AMSA's 2015 Annual Convention
Join Us Next Spring
in Washington, DC!

February 26 - March 1, 2015 

Health Equity & Health Justice

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.

Health Equity Week of Action (HEWA)
January 2013

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 (HESP) seeks to equip students with a systems-oriented approach to health inequalities and injustices in the United States and abroad. The program is based on the principle that many health inequalities are not merely inevitable; they are avoidable, unjust, and something can and should be done about them. Along with building an argument for this perspective, the Program will provide Scholars with practical skills and tools to educate their peers and organize initiatives to address health disparities in their communities.

Health Equity Webinar Series
Ensuring a Voice at the Table for All

Health equity is the right of all members of society to achieve the best possible health and to not have their health negatively affected by avoidable, unfair, and unjust policies or conditions within the system in which they live. However, not everyone has a voice at the table - especially underrepresented groups who are socioeconomically disadvantaged or who have been victims of historical injustices. Inequitable distribution of or access to social, economic, and health resources can affect a groups’ attitude, behavior and health outcomes. Too often as health professions students, we have a myopic view of our place in the health care system and we focus primarily on issues that have to do with our medical education and individual patient care. Learn how to be a patient advocate and how to enact positive change at the community or population level to have both a far-reaching and long-lasting impact on health outcomes.



October 2010: Racism & Its Effects on SDoH
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?

Dr. Camara Jones, a family physician and epidemiologist and the Research Director on Social Determinants of Health and Equity in the Division of Adult and Community Health at the CDC, who was featured in the Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick? documentary will discuss the impact of racism on health. She will also discuss 3 levels of racism that affect health: institutionalized, personally mediated, and internalized through her allegory of the Gardener's Tale. She seeks to broaden the national health debate to include not only universal access to high quality health care, but also attention to the social determinants of health (including poverty) and the social determinants of equity (including racism).

September 2010: Advocating for Social and Health Justice
Dr. Adewale Troutman, a passionate and influential leader in the health equity movement

HEWA Resources

Health Equity

Health Equity Partners

Native Health Initiative 
We are the only American Indian (AI) partnership in the U.S. that is run by Tribes working with health professions students. Other unique aspects to our partnership

  • Health projects created and driven by Tribal communities
  • 95% funded by loving service and only 5% monetary donations
  • Community members and volunteers share of their cultures
  • Communities empower their youth to realize their heritage, their potential, and their power to become leaders
  • No room for negativity, but we always recognize there is room for improvement

The Native Health Initiative, a partnership to address health inequities through loving service, envisions a day when we include underserved populations in the U.S. in our definition of "global health", a day when it is just as sexy (or more so!) to serve marginalized communities in your midst as opposed to going halfway around the world to find areas of need.