aamc.org does not support this web browser.

Four teams from across the United States are using the Principles of Trustworthiness Toolkit to improve trust in their communities.

About the Principles of Trustworthiness 

A diverse group of people sits in a circle discussing an issue. One person is talking and others are listening closely.

A long, ongoing history of mistreatment and abuse has fostered logical distrust of the health care system and other institutions across diverse communities. It is up to institutions with power and privilege to demonstrate they are worthy of trust from their communities. Trust is the foundation of the community-driven, multisector partnerships necessary to create lasting health equity for all. 

To support institutions working to become trustworthy partners, AAMC CHARGE — a national collaborative of health equity scholars, practitioners, and community partners convened by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) — gathered perspectives from a diverse group of 30 community members to create the Principles of Trustworthiness Toolkit, a guide for organizations to use to build and sustain equitable partnerships with their communities.

Librarian helping students in school library

The Principles of Trustworthiness

The Principles of Trustworthiness Toolkit is the center’s foundational ready-to-use framework and tools for organizations working to become trustworthy partners to their communities through humility, authenticity, intersectionality, and long-term commitment.

Access the Toolkit

The toolkit’s materials help facilitate discussions that cultivate organizational relationships and track lessons learned. The kit includes questions, discussion prompts, and activities that will help organizations unpack the Principles of Trustworthiness, explore how they come to life locally, and determine which actions the organizations will take to demonstrate trustworthiness. 

About the Project

To continue to center community wisdom and engagement, and to integrate local perspectives into continuous improvements of the Principles of Trustworthiness Toolkit, in 2024 and 2025 the AAMC Center for Health Justice will fund and support four multisector community partnerships as they formally use and evaluate the toolkit for one year. Beyond this initial one-year implementation and evaluation, the continued improvement of the toolkit will help organizations foster gains in trust and trustworthiness — by recognizing the knowledge and expertise in the community, taking meaningful actions, and sustaining ongoing engagement. 

Meet the Teams

Engaging Alton for Equity: Moving Towards Understanding Community Trust

  • Alton School District
  • The City of Alton
  • Greater Alton Community Development Corporation
  • Order of St. Francis St. Anthony’s Health Center
  • Southern Illinois University School of Medicine

The community of Alton, Illinois, is small but diverse. It was once a commercial center in the Mississippi River region. Today, though, the Black youth of Alton have significantly fewer opportunities than the White youth do. With less access to green spaces and mental health support, and persistent economic disparity, gun violence, and racial profiling in health care, law enforcement, and education, young people in Alton have less trust in community-based organizations, government, and health care. Engaging Alton for Equity commits to showing up, being consistent, listening instead of lecturing, and turning to those with lived experiences for solutions to their most pressing issues and aspire to be organizations that the whole community can trust.

Fathers Matter ATL: Improving Relationships Between Fathers and Agencies

  • CareSource
  • Equity in Health Consulting 
  • Father Movement 
  • Fulton County Board of Health
  • Morehouse School of Medicine Prevention Research Center

Despite robust evidence of fathers’ positive impact on children and families, African American fathers in Atlanta have identified social, logistical, cultural, and systemic injustices that discourage their trust in and engagement with the health, social, and educational systems in their community — for themselves and for their children. Fathers Matter ATL seeks to address these barriers and actively include fathers in their children’s care and services through trustworthy action, especially for fathers returning to the community from incarceration, a factor that disproportionately affects African American families in Georgia.

TRUE Together: Trust, Respect, Unity, and Equity

  • Health Education Council
  • Líderes Campesinas
  • Radio Bilingüe 
  • University of California Davis, School of Medicine, Center for Reducing Health Disparities
  • Yolo County Health and Human Services Agency

Farmworkers in Northern California face historic and current systemic injustices in environmental health hazard exposure, economic stress, and housing. The ongoing impacts of migration trauma, immigration policy, language barriers, and discrimination all contribute to logical distrust of health and social services. The TRUE Together partners will focus on building relationships and trust through open dialogue, working alongside community cultural brokers and trusted community leaders who partner with and advocate for the Latino and farmworker populations in rural counties of Northern California.

United in Trust: A Multi-sectoral Community-Academic Approach to Building and Evaluating Trust in North Omaha, Nebraska

  • Bluebird Cultural Initiative
  • Creighton University
  • Douglas County Health Department
  • Visionary Lions, LLC
  • Restoring Dignity 
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center

As the heart of Omaha’s Black community, the North Omaha neighborhood has a proud history as the birthplace of notable civil rights leaders. But it has also been the target of systematic and structural racism throughout its history, from the earliest days of segregation and redlining to continued disinvestment today, despite Omaha’s growing wealth. The partnership aims to initiate a long overdue conversation about trust and how the area’s medical and governmental institutions can demonstrate trustworthiness to the Black, Native American, and Bhutanese, Karen, Somali, and other refugee communities that call North Omaha home.