The World Health Organization defines health as “A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity".

Health starts beyond the doors of the clinic and inequities in health do as well. Equity means addressing the structural and systemic inequalities that create disparities in health, it means not only insuring access to care for all, but fighting for social, economic and environmental justice.


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Race, Ethnicity and Culture in Health

The Race, Ethnicity, and Culture in Health (REACH) committee aims to reduce health disparities between different racial, ethnic and cultural groups through advocacy, education and service. Our goals include:

  • Strengthening cultural competency in medical education,
  • Promoting diversity of the physician workforce,
  • Empowering future physicians to actively engage in the political and social movement towards health equity.

“Health equity is within our REACH”

Get Involved

  • January Health Equity Week of Action (HEWA)
    Interested in learning more about and impacting the root and "upstream" causes of health disparities and inequities? HEWA sheds light on and provides ways for chapters to get involved in a national action week on issues important to addressing health inequities in our communities.

  • Health Equity Scholars Program (HESP)
    The Health Equity Scholars program explores being active within the context of a systems-oriented approach to enhancing people’s status to address health inequalities and injustices in the United States and abroad.

  • Cultural Sensitivity Scholars Program (CSSP)
    Through the Cultural Sensitivity Scholars Program, scholars develop the knowledge and skills to be both culturally competent and humble.
  • Education Equity Initiative
    - Learn about current disparities in education access for immigrants
    - Examine the connection between education and health
    - Take action to support education access

Projects-in-a-Box Toolkits

White Coat Cards

Get Informed

  • The National Health Equity Coalition is a policy and advocacy network committed to the elimination of racial and ethnic health disparities and the achievement of health equity.

  • The Office of Minority Health and Health Equity (OMHHE) aims to accelerate CDC’s health impact in the U.S. population and to eliminate health disparities for vulnerable populations as defined by race/ethnicity, socio‐economic status, geography, gender, age, disability status, risk status related to sex and gender, and among other populations identified to be at‐ risk for health disparities

  • The Institute of Medicine (IOM) is an independent, nonprofit organization that works outside of government to provide unbiased and authoritative advice to decision makers and the public. The IOM asks and answers the nation’s most pressing questions about health and health care.

  • Unnatural Causes is the acclaimed documentary series broadcast by PBS and now used by thousands of organizations around the country to tackle the root causes of our alarming socio-economic and racial inequities in health.

  • Association of Clinicians for the Underserved (ACU) is a transdisciplinary organization of clinicians, advocates and healthcare organizations that provide health care for the underserved.

  • Kaiser Family Foundation: Minority Health

Health Equity Webinars

Webinar: Medical School Admissions and DACA Applicants - The Case for Change (March 2014)
Presenter: Benji Perin, MSII from Univ of Washington SOM; Cofounder of Med-Students for Dreamer Applicants
Explore the background of why undocumented students have historically been unable to apply to medical school, and how the DACA program has changed the landscape. What obstacles remain as schools decide whether to open their doors to DREAMers - young men and women who were brought to the US illegally as children? What’s the case for change? How many DREAMers will be attending med school next year, at the first school in the nation to change their policy, and what is residency like for the first DREAMers who have already begun their training? Also take a look at the student-led national campaign to change admissions policy – - providing students with tools they can use at their own schools (both to learn and act), and linking the work at each medical school with a map of active petitions.
Listen to the recorded webinar.

Webinar: Mental Health and the Affordable Care Act (Feb 2014)
Webinar Recording
Guest Speaker, Stephen Kemble, MD, is a graduate of Harvard Medical School, a psychiatrist who also trained in Internal Medicine, an assistant professor at the John A. Burns School of Medicine, a past president of the Hawaii Medical Association, and a member of Physicians for a National Health Program.

Racism & Its Effects on SDoH (Oct 2010)
Dr. Camara Jones MD, MPH, PhD
How does racism affect social determinants of health and our individual health as well as the health of our nation? What are 3 different levels of racism that affect health?

Committee Leadership

Sheri Newcomb
Sherie Newcomb
Soham Chaudhari
Soham Chaudhari
Health Equity
Laura Chilcutt
Laura Chilcutt
Cultural Sensitivity

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