The Telehealth Equity Catalyst (TEC) Awards were launched as part of the AAMC’s efforts to support our members’ work to advance telehealth equity and serve as part of the AAMC’s strategic planning efforts to improve access to care for all.
AAMC-member institutions have received funding awards for new or existing programming that reflects innovative contributions to health care delivery that can serve as models for other institutions to address and mitigate the barriers to care associated with telehealth, particularly for communities that are under-resourced with limited access to health care services.
2023 Telehealth Equity Catalyst Awards
The following programs and proposals demonstrate a commitment to addressing barriers associated with telehealth and health technology across clinical delivery and medical training, particularly for underserved and under-resourced communities. These programs will utilize their TEC Award address barriers to care using innovative telehealth models and address patient access issues as a result of the digital divide.
In 2023, the AAMC renewed its commitment to academic medical centers across the country by implementing its first round of TEC Sustainability Programs. This award goes to institutions that have already participated in the TEC Award program, and who remain committed to addressing barriers to care and the digital divide.
Program Summaries: First Year Programs
Children's Hospital Colorado—Pediatric Critical Care Telehealth Support for Community Hospital Pediatric Inpatients: A Collaboration with Billings Clinic
This program, recently started in June 2022, utilizes video-based telehealth to provide pediatric critical care consultation for patients admitted to the inpatient ward in a community hospital in Billings, Montana. Patients are cared for by pediatric hospitalists at the Billings Clinic and telehealth consultation is provided by pediatric critical care physicians from University of Colorado/Children’s Hospital Colorado. The ultimate goal of this intervention is to reduce unnecessary transfers for families seeking pediatric hospital-based care in the Billings community.
Mercer University School of Medicine—Implementing a Co-Curricular Interprofessional Education (IPE) Program to Improve Farmworker Access to Mental Health Services in Rural Georgia
The proposed program aims to deliver telehealth services to meet the mental health needs of Georgia’s farmworker population.
UC Davis Health—Applying Quality Improvement to Increase Telehealth Use Among Pediatric Patients with Limited English Proficiency
The purpose of this project is to close the gap in completed telehealth video visits between pediatric patients and families with limited English proficiency and those with English proficiency.
UW Medicine—Telehealth Forensic Mental Health Assessment Clinic
The proposal aims to study the feasibility of an academic-state partnership to provide competence to stand trial and other forensic mental health evaluations through a university-based telehealth-only forensic assessment clinic.
UVA Health—Increasing Access to and Awareness of Health Care Services in Rural Southern Albemarle County
UVA Health is partnering with the rural community of southern Albemarle County and neighboring counties to improve awareness of and access to healthcare services to benefit health and wellness outcomes.
Weill Cornell Medicine—”Veamos Juntos”: Increasing Equitable Access for Spanish-Speaking Families with Limited English Proficiency to Virtual Care Through a Community-Based Educational Program
The “Veamos Juntos” (Let's see together) initiative, uses multimedia, language-concordant patient education programs, and targeted community engagement to promote equitable access to virtual care for Spanish families with limited English proficiency.
Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine—Telehealth Access Initiative for Youth Who Are Unhoused and Underhoused in Kalamazoo, Michigan
Children and their caregivers are an often-unseen population within communities who are unhoused and underhoused. This project seeks to address the needs of this group by providing care where the patients are rather than in medical spaces.
Program Summaries: Sustainability Programs
Henry Ford Health System—Increase Digital Skills for Older Adults via Peer Coaching
This program proposal is centered on reducing health disparities and bridging the digital divide by expanding telehealth service access and utilization for older adults within the Hope Village Community in the City of Detroit.
Johns Hopkins Medicine—Capitalizing on Momentum to Improve Telehealth Access Equity in Baltimore City
The Johns Hopkins Telemedicine Equity Working Group, established in 2020, has three aims: 1) to identify populations served by Johns Hopkins Medicine which experience telemedicine access disparities; 2) to develop and implement plans to promote more equitable delivery and; 3) to measure the impact of these interventions on equity and outcomes.
