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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.

The center convenes two groups of health justice champions and collaborators who lend their voices to key efforts, including the Multisector Partner Group – comprised of individuals from sectors representing the diverse social and political determinants of health at the national and local levels – and AAMC CHARGE (Collaborative for Health Equity: Act, Research, Generate Evidence).

Where we are now

  • The center formed research working groups for each key area of its health justice research agenda, which has been co-developed with AAMC CHARGE and the Multisector Partner Group: reparations, economics, and civic engagement. The workgroup activities are underway for all areas.
  • The center welcomed a new cohort of five ambassadors to lead virtual community discussions and events centered around health equity research and policy for AAMC CHARGE members nationwide.
  • Two comment letters submitted by the AAMC in December 2023 to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and National Institutes of Health were shaped by the expertise of AAMC CHARGE members and included recommended strategies for advancing environmental justice across the federal government.
  • As part of its ongoing efforts to regularly poll nationally representative samples of adults across the United States to gather public opinions in real-time, the center has published several polling briefs. New insights on U.S. adults understanding and trust of artificial intelligence technology for health were shared on social media and as an online collection.
  • In February 2024, the center issued a call for applications from researchers across the nation to use its polling data on access to health care, financial equity, child health, disability justice, and understanding of health equity terms and concepts to spark new health equity science.

What happens next

  • In March 2024, the center will explore the public’s opinions and attitudes on reparations with a new polling brief.
  • In March 2024, the center will begin a year-long project to implement and evaluate the Principles of Trustworthiness Toolkit with four communities and their multisector partners. The project will assess changes in collaboration, engagement, and trustworthiness among those that participate.
  • In April 2024, the center will issue a call for storytelling collaborators to seek environmental justice organizations to work with the center and share their successes and challenge narratives that obstruct their local environmental justice work.
  • Later in spring 2024, an improved, cloud-based version of the Health Equity Inventory will be released, with access available to a limited number of AAMC member organizations to use to coordinate and communicate about their community collaborations.

Ways to get involved

  • Join AAMC CHARGE (Collaborative for Health Equity: Act, Research, Generate Evidence) to connect with a multidisciplinary group of health equity champions and community partners. AAMC CHARGE participants can also join the online virtual community.
  • Subscribe to the monthly Center for Health Justice newsletter.
  • Follow the Center for Health Justice on X and LinkedIn.
  • Visit the Center for Health Justice website to learn more about our work and how you or your organization can get involved.
  • Contact the Center for Health Justice.