This month, the AAMC Center for Health Justice celebrates its second anniversary, marking two years since we began this incredible journey alongside the health equity leaders, advocates, and communities who are creating the vital conditions for everyone to thrive. Since our founding on Sept. 21, 2021, we have been proud of our work to bring together experts, policymakers, and community members to build evidence and share knowledge to address health inequities. We hope that these resources and tools have eased the path for other organizations partnering with their communities for health justice.
Here are some highlights from the past year:
Connecting with Community: AAMC CHARGE
- Three spotlights highlighted the work and passion of AAMC CHARGE members across the country. Meet KaTerri Monét Kelly, Joseph Kim, and Daniel A. Wilkenfeld.
- Regular virtual “coffee breaks” hosted by AAMC CHARGE ambassadors brought opportunities to come together and learn from diverse presenters on topics from disability justice to autism awareness to inclusive storytelling, and more.
- AAMC CHARGE members shaped the center’s health justice research agenda every step of the way, including a group of seven individuals who met to determine three key areas for the center’s research.
Sharing Our Expertise
- Experts from across the center collaborated with AAMC CHARGE members, other organizations, and researchers to publish articles in Milbank Quarterly, JAMA Network Open, Frontiers in Public Health, and the American Journal of Public Health.
- AAMC staff blogged their perspectives about the Multisector Partner Group, maternal health and climate change, and expanding LGBTQ+ data.
- The center marked one year since establishing its Multisector Partner Group. The group is comprised of individuals from diverse backgrounds— including and beyond health care and academic medicine. Check out this video to meet the members of this important group. We look forward to continuing our work together for the next two years as the current members complete their terms.
Building the Health Justice Evidence Base
- Our polling briefs share key insights from the center’s national polling of adults on the community health issues most important to them. This year we added new polling on Americans’ civic engagement, and the attitudes of Generation Z towards health care access, reproductive rights, and other vital conditions for health.
- It Takes A Village provides a summary of the 2022 Maternal Health Incubator, a two-day virtual convening to generate a common understanding of the data needed to effectively address maternal health inequities, and examines work that still needs to be done.
- Graphic recordings, video recordings, and slides are available from the 2023 Maternal Health Equity Workshop. Approximately 500 attendees joined the workshop with the goal of bringing together clinical care, research, public health, and technology to explore the potential for new artificial intelligence (AI) tools to build the qualitative data infrastructure needed to address maternal health inequities.
From Research to Policy Action
- Collaborating with researchers from the University of Maryland and The Ohio State University, the center analyzed the mental health impact of the recent wave of legislation seeking to limit or ban gender-affirming medical care for transgender youth. These laws endanger the mental health, well-being, and futures of these young people.
- To assist policymakers and advocates considering paid leave legislation, we analyzed data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to understand the impact of access to paid leave on racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic inequities in maternal mental health outcomes. Paid leave is a health justice imperative for achieving maternal mental health equity.
- With the expert input of AAMC CHARGE, the center advised federal agencies on civic engagement, revising race and ethnicity data standards, whole person health, and more. Learn more about our testimony and correspondence with the federal government.
- The Multisector Partner Group selected environmental justice as the new focus area for the center in 2022. To build the center's capacity and expertise in environmental justice, we welcomed Anthony Nicome as the center's inaugural health justice fellow to help guide the center's environmental justice activities over his two-year term.
As we reflect on the past two years, we are grateful for our many partners who made this work possible. However, we recognize that there is still much work to be done, and we remain committed to staying the path towards health equity. Thank you for joining us on this journey, and together, let’s continue to build a health justice agenda for the future.