“Civic engagement is good for health,” writes Heather Pierce, JD, MPH, director of policy for the AAMC Center for Health Justice, in a new opinion piece published in MedPage Today. Research on participation in activities that improve the quality of life in communities shows positive impacts on self-reported health status, encourages continued participation in civic engagement later in life, and builds social capital in communities. The activities that academic medical centers and hospitals can and should undertake to promote civic engagement are bolstered by the benefits to individuals, communities, healthcare providers, and the nation. National Voter Registration Day (Sept. 20) is an ideal time to consider how much more inclusive our democracy would be if every person who came through the health care system had the voter registration tools and assistance they needed.
The AAMC is collaborating with Vot-ER on efforts to advance civic engagement around health. Learn more about what your organization can do to facilitate voter registration.