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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.

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Below you can find more resources for each of the projects in the Virtual Site Visit:

The Big Picture

Duke Websites:

  • Duke Office of Community Relations 
    The Office of Community Relations (OCR) was formed in April 2002 to establish and develop relations between Duke University Health System and the communities we serve. We develop and sustain collaborative relationships with local and state government as well as members of the communities in which we serve.

  • Duke Office of Health Equity and Disparities
    Authentically engaging with our patients and the community, while eliminating barriers to quality healthcare and research, are critical elements to reducing cancer disparities. The Duke Cancer Institute's (DCI) Office of Health Equity and Disparities (OHED) has developed an outreach and research platform to link community members to screening and treatment services, while DCI faculty and staff are active in community outreach opportunities. Our goal is to meet communities where they are and provide resources to promote optimal healthcare outcomes.

  • Duke Center for Community and Population Health Improvement
    The Duke Center for Community and Population Health Improvement is a multi-disciplinary center that leverages academic, health system, and community partnerships to improve community and population health. The Center builds from a long-standing history of community-engaged programs and partnerships at Duke to (1) establish shared priorities for improving regional health among partners, (2) create a relevant research and academic agenda to address community and population health needs, and (3) enhance capacity within Duke and the community to improve health through multi-sector community engagement.

Community Partner Websites:

  • Partnership for a Healthy Durham 
    The Partnership for a Healthy Durham is a coalition of local organizations and community members with the goal of collaboratively improving the physical, mental, and social health and well-being of Durham’s residents.

National Websites:

  • Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health
    The Office of Minority Health addresses disease prevention, health promotion, risk reduction, healthier lifestyle choices, use of health care services and barriers to health care for racial and ethnic minorities. Key strategies of their mission include improving data collection, reporting and sharing for ethnic and racial minority populations; establishing and strengthening networks, coalitions and partnerships to identify and solve health problems; developing and promoting policies, programs and practices to achieve health equity; fostering research and evaluations; and funding demonstration programs at the regional, state and local level that can contribute to health policy and the effectiveness of strategies for improving health.

  • NCHHSTP Atlas
    The NCHHSTP Atlas gives you the power to access data reported to CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP). Use HIV, STD, hepatitis, and TB data to create maps, charts, and detailed reports, and analyze trends and patterns

  • County Health Rankings
    The Rankings are based on a model of population health that emphasizes the many factors that, if improved, can help make communities healthier places to live, learn, work and play.


  • Washington A.E., Coye, M.J., Feinberg D.T., Academic Health Centers and the Evolution of the Health Care System. JAMA. 2013; 310(18):1929-1930.

  • Washington A.E., Coye, M.J., Boulware L.E., Academic Health Systems’ Third Curve: Population Health Improvement. JAMA. 2016; 315(5):459-460.

  • Principles of Community Engagement
    Principles of Community Engagement (Second Edition) provides public health professionals, health care providers, researchers, and community-based leaders and organizations with both a science base and practical guidance for engaging partners in projects that may affect them. The principles of engagement can be used by people in a range of roles, from the program funder who needs to know how to support community engagement to the researcher or community leader who needs hands-on, practical information on how to mobilize the members of a community to partner in research initiatives. In addition, this primer provides tools for those who are leading efforts to improve population health through community engagement.

External Press Coverage:

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Clinical Service

Duke Websites:

  • Duke Division of Community Health 
    The Duke Division of Community Health integrates research, education, and service delivery to improve health equity and access. Our collaborative, community-engaged work utilizes evidence-based practices, primary care research, informatics, high-quality health services, and the passion of our team members to improve health with communities.

  • Local Access to Coordinated Health Care (LATCH)
    LATCH works to improve enrollee’s health, improve their access to care, and increase their appropriate use of health services through a combination of bilingual outreach, care management, health education, service enhancement, and systems change. With its community partners, LATCH recognizes health care trends, identifies barriers confronting uninsured patients, and, working as a consortium, addresses and eliminates access barriers.

  • Walltown Neighborhood Clinic
    The Walltown Neighborhood Clinic, a joint program of Lincoln Community Health Center and the Division of Community Health, was designed with the help of multiple community members to meet the health needs of residents in the Walltown community. The clinic, located in a renovated house in the Walltown Neighborhood, is easily accessible to any Durham resident needing care.

