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Action Plan 7: Improve Access to Health Care for All

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Health care access is a complex and chronic challenge in the United States. This action plan seeks to improve access to care for people in medically underserved and otherwise marginalized communities by capitalizing on the strengths of the academic medicine community: its integrated mission areas, commitment to evidence-based care, and community collaborations. We seek to identify and advance innovative, effective, and evidence-based strategies that enhance health care access and promote health care equity while supporting high-value care.

Where we are now

  • Building confidence in COVID-19 vaccines. Through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we’ve established VaccineVoices, achieved extensive media outreach, and launched a grant program focused on building trust and confidence through partnerships. We also convened a medical education symposium on confronting health misinformation.

  • Leveraging telehealth to improve health care equity. We’ve awarded five Telehealth Equity Catalyst Awards and led and partnered with peer organizations on a national dialogue on the risks and benefits of telehealth for health care equity.   

  • Broadening access to mental and behavioral health care. We’ve launched an advocacy agenda on integrated behavioral health and completed extensive member and partner outreach. We’ve also launched a maternal mental health partnership with the AAMC Center for Health Justice.

What happens next

  • Vaccine Confidence: We’re launching medical education grants to address health misinformation and implementing trust-building partnership grants. We’re also addressing the digital divide to ensure equitable access to care for COVID-19 and future pandemics.

  • Telehealth Equity: We’re launching “Telehealth Equity Catalyst” workshops to disseminate effective telehealth equity approaches. We’re also producing and disseminating digital-device standards to ensure usability and equitable telehealth access. We’re supporting medical schools and health systems’ integration of the AAMC’s Access and Equity telehealth competencies.  

  • Mental and behavioral health care access: We’re creating an advocacy agenda as well as an Integrated Behavioral Health Network, conducting educational programming, and distributing a data snapshot. In maternal mental health, we will be collaborating with the AAMC Center for Health Justice on their maternal health incubator event.

Ways to get involved

  • Visit VaccineVoices and learn about ways you and your institution can promote vaccine confidence, acceptance, and access. Email vaccineconfidence@aamc.org with any feedback or ideas. 

  • Look for our announcements in spring 2022 about ways to get involved in the AAMC’s Integrated Behavioral Health Network.  

  • Email telehealth@aamc.org if you want to learn more or join a virtual network of individuals committed to telehealth equity.

Discover all 10 points of our strategic plan

Action Plan 1: Strengthen Medical Education

Action Plan 2: Support Students

Action Plan 3: Focus on Inclusivity

Action Plan 4: Diversify Tomorrow's Doctors

Action Plan 5: Prioritize Research

Action Plan 6: Evolve Leadership Skills

Action Plan 7: Improve Access

Action Plan 8: Advance Knowledge

Action Plan 9: Promote Health Equity and Health Justice

Action Plan 10: Adapt to Change