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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 supported 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.

Demonstrating Trustworthiness: Community-Academic Partnerships Improving Health Together

This July, join the AAMC Center for Health Justice for a two-part interactive learning series on approaches to building stronger partnerships between community organizations and academic medicine.

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 Indigenous peoples, the nation’s largest ethnically diverse West African population, and immigrant communities from Central America and Bangladesh. Physician leaders at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center are partnering with faith-based institutions, community advisory board leaders, medical professionals of West African origin, and others 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 highlights during the two-year program:

  • Formed relationships with new partners in the Bronx and in Queens, reaching new communities
  • Trained more than 30 medical physician residents on how to engage with vaccine-hesitant families
  • Engaged with more than 2,900 community members at outreach events

Albert Einstein Program activities and accomplishments

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 and youth ambassadors in Detroit as credible information sources about the COVID-19 and routine pediatric vaccines. Partnership highlights from the two-year program:

  • Facilitated participation of more than 40 local faith congregations in the Trusted FACE network
  • Collaboratively created effective, culturally sensitive, faith-based messages
  • Engaged 12 youth leaders and health ambassadors to create and promote trust in the health care system and vaccines; and to dispel medical misinformation and disinformation via social media

Henry Ford Health Program activities and accomplishments

Meharry Medical College

Davidson County, Tennessee had 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. A toolkit with posters, images, and content for social media, text messages, one-pagers, and talking points was created for pediatric health care providers to use in their clinics. Partnership highlights from the two-year program:

  • Distributed vaccination information to nearly 50,000 individuals in Davidson County
  • Established a new partnership with Immunize TN
  • Participated in more than 40 community events and disseminated 6,000 educational materials

Meharry Program activities and accomplishments

University of Cincinnati College of Medicine

The University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, the Cincinnati Health Department, First Ladies for Health (a faith-based community organization), We Engage 4 Health, Health Care Access Now, Cancer Justice Network, and Santa Maria Community Services have partnered to increase communication and education about COVID-19 and routine pediatric 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 highlights from the two-year program:

  • Recruited and trained over 75 health champions to deliver COVID-19 and routine pediatric vaccine-related education to more than 500 community members
  • Co-developed two culturally relevant stories in English and Spanish

University of Cincinnati Program activities and accomplishments

Washington State University Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine

Spokane Washington is home to Latino, Black, Asian, and immigrant communities. 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 and pediatric routine 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 highlights from the two-year program:

  • Administered vaccines to more than 500 community members at more than 20 vaccine clinics
  • Developed the HERO (Health Equity Racial Organizing) Initiative to build a team of community leaders to address racial health inequities
  • Connected dozens of residents with a primary care provider

WSU Program activities and accomplishments

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.