  • Lyon Park Clinic
    The Lyon Park Clinic, a joint program of Lincoln Community Health Center and the Division of Community Health, was designed with the help of multiple community members to meet the health needs of residents in the South Central Durham community. Located within the Community Family Life and Recreation Center at Lyon Park, the Clinic is easily accessible to any Durham resident needing care. Many families are facing difficult financial situations and often don't have medical insurance.  The clinic serves all members of the family and offers them a place to get the primary health care that they may need as well as access to health education.

  • Holton Wellness Center
    The Holton Wellness Center, a joint program of Lincoln Community Health Center and Duke Community Health, was designed with the help of multiple community members to meet the health needs of residents in the Holton community. Many families are facing difficult financial situations and often don't have medical insurance. The clinic serves all family members and offers them a place to get the primary health care that they may need as well as access to health education.

  • Just for Us
    The goal of Just for Us is to maintain health and keep individuals safely in their communities independently for as long as their medical conditions and functionality allow. By working with patients' primary care provider and established health care team, our clients have access to quality coordinated care in the home with the goal of improving quality of life by ensuring access to routine primary care services.

  • Duke Connected Care
    Duke Connected Care is a community-based, physician-led network that aims to improve the quality of healthcare while addressing the national challenge of rising healthcare costs.

  • Bull City Fit
    Bull City Fit is a community-based wellness program and is part of the larger Duke Children's Healthy Lifestyles program.

  • Bull City Fit Introductory Video
    Dr. Sarah Armstrong, Pediatric Physician and Director of the Duke Healthy Lifestyles Program, explains how "Bull City Fit" combines both the clinical care her patients need, with a variety of programs and hands-on experiences that help the whole family learn about healthy food shopping habits and the importance physical activity.

  • Duke Children's Healthy Lifestyles Program
    The Healthy Lifestyles program seeks to address weight-related health problems for children by offering caring providers, family-centered treatment programs, highly trained educators and researchers, and strong community partnerships.

Community Partner Websites:

  • Durham County Department of Public Health

  • Lincoln Community Health Center
    Lincoln Community Health Center is Durham’s federally qualified health center. Their mission is to provide comprehensive primary and preventive health care in a courteous, professional and personalized manner. 

  • Practical Playbook
    The Practical Playbook is a stepping stone in the next transformation of health, in which primary care and public health groups collaborate to achieve population health improvement and reduced health care costs. It supports increased collaborations between primary care and public health groups by guiding users through the stages of integrated population health improvement.  The Practical Playbook is a project of Duke Community and Family Medicine, the Centers for Disease Control, and the deBeaumont Foundation.

  • Senior PharmAssist
    Senior PharmAssist promotes healthier living for Durham seniors by helping them obtain and better manage needed medications, and by providing health education, Medicare insurance counseling, community referral and advocacy.

  • Project Access of Durham County
    Project Access of Durham County (PADC) links people without health insurance into a local network of clinics, laboratories, pharmacies and hospitals that donate their efforts to help those in need. PADC serves eligible low-income, uninsured Durham residents who have specialty medical care needs.


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Duke Websites:

  • Duke Center for Community and Population Health Improvement
    The Duke Center for Community and Population Health Improvement is a multi-disciplinary center that leverages academic, health system, and community partnerships to improve community and population health.

  • Duke Community Connections and Collaboration Core (C4)
    Duke Community Connections and Collaborations Core (C4) facilitates equitable, authentic, and robust community engaged research via a suite of extensive resources that aim to build capacity, facilitate partnerships and foster authentic communication between academic and community partners to improve community and population health across the translational research spectrum.

  • Duke Global Health Institute
    The Duke Global Health Institute, established in 2006, brings knowledge from every corner of Duke University to bear on the most important global health issues of our time. DGHI was established as a University-wide institute to coordinate, support, and implement Duke’s interdisciplinary research, education, and service activities related to global health. DGHI is committed to developing and employing new models of education and research that engage international partners and find innovative solutions to global health challenges.

