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Promoting stronger collaborations between teaching hospitals and their local public health and community organizations.

Businessman shaking hands with colleague after meeting in office

The AAMC maintains a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to promote confidence in COVID-19 and routine pediatric vaccines and increase vaccinations around the country. As part of the CDC-funded Building Trust and Confidence Through Partnerships grant program, the AAMC granted support to five community partnerships that are promoting stronger cross-sector collaboration to improve access to and confidence in vaccines.

Map of US with pins at awardee locations

Each team is led by an AAMC-member medical school or teaching hospital, and partners include public health departments, social service agencies, and faith- or community-based organizations. The partnerships funded by the award are: 

  • Developing patient- and community-engaged, vaccine-related interventions and communication strategies.
  • Leveraging relationships with local community- and faith-based organizations to develop messaging that is relevant to marginalized communities and recognizes the varying socioeconomic needs and differing levels of trust in health systems and government, including among health care sector workers.
  • Creating vaccination campaigns tailored for hard-to-reach and/or vaccine-hesitant communities.
  • Creating interventions to build trust in both COVID-19 and routine immunizations for children and adolescents.
By the Numbers: Building Trust and Confidence Through Partnerships

Across all communities served by the five subgrantees in the first year:

62,000 community members reached
32 community partnerships developed
98 trusted messengers and champions trained
Community health workers discuss education materials in a church with stained glass windows.

Video Showcase: Community Partnerships to Build Vaccine Confidence

Watch the videos to learn about the grantees' unique and effective partnerships with their local public health departments, social service agencies, faith- and community-based organizations. 


Subgrantees from the Building Trust and Confidence Through Partnerships program share their lessons learned in their second year.

April 27, 2023

Funded by the AAMC and CDC, medical centers are partnering with their communities to use comics and technology to answer questions about COVID-19 vaccines.

Young people wearing COVID masks link arms in a huddle

A new program administered by the AAMC and funded by the CDC helps academic medicine build trust and confidence in COVID-19 vaccines within communities.

A doctor and patient wearing COVID-19 masks and looking at a tablet together.

Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Bronx, New York is home to the nation’s largest ethnically diverse West African population. Physician leaders at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center are partnering with faith-based institutions, community advisory board leaders, and medical professionals of West African origin to increase the community’s trust and confidence in the COVID-19 vaccines and routine pediatric immunizations. The partnership has developed the Captain Empath vs. COVID-19 Activity Book, a fun, culturally sensitive, educational resource for community health workers. It is also available in Spanish. Partnership results during first year of funding:

  • Formed relationships with new partners in the Bronx and in Queens, reaching new communities
  • Engaged with more than 2,000 community members at outreach events

During the second program year, there is an expanded focus on both routine and COVID-19 vaccination for families in the Bronx and Queens. A new hospital partnership has added a clinical site for referrals, and a new partner organization is facilitating expansion to the surrounding Latino community.

Henry Ford Health System

In Detroit, nearly 90% of people who die of COVID-19 are Black. Black Detroiters have low levels of community trust and low health literacy, experience high levels of poverty, and experience transportation challenges. The Henry Ford Health System, the Faith Community Nursing Network, and Trusted FACE (Faith-based Activation for COVID Elimination) are working together to engage faith leaders in Detroit as credible information sources about the COVID-19 vaccines. Partnership results during first year of funding:

  • Facilitated participation of more than 40 local congregations in the Trusted FACE network
  • Designed and delivered training to leaders across the network
  • Enhanced the documentation system to collect deidentified data for participating community members
  • Collaboratively created effective, culturally sensitive, faith-based messages

During the second program year, partners are identifying and developing youth ambassadors within their community to build trust in both routine and COVID-19 vaccinations. Youth ambassadors will use social media to reach adolescents, in particular, to combat misinformation and disinformation about vaccines.

Meharry Medical College

Davidson County, Tennessee has the second-highest number of COVID-19 cases in the state. Meharry Medical College and St. Jude Hospital have partnered with two Nashville area community organizations — Congregational Health Education Network and Better Options — to develop a culturally tailored social marketing campaign to build vaccine confidence among African Americans and Latinos in the county. YourCoVidVaxFacts.com offers information on COVID-19 vaccines for children, adults, and teens in English and in Spanish. Partnership results during first year of funding:

  • Distributed vaccination information to nearly 50,000 individuals in Davidson County
  • Achieved broad social media reach and engagement
  • Established a new partnership with Immunize TN

During the second program year, partners are focusing specifically on COVID-19 vaccination for children and adolescents, aided by a new partnership with a pediatric clinic network. Marketing and educational materials used during the first year of funding are being repurposed for use in the clinics.

University of Cincinnati College of Medicine

The University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, the Cincinnati Health Department, and First Ladies for Health (a faith-based community organization) have partnered to increase communication and education about COVID-19 vaccines by identifying health champions and other trusted sources of information. Partners developed these COVID FAQs with unique, colorful graphics to answer eight top-of-mind concerns from community members. Partnership results during first year of funding:

  • Recruited and trained nearly 70 health champions to deliver COVID-related educational messaging.
  • Developed and distributed widely used educational storybook materials
  • Increased COVID-19 vaccination rates within target communities by 10%-15%

During the second program year, partners are focusing their efforts on both COVID-19 and routine pediatric vaccination rates. They are developing new materials suitable for school-aged children and families and adding new content on a broad range of health issues. A new partnership with schools will increase the program’s reach.

Washington State University Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine

The Washington State University Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine developed a partnership with the Spokane Regional Health District and community organizations — Latinos en Spokane, The Black Lens, the Carl Maxey Center, and the Community Health Association of Spokane— to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates across Spokane county. Health sciences faculty and students assisted community health workers in hosting educational events, developing outreach materials, and supporting vaccine clinics. Partnership results during first year of funding:

  • Hosted 12 vaccine clinics, delivering vaccines to 250 community members
  • Developed the HERO (Health Equity Racial Organizing) Initiative to build a team of community leaders to address racial health inequities

During the second program year, partners are focused on increasing both COVID-19 and influenza vaccine rates among women, children, and young families, with a specific focus on community-oriented support during pregnancy and early childhood. The program now includes mobile medicine events and school-based vaccine clinics.

These subawards are funded by a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (award number 6 NU50CK000586-02-02). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The information provided does not necessarily represent the policy of CDC or HHS and should not be considered an endorsement by the Federal Government.