We are also participating in a public listening session and have engaged the expertise of the AAMC Collaborative for Health Equity: Act, Research, Generate Evidence (CHARGE) to assist with this activity.

What happens next

  • A polling brief of Gen Z respondents focused on multiple topics will be released in February 2023.
  • The center is conducting research projects, including assessing the impact of parental health leave on racial/ethnic disparities in perinatal mental health outcomes and assessing the impact of denying gender affirming medical care to youth on their mental health outcomes.
  • We are developing our fourth area of focus in partnership with the Multisector Partner Group. More information on the new focus area will be available in the spring of 2023.
  • A series of online and in-person events are being held with CHARGE members in early 2023 to co-develop a research agenda for the next fiscal year. The Multisector Partner Group will also be engaged in this effort.

Ways to get involved