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  • Washington Highlights

    AAMC Participates in Briefing on Social Determinants of Health and Health Equity


    Christa Wagner, Manager, Government Relations

    The AAMC participated in the inaugural Coalition for Health Funding Public Health Week of Action’s congressional briefing titled, “Social Determinants of Health & Health Equity: A Conversation with the Coalition for Health Funding” on Nov. 15. The AAMC is a member of the coalition.

    Opening remarks were delivered by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.), a co-founder and current co-chair of the Congressional Public Health Caucus. Roybal-Allard noted that investments in public health are some of the most cost-effective that Congress can make and emphasized her health equity priorities, including robust investments in mental health care and expanding the size and diversity of the health care workforce.

    Through the discussion, the coalition panelists highlighted the roles of several components to improving health equity including access to affordable health care and coverage, improving maternal health strengthening, diversifying the public health and health care workforce, and investing in public health infrastructure and social services.

    Representing the AAMC was AAMC Center for Health Justice Founding Director Philip M. Alberti, PhD, who discussed the center’s operational framework and collaborative efforts to improve health inequities. Specifically, Alberti highlighted the need for better collection of more standardized data as one component toward the goal of health equity, which he previously discussed in a July 20 congressional briefing [refer to Washington Highlights, July 23].

    Alberti also noted the AAMC’s support for legislative efforts to address social determinants of health and improve health outcomes, including the Social Determinants Accelerator Act of 2021 (H.R. 2503) and proposals included in the Black Maternal Health Momnibus of 2021 (H.R. 959S. 346) as part of a multipronged approach to avoid all preventable maternal deaths and improve maternal health and health equity.

    Other panelists included:

    • Kim Johnson, MD, Senior Director, African-American Health Equity Initiative, Susan G. Komen
    • Nichole Sorhaindo, MPH, Director, Health Equity, American Psychological Association
    • Jennifer Holter Chakrabarty, MD, Chair, Committee on Government Affairs, American Society of Hematology
    • Montrece Ransom, JD, MPH, Director, National Coordinating Center for Public Health Training, National Network of Public Health Institutes

    The AAMC also gave an overview of its activities and priorities to address social determinants of health and reduce health inequities in the companion report Social Determinants of Health and Health Equity: A CHF Member Perspective.