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Meet the Teams: AAMC CHARGE Investigates—A Call for Research

May 14, 2024

Five teams will use public opinion polling from the AAMC Center for Health Justice for health equity research to inform policy.


A blind man with medium skin, a shaved head and a beard poses casually while waiting for the subway. He is wearing sunglasses and rests his hands on top of his white cane.

While the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted health inequities in communities nationwide, the link between public opinion and health equity topics remains largely unexplored — other, more traditional sources of information (health surveys and databases, administrative data, and census data) are typically used for health equity research. The inclusion of the public’s opinion in health equity research is vital, as opinions influence and are influenced by the norms and policies through which we carry out our lives.

The AAMC Center for Health Justice conducts regular nationally representative polling to ask the public about health equity issues. Prior polls have asked respondents about health and civic engagement, birth experiences, trustworthiness of institutions, and more. The Center posted the question: If you could ask the public about any health equity topic, what would you like to know?

AAMC CHARGE members answered, and with their input, the Center designed a multi-topic poll and surveyed a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults. The results are now in, and five teams of AAMC CHARGE members have been selected to access the polling data to conduct their own research for evidence-based solutions to achieve health equity. The studies will produce innovative, actionable, relevant research that uses the available data to answer important health equity-focused questions and inform health policy.

Meet the Teams

Fostering health justice: Analyzing patients’ perceptions of trust and trustworthiness in health care in Northeastern communities

Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine
Scranton, Pa.

This project expands upon the Center’s previous investigations of trustworthiness and will explore how behaviors such as respect, commitment, and diversity of thought may act as markers of trustworthiness across patient variables — e.g., access to health care and disability status — and will provide a more inclusive perspective of trustworthiness in the northeast United States. Findings from the study will identify baseline levels of perceived trustworthiness of health care, including and especially behaviors exhibiting trustworthiness, to develop key performance indicators that can be integrated into social justice and health equity work and learning across the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine curriculum.

Identifying priorities in child health to inform a national health equity agenda

Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
Chicago, Ill.

Using data about U.S. parents’ concerns regarding their children’s health, this study will examine how priorities vary between marginalized (e.g., Black and Hispanic, rural, low income) and more privileged (e.g., white, urban, middle/high income) populations, and by the ages of their children. Working to understand which demographic groups prioritize different child health issues can act as a guide for policy and decision-making, resource allocation, and education, allowing for more tailored efforts. The findings from this study can be used as a starting point to understand community need and create specific interventions that address different communities’ unique concerns.

Understanding the drivers and modifiers of race/ethnic inequities in ease of and satisfaction with access to health care

Rosalind Franklin University
Chicago, Ill.

The purpose of this study is to better understand the association between race and/or ethnicity and ease of and satisfaction with accessing many types of health care. What role do factors such as cost, interpersonal racism, and institutional racism play in racial and ethnic inequities regarding that access? Does the role vary by region or community type? Findings from this study will help inform which kinds of health care services are in the greatest need of interventions and policies to ameliorate racial and ethnic inequities in access to care. Findings will also determine whether interventions and policies should focus on addressing socioeconomic barriers or countering interpersonal and institutional racism, and whether such interventions should be prioritized for communities living in specific regions of the United States or community types.

Why are we overlooking disability in DEI and access to care?

Blue Shield of California
Long Beach, Calif.

Is disability overlooked in how people think of, and act on, health equity? A better understanding of how people conceptualize health equality, equity, and justice, and whether they consider disability within those concepts, may inform why disability is overlooked. What can we learn about the care gaps, barriers, and other experiences of people who identify as having a disability that will help us to create effective solutions that improve health and promote equity? This research will contribute to evidence-based solutions at Blue Shield of California, to support health equity and health justice.

Young adults and health care access through a financial equity lens using ordinal logistic regression modeling

Young Invincibles
Washington, D.C.

Young Invincibles is a nonprofit national think tank and advocacy organization whose mission is to uplift the voices of young adults ages18 to 34 and support their economic empowerment through the political process and access to higher education, health care, and workforce opportunity. This study will examine the status of health care access and affordability for young adults, specifically as it relates to their race and/or ethnicity, gender, disability, income, and sense of financial security. Understanding the barriers to access or reasons why young people are not taking full advantage of their health coverage, especially for services that help treat or manage chronic conditions and mental health, will help highlight possible issues with existing federal policy, such as the design and structure of the Affordable Care Act, or needs for policy interventions centered more heavily on financial equity.

See the Survey Instrument