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Leading Internal Medicine Organizations Create Grant Program to Build Trust by Supporting Innovations in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

November 10, 2020 (PRLEAP.COM) Health News
PHILADELPHIA The Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine (AAIM), the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), the ABIM Foundation, the American College of Physicians (ACP) and the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation are pleased to announce a new grant program for internal medicine residents and faculty members. The program will support projects designed to promote trust and create a more equitable health system by incorporating diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) into the fabric of internal medicine education and training.

America's medical school graduates are disproportionately likely to be white: in 2019, only 6.2 percent of medical school graduates were Black and 5.3 percent were Hispanic. There is evidence that creating environments that promote diversity, equity and inclusion benefit both medical professionals and the diverse patients they serve. For example, a recent study found that Black men were more likely to receive preventive services when a Black physician recommended them. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and the nation grapples with ongoing systemic racism, the sponsoring organizations invite grant applications from educators and learners seeking to enhance trust and equity across the entirety of the health care system.

Specifically, the sponsors are seeking proposals that address the relationship between trust and issues of bias and diversity at the patient/physician, team and health system levels. A Request for Application can be found here. Letters of intent are due on December 10 and selected applicants will be invited to submit full proposals early next year. Grants will be awarded in Spring 2021.

Examples of successful projects could include:
  • Innovations in medical education and training that incorporate DEI best practices
  • Quality improvement programs designed to improve health equity, including through interdisciplinary teams
  • Approaches for health systems and hospitals to demonstrate cultural competence and empathy
  • Innovative approaches to create collaborative partnerships between health systems and community-based service organizations in underserved communities
  • Programs for medical students, trainees and faculty to improve communication and interview skills to address patient concerns about bias

  • "This program is designed both to improve the quality of internal medicine education and training and to create a more trustworthy health system that serves everyone," said Richard A. Baron, MD, the President and CEO of the ABIM and the ABIM Foundation. "Trust is essential to a successful health system. Finding creative ways to help internal medicine physicians build a more inclusive and equitable system can help engender trust among those with justifiable mistrust."

    The sponsors are devoting a total of $300,000, which will include awards at the $20,000, $5,000 and $2,500 levels.

    "The Alliance is dedicated to advancing DEI in undergraduate and graduate medical education," said L. James Nixon, MD, Chair of the AAIM Board of Directors and Vice Chair for Education in the Department of Medicine at University of Minnesota Medical School. "These grants will provide opportunities for our member institutions to develop effective programs and valuable research that can then be shared across the academic internal medicine community."

    "Our hope is that this grant initiative and the programs that result from it will help advance health equity and increase diversity, equity and inclusion in medical education, training and practices, which will benefit health systems and organizations, trainees, internists, their patients, and their communities," said Jacqueline W. Fincher, MD, MACP, ACP President.

    "The Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation aims to improve clinical learning environments by prioritizing diversity and equity so that students, residents, faculty and the patients they care for experience an authentic sense of belonging," said Holly Humphrey, MD, MACP, the Foundation's President. "These grants will stimulate innovation in internal medicine education so that the fundamentals of trust are built on a framework of diversity, equity, and inclusion."

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    About the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine
    AAIM represents over 11,000 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.

    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.

    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 163,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), 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.

    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.

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