Don’t leave health care equity to chance: Future advocates get a boost

If you are one of the 11 physician leaders selected for the second cohort of the Medical Justice in Advocacy Fellowship, you have already proven your commitment to health equity and health advocacy. What you need now is support from experts in the field to maximize your potential.

The fellowship is an initiative created by the AMA Center for Health Equity and the Morehouse School of Medicine’s Satcher Health Leadership Institute to empower physician-led advocacy that promotes equity and removes barriers to optimal health for people from historically marginalized racial and ethnic groups.

This is the first postdoctoral fellowship of its kind. The fellowship provides a mentoring and training platform that equips participants with the foundational knowledge and skills critical to effective health equity advocacy.

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Chosen from a highly selective pool of applicants from across the United States, the 2022–2023 Medical Justice Advocacy Fellows represent a diverse field of medical professionals in a variety of specialties.

They are:

  • Jerry P. Abraham, MD, CMQ, MPH, director and chief vaccinologist at Kedren Vaccines, Los Angeles. Dr. Abraham also serves on the AMA Council on Constitution and Bylaws.
  • Dhara Amin, MD, director of the Division of Quality Improvement and Patient Safety in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Cook County Health in Chicago.
  • Nadia Norton Anspach, MD, is a medical officer with the Indian Health Service in rural Arizona.
  • Amanda Calhoun, MD, MPH, is a resident in adult and child psychiatry at the Yale Child Study Center and Yale University School of Medicine.
  • Amna Khan, MD, an outpatient pediatrician at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, in San Jose, California.
  • Greta Manning, MS, MD, a family medicine physician at Premier Medical Group, in Clarksville, Tennessee.
  • Anjali Niyogi, MD, MPH, associate professor of internal medicine and pediatrics at Tulane University School of Medicine.
  • Hannibal Persson, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine.
  • Richard Silvera, MD, MPH, assistant professor of infectious diseases at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York.
  • Carl Strid Jr., MD, MPH, assistant professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Strid also serves as Vice Chair of the AMA Advisory Committee on LGBTQ Issues.
  • Tiffany Wiggins, MD, MPH, medical officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and maternal health advisor at the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Learn more about how the Medical Justice Fellowship in Advocacy is helping physicians dig deeper into the injustices they see daily.

Also, read this In Full Health Q&A with previous contributor, Kameryn Lee, MD, MSPH, on equity, innovation, and transgender health.

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The fellowship began in September and will run through November 2023. Each fellow began with two days of intensive in-person training, followed by monthly study sessions with a multidisciplinary panel of nationally renowned experts, scientists, researchers, and current and former policymakers from various levels of government.

The fellowship program also includes flexible, blended learning opportunities that can be incorporated into a clinical schedule.

Topics the fellows will explore include:

  • Models that address social and structural drivers of health.
  • How structural, cultural, political and historical forces create inequalities.
  • The sector and the commitment of resources needed to improve community health and well-being.

Applying medical justice scholarship to advocacy aligns with the AMA’s strategic approach of collaborating with stakeholders to eliminate health disparities by pushing upstream and creating pathways for truth, reconciliation, and healing to remove barriers to patient care .

Learn more about the AMA Center for Health Equity, which is led by AMA Senior Vice President and Chief Health Equity Officer Aletta Maybank, MD, MPH.

Dr. Maybank was recently honored by Fierce Healthcare, topping the news organization’s list of the “Most Influential Minority Executives” in healthcare this year.

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