Programs will advance health equity and address diagnostic gaps
Lack of trust in health care can have significant consequences for the health of diverse communities. To explore ways to address this challenge, a coalition of funders working toward improving trust in health care have awarded $470,000 in grants to twenty projects at medical schools and teaching hospitals across the United States.
Examples of funded projects include:
- Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center will establish a curriculum for internal medicine residents to raise awareness of rural-urban health disparities; establish a residency-led mobile health unit that will enable interdisciplinary teams to connect with underserved communities; provide free preventive health screening for hypertension, diabetes, and other conditions to build trust with rural and underserved communities in Idaho; and use the mobile health unit initiative to introduce diversity, equity, and inclusion principles into its internal medicine residency training program.
- State University of New York at Buffalo will support a curriculum that will enable internal medicine residents to recognize the patient experience through role playing and by partnering with community-based organizations. The curriculum will help residents better understand barriers to health equity and reflect on practices that inadvertently create gaps in care.
- University of Utah will develop workshops to teach internal medicine residents about culturally competent care. Residents will engage in case-based learning with community health workers, and learn how to collaborate with community health workers as part of a multi-disciplinary team in inpatient and outpatient settings.
- University of Wisconsin will teach upper-level residents about race-based diagnostic bias, how it develops, and how to mitigate it through a series of interactive workshops. Residents will also learn about the history and impact of “racialized medicine,” and its impact on the local community.
The funding is being awarded by the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine (AAIM), the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), the ABIM Foundation, the American College of Physicians (ACP), the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation.
“This initiative represents a significant step forward in promoting a more inclusive and equitable health care system,” said AAIM president and CEO Polly E. Parsons, MD, MACP, FCCP, ATSF. “The work of the grant recipients will help to improve patient outcomes by addressing health disparities so that ultimately all individuals can receive equitable and high-quality care. I am proud to represent academic internal medicine education in this endeavor.”
“ACP is honored to be part of awarding these grants to the worthy recipients and we look forward to their efforts to advance DEI and to create more equity in health systems by incorporating DEI into the fabric of internal medicine education and training,” said Omar T. Atiq, MD, FACP, president of ACP. “Dedicated work in this area will benefit medical professionals and the patients they treat so that our health care system can be more just and equitable. The results of these grants will also benefit organizations, trainees, internal medicine physicians, their patients and their communities.”
Grants range from $10,000 to $40,000, depending on the scope of the program, and will support inter-professional projects that are led by internal medicine residents, fellows, and faculty focused on improving trust and advancing health equity. Several grants will also address diagnostic gaps that exacerbate inequity.
These grants bring the total amount dedicated to addressing health inequities from sponsors to nearly $1.2 million. In 2021, $287,500 was awarded to 32 projects, and in 2022, $400,000 was awarded to 24 projects. This year, sponsors received 105 requests for support from health systems across the United States.
“By addressing health care inequities at their core, we are working toward a society where everyone, regardless of their background or circumstances, has equal opportunities to lead healthy lives,” said Richard J. Baron, MD, president and CEO of the American Board of Internal Medicine and the ABIM Foundation. “Supporting these 20 programs is just one necessary step toward that goal, and toward building a more trustworthy health care system.”
“Factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, geography, age, and disability can lead to diagnostic inequities and errors. That often leads to higher levels of distrust in the system and poorer health outcomes,” said Daniel Yang, MD, program director of Patient Care at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. “We are proud to support the Diagnostic Excellence grants working to address diagnostic gaps that impact these communities.”
“The Macy Foundation knows that medical education must have a strong social mission to serve the public’s needs and improve the health of the public,” said Holly J. Humphrey, MD, MACP, president of the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation. “These grants support innovative projects to help the next generation of physicians tackle the challenges their patients encounter when seeking health and health care in America. We are delighted to support this work.”
Organizations receiving grant funding in 2023 include:
- Duke University School of Medicine*
- Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center
- Emory University School of Medicine
- Jesse Brown VA Medical Center/Northwestern University
- LSU Health Shreveport School of Medicine
- Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School
- Northwell Health
- Northwestern University
- One Brooklyn Health
- Parkland Health
- Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University
- State University of New York at Buffalo
- UAB Heersink School of Medicine
- Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
- University of California – Los Angeles
- University of Iowa
- University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
- University of Utah
- University of Wisconsin
*Awarded two grants.
About the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine
AAIM represents over 12,000 academic internal medicine faculty and administrators at medical schools and community-based teaching hospitals in the US and Canada. Its mission is to promote the advancement and professional development of its members, who prepare the next generation of internal medicine physicians and leaders through education, research, engagement, and collaboration. Follow AAIM on Twitter @AAIMOnline.
About the American Board of Internal Medicine
Since its founding in 1936 to answer a public call to establish more uniform standards for physicians, certification by the ABIM has stood for the highest standard in internal medicine and its 21 subspecialties. Certification has meant that internists have demonstrated – to their peers and to the public – that they have the clinical judgment, skills and attitudes essential for the delivery of excellent patient care. ABIM is not a membership society, but a physician-led, non-profit, independent evaluation organization. Our accountability is both to the profession of medicine and to the public.
About the ABIM Foundation
The ABIM Foundation’s mission is to advance medical professionalism to improve the health care system by collaborating with physicians and physician leaders, medical trainees, health care delivery systems, payers, policymakers, consumer organizations and patients to foster a shared understanding of professionalism and how they can adopt the tenets of professionalism in practice. To learn more about the ABIM Foundation, visit www.abimfoundation.org, connect on LinkedIn or follow on Twitter.
About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 160,000 internal medicine physicians, related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
About the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation fosters path-breaking scientific discovery, environmental conservation, patient care improvements and preservation of the special character of the Bay Area. Visit www.moore.org or follow @MooreFound.
About the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation
Since 1930, the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation has worked to improve health care in the United States. Founded by Kate Macy Ladd in memory of her father, prominent businessman Josiah Macy Jr., the Foundation supports projects that broaden and improve health professional education. It is the only national foundation solely dedicated to this mission. Visit the Macy Foundation at macyfoundation.org and follow on Twitter at @macyfoundation.