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Action Plan 9: Position the AAMC as a National Leader in Health Equity and Health Justice

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Philip Alberti, PhD, discusses the Center for Health Justice, which offers a space to work together and look beyond medical care to the other factors that create opportunities for communities to thrive.

Despite decades of effort by various sectors — including public health and medicine — health inequities and injustices persist in our nation.

This action plan created the AAMC Center for Health Justice in September 2021 to contribute to the solutions to health inequities by innovating, collaborating, and digging deeper to ensure that systems and structures shift toward justice. The center will spark community collaborations with diverse sectors and individuals contributing their unique resources in service of the common cause of health justice.

Where we are now

  • In the summer of 2021, we published the Principles of Trustworthiness project to help institutions build community connections in areas such as humility, authenticity, intersectionality, and long-term commitment.
  • In December 2021, we polled a nationally representative sample of adults across the United States to gauge their levels of trust in institutions and released The State of Trustworthiness research brief. During the first month of its publication, the research brief was viewed nearly 900 times and increased Principles of Trustworthiness toolkit views by 6%. The State of Trustworthiness has been praised by the Health and Human Services Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, and they plan to include it in their long-term resiliency work.
  • In conjunction with Action Plan 7’s objective of improving access to health care and ongoing efforts to build confidence in COVID-19 vaccines, the center has awarded grant opportunities to create and enhance effective partnerships and build vaccine confidence and trust within health care organizations, local communities, and member institutions.
  • In 2021, the center partnered with the American Medical Association to publish the Advancing Health Equity: AMA-AAMC Guide on Language, Narrative, and Concepts. Designed for physicians and other health care professionals, this publication provides guidance and promotes a deeper understanding of equity-focused, first-person language and why it’s important for improving patient care.
  • The AAMC Center for Health Justice co-developed Righting the Wrongs: Tackling Health Inequities, a Health Equity Virtual Summit with the Hastings Center featuring high-profile thought leaders, in Jan. 2022. The summit was attended by more than 2,500 participants and received highly positive feedback.

What happens next

  • In partnership with the REDCap team at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, we are developing a cloud-based version of the Health Equity Inventory with enhanced reporting, data sharing capabilities, and greater applicability to sectors beyond medicine.
  • We are convening a Multisector Partner Group from sectors representing the diverse social and political determinants of health at the national and local levels. The center issued a national call for nominations in January 2022 and plans to name the members of the group in Spring 2022.
  • In Spring 2022, the center will release its second research brief from its public opinion polling on social and health data sharing for community health improvement.
  • The center will host a Maternal Health Incubator on May 24-25, 2022, a two-day virtual convening to generate a common understanding of the data needed to effectively address maternal health inequities. In January 2022, the White House recognized the AAMC’s Center for Health Justice as an initial external contributor in response to Vice President Kamala Harris’s call to action to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity.

Ways to get involved

  • Join AAMC CHARGE (Collaborative for Health Equity: Act, Research, Generate Evidence) to connect with a multidisciplinary group of health equity champions and community partners. AAMC CHARGE participants can also join the online virtual community.
  • Subscribe to the Center for Health Justice newsletter.
  • Visit the Center for Health Justice website to learn more about our work and how you or your organization can get involved.

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