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What You Can Do

The American Medical Association, its various departments including Ethics Standards, and many other agencies and organizations have created a range of reports and recommendations to provide physicians, health professionals and the public with tools to address health disparities. To supplement these resources, the following list was compiled to suggest specific actions that you can take to help reduce disparities in your community.

(The listing of an organization on this Web page does not constitute endorsement by the American Medical Association.)

Advocate
Contact your representatives in the United States Senate and House
Find out who is representing you in the U.S. government and let them know your views on issues relating to health care and disparities. Communicating with your representatives on issues you feel are important is an excellent way to make your voice heard. Congressional representatives often assume that each communication they receive represents a large number of like-minded individuals who have not take the time to write or call.

Learn
Training opportunity links
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Office of Minority Health

Internship program for students of minority-serving institutions (undergraduate and graduate students)
Directors of health promotion and education

Summer enrichment programs (undergraduate and graduate students)
The Institute for Diversity in Health Management

Fellowship in minority health policy (all students and teachers)
The Commonwealth Fund/Harvard University

Educate
Do a grand rounds on health disparities
Hospitals and health care centers often offer opportunities for physicians and residents to present information on specific topics. Use one of our speaker's kits (race and trust, raising awareness of the issue), or develop your own presentation and help raise awareness about heath disparities and how they can be reduced.

Disparities presentations by and for the general public
Members of the general public who want to help raise awareness about health disparities, can also use the speaker's kit developed by the American Medical Association, or develop a presentation of their own. Many forums are available (such as church groups, YMCAs, community groups, etc.) for presenting informational sessions about health disparities to local physicians, allied health professionals, and community members.

Use your language skills
If you are qualified, work with hospitals, free clinics, or community centers and help their volunteers become familiar with foreign medical terms.

Additional resources
National Association of Community Health Centers
Information and resources for health centers, lawmakers, and clinicians on legislative action and regulations, funding and education opportunities, and technical assistance and training.

Health Disparities Collaboratives
Health centers can apply to join a local collaborative and receive guidance and training on how to become more responsive to the needs of their community.