The AAMC announced in a September 21 press release the launch of the new AAMC Center for Health Justice. The center will align and augment the efforts of the nation’s medical schools, teaching hospitals, research institutions, and other local and national organizations to enhance health equity through community collaboration. For the AAMC and academic medicine, this means working alongside organizations from other sectors, community leaders, and community members, and encouraging local efforts to build partnerships between a community's organizations and its stakeholders.
“The traditional tripartite mission of academic medicine—medical education, clinical care, and research—is not enough to achieve health equity for all,” said David J. Skorton, MD, AAMC president and CEO. “The AAMC and academic medicine cannot achieve health equity alone. The AAMC Center for Health Justice is a space to come out of our siloes and work together with greater intention and with all our communities’ needs in mind.”
To achieve its goals, the center will conduct research, draft policy recommendations, and create on-the-ground programs. It will bring together leaders from diverse sectors, including health care, business, and government. Above all, it will connect with local communities. “Listening to local voices is crucial because those closest to injustice are those best able to identify solutions to that injustice,” said founding director Philip M. Alberti, PhD.
The center's initial efforts will focus on improving health equity data infrastructure and addressing maternal health inequities. A third focus area will be announced in 2022, informed by nationwide public polling and co-developed by a team of local and national leaders in health equity and other sectors such as housing, transportation, and law, that contribute to community health.