Medical University of South Carolina—A Telehealth Initiative to Overcome Healthcare Barriers and Increase Health Equity for Children Experiencing Homelessness
This program aims to assess and address the unique health needs of children experiencing homelessness in Charleston, SC. The team will build from the success of the current CARES Clinic at The Navigation Center, which is a telehealth-based student run free clinic that provides primary care to adult clients at a drop-in resource center for people experiencing homelessness.
Oregon Health & Sciences University—Community Organization Led Equity Through Design (CO-LED): Deepening our Collective Impact
CO-LED seeks to improve the design of healthcare systems and applications by leveraging the diverse perspectives of community-based organizations and human-centered design (HCD). A key tenet of HCD is to include end users in the design process. For healthcare organizations, this means including community members and patients, which can be challenging due to a dearth of relationship capital, communication channels, knowledge, and internal receptivity
UC Davis Health—Addressing Healthcare Inequities Using Virtual Family-Centered Rounds in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: Sustaining and Scaling the Program
Family-centered rounds (FCR) are multidisciplinary bedside rounds with active family engagement and are a best practice for hospitalized children. However, FCR are limited to patients whose families can be present at the bedside during the rounding process and thus are inaccessible for socially disadvantaged children and families. Race-, education-, and language-based FCR access inequities exist and must be addressed to mitigate downstream health disparities. Because telehealth can mitigate challenges that prevent parents or guardians from attending FCR, this team developed and implemented a Virtual FCR Program in the UC Davis neonatal intensive care unit in 2020 so that parents can participate virtually in FCR. Sustainability funding will allow the team to sustain and scale its program across linguistically diverse groups. Specifically, they will evaluate Virtual FCR among families with limited English proficiency using a single-arm 8-month feasibility trial.
University of Michigan Health—GET Access Hypertension: Reducing Racial Disparities in Uncontrolled Hypertension Using Telemonitoring
This medical student-run volunteer program was created by medical students and Dr. Mary Blazek at University of Michigan to assist geriatric patients—a population with decreased technological access and literacy—in understanding and gaining access to telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic. This program was expanded to assist other patient populations in multiple other specialties.
2022 AAMC TEC Awardees
The following programs are recipients of the 2022-23 TEC Awards:
- Henry Ford Health
Addressing Health Equity for Older Adults in On-Demand Virtual Care Access
- Johns Hopkins Medicine
Convening Cross-Sector Stakeholders to Promote Telehealth Access for Older Adults in Baltimore City and the District of Columbia
- Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California and LAC+USC Medical Center
Closing the Digital Divide by Integrating Design Thinking Curricula Into Medical Education
- Massachusetts General Hospital
Development and Validation of a Communications Curriculum for Equitable Telehealth Practice
- Medical University of South Carolina
Improving Telehealth Experiential Learning Through Virtual Reality Simulation for Patient Access, Engagement, and Equity
- Medical University of South Carolina
The CARES 529 Meeting Street Clinic: A Telehealth Initiative to Overcome Health Care Barriers and Increase Health Equity for People Experiencing Homelessness
- Oregon Health & Science University
Centering Community Expertise in Designing for Digital Health Equity
- Oregon Health & Science University
The Patient Portal Simulator
- University of California Davis
Addressing Health Care Inequities Using Virtual Family-Centered Rounds in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
- University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
The Arkansas Telemedicine Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program
2021 AAMC TEC Awardees
The following programs are recipients of the 2021-22 TEC Awards:
- Connecticut Children's Henry Ford Health
Pediatric Residency Telemedicine Curriculum
- GW Medical Faculty Associates
- University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville
Expansion of a Telemedicine Program for Patients with HIV to Include Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis
- Michigan Medicine
Expansion of Geriatric Education on Telehealth Access Program to Reduce Telehealth Disparities
- Wayne State University School of Medicine
Interprofessional Telehealth Training Using a Standardized Patient
For more information about the AAMC Telehealth Equity Catalyst Award program or broader telehealth programming at the AAMC, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org