  • Duke Clinical Research Institute
    As part of the Duke University School of Medicine, the Duke Clinical Research Institute is known for conducting groundbreaking multinational clinical trials, managing major national patient registries, and performing landmark outcomes research. DCRI research spans multiple disciplines, from pediatrics to geriatrics, primary care to subspecialty medicine, and genomics to proteomics. The DCRI also is home to the Duke Databank for Cardiovascular Diseases, the largest and oldest institutional cardiovascular database in the world, which continues to inform clinical decision-making 40 years after its founding.

  • Duke-Robert J Margolis MD, Center for Health Policy
    The Center for Health Policy’s goal is to develop ideas on health reform and move them into practical implementation.  The Center is an interdisciplinary academic research center focused on developing new ideas for health reform and moving them into practice.

  • Center for Genomics, Race, Identify, Difference
    The Center on Genomics, Race, Identity, Difference (GRID) is a global initiative with a vision to inform and transform the conceptualization, use, and impact of race in science, medicine, and society. GRID is part of the Social Science Research Institute (SSRI) and is affiliated with the Department of African & African American Studies, Duke Initiative for Science & Society, and the Duke Global Health Institute. Race features prominently in the title of the center and is a focal point. Additionally, the work of GRID includes related forms of identity such as ancestry, ethnicity, tribe, and geographic and national classifications.

  • The Duke Samuel Dubois Cook Center on Social Equity
    The Duke Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity is a scholarly collaborative engaged in the study of the causes and consequences of inequality and in the assessment and redesign of remedies for inequality and its adverse effects. Concerned with the economic, political, social and cultural dimensions of uneven and inequitable access to resources, opportunity and capabilities, Cook Center researchers take a cross-national comparative approach to the study of human difference and disparity. Ranging from the global to the local, Cook Center scholars not only address the overarching social problem of general inequality, but they also explore social problems associated with gender, race, ethnicity and religious affiliation.

  • Center for Child and Family Policy 
    The Center for Child and Family Policy pursues science-based solutions to important problems affecting today’s children and families. The Center emphasizes the bridge from basic research to policy and practice through an integrated system of research, teaching, service and policy engagement.

  • Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research
    The Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research (CHPIR) is an instigator and facilitator of a broad range of health policy and health disparities research that address policy relevant issues. Activities focus on population based health research, health systems research, and intervention and evaluation research. CHPIR fosters an interdisciplinary collaborative investigative environment that also seeks to education Duke students by providing experiences in working with our research teams and through individual mentorship.

  • Duke Institute for Health Innovation
    The Duke Institute for Health Innovation (DIHI) promotes innovation in health and health care through high-impact innovation pilots, leadership development, and cultivation of a community of entrepreneurship. DIHI brings innovative solutions to the most pressing challenges in health and health care by catalyzing multidisciplinary teamwork across Duke University and Duke Medicine and by fostering collaborations with national and international thought leaders.

Community Partner Websites:

  • Durham Diabetes Coalition
    The Durham Diabetes Coalition is a collaborative partnership in Durham County, NC that strives to move the needle on diabetes and reduce complications and early death from diabetes.  An innovative risk algorithm guides the development of a suite of interventions designed for high, moderate, and low risk community members living with diabetes.  Funding for this work was provided by Bristol Myers-Squibb foundation, Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, and Save-A-Lot grocery store.  

Research Articles:

  • Spratt, SE, et al. Methods and initial findings from the Durham Diabetes Coalition: Integrating geospatial health technology and community interventions to reduce death and disability. (2015)

  • Journal of Clinical & Translational Endocrinology 2 (2015) 26e36

  • Spratt, SE, Feinglos, MN, & Willis, JM. Barriers to care for patients with diabetes in Durham, North Carolina, why are we withholding life-sustaining medications from the patients who need them the most? (2015) Expert Review of Endocrinology & Metabolism, 10:5, 459-461, DOI: 10.1586/17446651.2015.1069704

  • Thomas KL, Hernandez AF, Dai D, Heidenreich P, Fonarow G, Peterson ED, Yancy CW. Association of Race/Ethnicity with Clinical Risk Factors, Quality of Care, and Acute Outcomes in Patients Hospitalized with Heart Failure. Am Heart J. Apr. 2011; 161 (4) 746-754

  • Silberberg, M, Castrucci, B. Addressing Social Determinants of Health.  In Michener JL, Denise K, and Castrucci B. Practical Playbook: Public Health and Primary Care Together. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016, Chapter 14.

