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  • Press Release

    AAMC Receives CDC Award to Build Confidence in COVID-19 Vaccines and Move the Nation Forward

    Media Contacts

    John Buarotti, Sr. Public Relations Specialist

    Initiative will focus on health care workforce and vulnerable populations

    With President Biden’s recent announcement that all adults in the United States will be eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine by May 1, the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) is pleased to announce a $2 million cooperative agreement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Improving Clinical and Public Health Outcomes through National Partnerships to Prevent and Control Emerging and Re-Emerging Infectious Disease Threats.

    Through this CDC-funded initiative, the AAMC will engage its member medical schools and teaching hospitals in outreach efforts to collaborate with their communities to communicate transparently and dispel myths around the COVID-19 vaccines with the goal of increasing vaccination rates in the U.S.

    “Academic medical centers have played an outsized role in combatting the coronavirus pandemic,” said Janis M. Orlowski, MD, AAMC chief health care officer. “These institutions have been on the front lines caring for patients with COVID-19, conducting testing for the virus, and working in academic labs to develop effective treatment protocols and research possible vaccines.”

    This partnership with the CDC is part of the AAMC’s efforts to improve health care access, collaborate with communities, and advance health equity. It will also support efforts to engage and equip AAMC member institutions to build trust and promote confidence in COVID-19 vaccines in health care personnel and communities disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

    “This initiative is a natural extension of our ongoing work and will enable us to continue these efforts and help our communities understand the enormous benefits vaccines have achieved to stem the tide of the coronavirus. It’s important that as many people as possible get vaccinated so we can get back to normal, or as close to normal, as we can,” Orlowski said.

    Editor’s Note: The AAMC has experts available who can speak about the safety of the vaccine and can address concerns in English- and Spanish-speaking communities, including:

    • Ross McKinney, MD: Chief Scientific Officer at the AAMC, infectious disease expert and pediatrician, leading programs that support medical research and training.
    • Janis Orlowski, MD: Chief Health Care Officer at the AAMC, nephrologist treating patients – including those with COVID-19 – throughout the pandemic, focusing on the intersection between the health care delivery system and academic medicine.
    • Atul Grover, MD, PhD: Executive Director of the AAMC Research and Action Institute, convening national experts to examine critical issues affecting academic medicine, including The Way Forward on COVID-19, a set of evidence-based guidelines and recommendations from the AAMC on COVID-19 testing, face mask use, and resetting the nation’s approach to the pandemic.
    • Rosha McCoy, MD: Senior Director for Advancing Clinical Leadership and Quality at the AAMC, Principal Investigator for the CDC Cooperative Agreement, and pediatrician, leading efforts to improve teaching hospital and physician leadership, hospital quality and performance, and clinical effectiveness.
    • Norma Poll-Hunter, PhD: Senior Director of Workforce Diversity at the AAMC, cultivating skills and behaviors to create a diverse, culturally responsive health care workforce prepared to address societal health needs.
    • Laura Castillo-Page, PhD: Senior Director of Organizational Inclusion and Development at the AAMC, working to expand equity, diversity, and inclusion programs and awareness in the academic medicine community.

    This project is funded by a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (grant number 1 NU50CK000586-01-00). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The information provided does not necessarily represent the policy of CDC or HHS and should not be considered an endorsement by the Federal Government.

    The AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) is a nonprofit association dedicated to improving the health of people everywhere through medical education, health care, medical research, and community collaborations. Its members are all 158 U.S. medical schools accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education; 13 accredited Canadian medical schools; approximately 400 academic health systems and teaching hospitals, including Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and more than 70 academic societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC leads and serves America’s medical schools, academic health systems and teaching hospitals, and the millions of individuals across academic medicine, including more than 193,000 full-time faculty members, 96,000 medical students, 153,000 resident physicians, and 60,000 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the biomedical sciences. Following a 2022 merger, the Alliance of Academic Health Centers and the Alliance of Academic Health Centers International broadened participation in the AAMC by U.S. and international academic health centers.