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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.

Building a Systems Approach to Community Health and Health Equity

Across their research, education, and clinical missions, academic health centers (AHCs) engage their communities to improve health and eradicate inequities. Rarely, though, are these health equity-promoting activities coordinated to ensure efficiency, respectful and mutually beneficial community partnerships, and maximum impact.

To address this gap, in 2016 the AAMC convened nine member institutions via a competitive application process to:

  • Comprehensively account for all community-relevant activities at their institution; create current and future state 'systems maps' documenting how these activities are (or could be) coordinated
  • Identify element(s) of the “future system” to implement; identify stakeholders and develop metrics that matter to them to ensure robust, relevant evaluation.

Year 1 | Delineation and Mapping

In-Person Meeting

Progress Reports

Year 2 | Logic Models and Metrics

In-Person Meeting

Progress Reports

Year 3 | Communication for Sustainability

In Person Meeting

Funding for this conference was made possible [in part] by grant 1R13 HS22520-01A1 from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government; additional support for this conference was provided by Cooperative Agreement Number 1 NU36OE000007-01, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Department of Health and Human Services.

Health Equity Topics


The AAMC Collaborative for Health Equity: Act, Research, Generate Evidence (CHARGE) brings together investigators, clinicians, and community partners so that they may learn, share, and improve upon the design, conduct, and implementation of research that aims to eliminate inequities 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 

Funmi Makinde, MPH, CHES
Health Equity Research Analyst

Sarah Piepenbrink
Program Specialist