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Duke Websites:

  • Primary Care Leadership Track
    Duke School of Medicine has created a unique 4-year track to train primary care leaders who can enter residency prepared to engage with communities and practices to help improve health outcomes. This track builds on a longstanding partnership between Duke and the Durham community to understand the causes of health disparities, create a strong research focus on community engagement, and learn how to redesign clinical programs to better serve patient needs at the individual and population level.

  • Johnson and Johnson Nurse Leadership Program
    With their combined history of excellence in clinical leadership training, Duke University's Schools of Medicine and Nursing and Johnson & Johnson have entered into a unique partnership to create the Duke-Johnson & Johnson Nurse Leadership Program. Through its rich leadership and management program content, this program trains advanced practice nurses so they are better able to meet the challenges of the evolving healthcare environment. Fellows who successfully complete the program are equipped with the skills and competencies to lead healthcare teams to increased operational efficiency and improved patient outcomes with a focus on underserved populations.

  • Duke Community and Family Medicine Educational Programs
    The role of the education unit of the Division of Community Health is to lead and support education/training programs that cultivate new health care leaders who can deliver effective community-based and community-engaged health care services to diverse populations, address health care disparities, apply clinical leadership skills to strengthen effective strategies for health and wellness, and serve as change agents for improved patient and community outcomes within an evolving healthcare environment.

  • Duke School of Medicine Community Health Elective
    Population-based health care is becoming increasingly important in addressing health care needs. This elective helps students understand the concepts and practice of community-based and population-based health care. It is a dynamic course whose activities will change based on the Duke/community health projects active at the time

  • Learning Together
    Learning Together provides opportunities for Learners to become involved in health-related projects in the community. All Duke Health Sciences learners, as well as learners from other academic disciplines, are welcome to participate.

  • Duke Health Disparities Research Curriculum
    Racial and ethnic minorities experience higher rates of disease, disability, and death than their white counterparts. Research to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health is a national priority. Therefore, we developed a curriculum to raise awareness about health disparities research among junior investigators and to teach the skills required to incorporate principles of disparities research into their particular areas of research focus. Although this curriculum focuses primarily on racial and ethnic disparities, the principles, methods, and examples will be broadly applicable to other disparities (e.g., gender).

  • Community Engagement Practicum for Master of Biomedical Sciences Program
    The semester-long practicum consists of student engagement in a variety of population health improvement activities and a longitudinal population health improvement project.

  • Duke Family Medicine Residency Program
    The Duke Family Medicine Residency Program is dedicated to training family physicians who are excellent clinicians, leaders and advocates of health care within the community. We partner with a variety of local health care and community teams to meet the needs of various individuals, families and populations, with the core goal of reducing health care disparities and improving health.   

  • Duke Obstetrics Residency Program
    The Duke Obstetrics Residency Program strives to thoroughly prepare trainees for the next phase in their careers, whether primary care medicine, specialty care, or academic teaching and research. The program is ranked among the top 10 hospitals and top five medical schools nationwide by U.S.News & World Report. Residents have access to the extensive clinical and intellectual resources of Duke University Health System and Duke University and enjoy interaction with and teaching from the world's leading physicians and medical researchers.

  • Duke Clinical Research Institute Fellowship Program
    The Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI) has a long-standing commitment to train fellows and junior faculty in order to develop the next generation of clinical researchers. This commitment has evolved into the creation of the DCRI Research Fellowship Training Program. The program's philosophy is that the most successful investigators will be able to combine superior knowledge in their field of clinical specialty with quantitative principles in an interactive, teamwork-oriented environment. Postdoctoral fellows typically complete two years of training.

  • Duke Clinical Research Institute Medical Student Research Training Program
    The Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI) has a long-standing commitment to develop the next generation of clinical researchers. The goal of the Medical Student Research Training Program is to provide medical students with structured training in clinical research and the tools necessary to begin a successful career in academic medicine via practical hands-on experience conducting clinical research; structured didactic training; mentorship by DCRI faculty and fellows.


  • Sheline, B, Tran, A, Jackson, J, Peyser, B, Rogers, S, & Engle, D. The Primary Care Leadership Track at the Duke University School of Medicine: Creating Change Agents to Improve Population Health. 2014. Academic Medicine, volume 89, 1370-1374.

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