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The AAMC Accelerating Health Equity, Advancing through Discovery (AHEAD) initiative seeks to identify, evaluate, and disseminate effective and replicable AAMC-member institution practices that improve community health and reduce health inequities.

Learn about AAMC medical research initiatives and publications.

Health Equity Research and Policy

Health equity feature graphic

Upcoming webinar explores research on the effect of diversity in physician workforce

On April 25th from 1-2:00 p.m. ET the AAMC will host a free interactive discussion with Dr. Owen Garrick, president and CEO of Bridge Clinical Research, about the effects of diversity in health care among African-American men in the United States. “Does Diversity Matter for Health? Experimental Evidence from Oakland,” will take place on April 25 at 1:00PM Eastern. As discussed recently in USA Today, AAMC data highlights that there has been a small increase in medical students who identify as Black or African-American, from 5.6% in 1980 to 7.7% in 2016, but this population is still underrepresented in medical school comparted to within the general population (13.2%).
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New Academic Medicine Commentary! Shifting Academic Health Centers From a Culture of Community Service to Community Engagement and Integration

Historically, academic health centers’ (AHCs) community engagement has been limited, and reliant on students and faculty personally interested in service. This “service orientation” will not meet the new demands of population health, shifts to value-based payment models, research funder requirements for community engagement, and expectations that medical education focus more on the social determinants. Instead, what is needed is a coordinated, enterprise-wide approach to community engagement that views communities as assets and partners who can help AHCs meet these new demands and not as people in need of service. This Commentary details how AHCs can move to “community integration” and the value such an approach will have for communities and the AHC itself. Read the commentary.

Getting on Track to Achieve Health Equity: AAMC Integrating Quality Conference

Join us for the 11th annual AAMC Integrating Quality (IQ) Conference June 6-7, 2019.  The IQ conference is highly interactive, interprofessional and focused on sharing innovative approaches and strategies for improving health care quality, patient safety, and high-value care through health professions education, care delivery, and research..   This year’s theme, Getting on Track to Achieve Health Equity, will spur on academic medicine’s national dialogue and spread of pragmatic clinical, operational, and educational strategies, tactics, and tools toward improving health equity. Keynote presenters and panelists include: 

  • Philip Alberti PhD, Senior Director, Health Equity Research and Policy , Association of American Medical Colleges
  • Marshall Chin MD, MPH, Richard Parrillo Family Professor of Healthcare Ethics, University of Chicago Medicine
  • Michael Currie MPH, MBA, Senior Vice President and Chief Health Equity Officer, UnitedHealth Group
  • Cara James PhD, Director of Office of Minority Health, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
  • Kevin Weiss MD, Senior Vice President, Institutional Accreditation, Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education

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Research: Changes in Teaching Hospitals’ Community Benefit Spending After Implementation of the Affordable Care Act

A new analysis published in Academic Medicine shows that major teaching hospitals spent over $3 billion more on community benefit in 2015 than in 2012—an increase of more than 20%. The study also highlights differences in changes to community benefit spending between hospitals in states that chose to expand Medicaid coverage and those that did not.
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Community Engagement Toolkit--Social Justice Behind and Beyond the Bars: Criminal Justice Health and Academic Medicine

Social Justice 1

We encourage you to use the Social Justice Behind and Beyond the Bars: Criminal Justice Health and Academic Medicine toolkit to learn about the unique needs and inequities faced by the currently and formerly incarcerated and their families, and what Academic Medicine – across its research, education, clinical and diversity and inclusion missions – is and could be doing to improve the health and well-being for this community.

The 2018 Social Justice Behind and Beyond the Bars: Criminal Justice, Health, and Academic Medicine toolkit features resources, discussion questions, and a series of videos which explore how being currently incarcerated, formerly incarcerated, or having an incarcerated family member affects one’s health and well-being.

For more information and to view other Community Engagement Toolkits, visit

Health Equity Topics


ROCChe is a forum for investigators, clinicians, and their partners to collaborate, share, learn and improve upon the design, conduct and implementation of research that aims to close or minimize disparities in health and health care.

Health Equity Systems Approach

The nation’s academic medical centers and their public health, community-based, and other partners are working to achieve health equity by improving population and community health and by making health care safer and more accessible, affordable, and equitable.

Contact Health Equity Research and Policy Staff

Philip M. Alberti, PhD
Senior Director, Health Equity Research and Policy

Karey M. Sutton, PhD
Director, Health Equity Research Workforce