Health Equity & Inclusion

American Board of Internal Medicine and ABIM Foundation’s Commitment to Health Equity

Like many organizations across the United States, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and ABIM Foundation are at a turning point, where we move from being “passively non-racist” institutions to committing ourselves to be an “actively anti-racist” influence in health care.

In the tumultuous summer of 2020, we made a public commitment to explore our role in perpetuating —intentionally or not— racial disparities in health care through our Board’s policies and programs.

And while our initial commitment in 2020 focused on racial justice, our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) strategy has broadened to bring as many voices to the table as possible, to support the ABIM Foundation’s mission to advance medical professionalism to improve health care.

In an effort to remain transparent and accountable to our community as we do this ongoing work visit to learn what ABIM and the ABIM Foundation have committed to and what we have done thus far to fulfill those commitments.

ABIM Foundation programs addressing DEI

Building Trust & Equity in IM Training Grants

The Building Trust Through Diversity, Health Care Equity, Inclusion and Diagnostic Excellence in Internal Medicine Training grant program was created to build trust in health care by supporting innovations in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Originally sponsored by 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, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has contributed to the third round of funding.

  • In June 2021, $287,500 was awarded to 32 projects at medical schools and training programs.
  • In July 2022, $400,000 was awarded to 24 projects at medical schools and training programs. This round of grants emphasized interprofessional projects that incorporate members from across the care team.
  • In November 2022, the sponsors announced a third round of funding totaling $500,000 to enhance the integration of DEI into medical education and training, with a focus on addressing diagnostic gaps that exacerbate inequity. Grants will be awarded in summer 2023.
2021 ABIM Foundation Forum: “Pursuing Trust: Striving for Equitable Health Care”

At the 2021 ABIM Foundation Forum, “Pursuing Trust: Striving for Equitable Health Care,” more than 130 clinicians, advocates and other leaders in health care came together to discuss how health care organizations can act to advance DEI and engender trust among their patients, clinicians, staff, and from the communities they serve.

During the Forum, small groups of participants discussed scenarios gathered from the real-life experiences of clinicians. The scenarios and the feedback and solutions collected from participants became the basis of a curriculum that focuses on the role of self- and situational-awareness in building trust and addressing bias in health care. ABIM Foundation has sponsored a proof of concept curriculum that will be easy to implement, have face validity, be attractive to medical training institutions, and align with the Building Trust Through Diversity, Health Care Equity, Inclusion and Diagnostic Excellence in Internal Medicine Training grant program.

Pursing trust and striving for equitable health care at the 2021 ABIM Foundation Forum – November 2021

The love we saw during the 2021 ABIM Foundation Forum – September 2021

Countering Medical Misinformation Grants

ABIM and the ABIM Foundation have prioritized medical misinformation. To help correct the scourge of medical misinformation which experienced a resurgence during the pandemic, especially among Black and Latino populations, in June 2022, the Foundation awarded $110,000 to two organizations that are identifying and countering health misinformation in diverse communities.

Factchequeado, a project by and Chequeado, is the first organized effort to address the lack of Spanish-language fact-checking in the U.S., and has received an $80,000 grant to monitor and respond to misinformation claims, with a focus on those that are trending on WhatsApp. Factchequeado pushes high-quality information where misinformation is spreading, rather than depending on individuals to seek out factual health information independently. Through the grant, Factchequeado will partner with Spanish-language media organizations and with fact-checking entities to help them produce more content in Spanish.

A $30,000 grant will enable Cuidate/Take Care Annapolis, a health education outreach program born during the pandemic, to expand its reach beyond the COVID-19 information it dispensed to Latino and Black communities during the health emergency to include support for persons with chronic illnesses.

ABIM Foundation Awards $110K to Two Organizations Combating Medical Misinformation – June 2022

John A. Benson, Jr. MD Professionalism Article Prize

Winners of the ABIM Foundation’s 12th annual John A. Benson, Jr. MD Professionalism Article Prize wrote about topics pertinent to DEI. Topics included being black in medicine, depression in medical school, the misplaced labeling of health workers as heroes, and blowing the whistle on misinformation. The ABIM Foundation first awarded the prize in 2011 to celebrate and encourage outstanding contributions to the literature on medical professionalism. Over the past 12 years, 700 articles have been considered for the award, with 46 winning pieces.

We Got Us Grant

The We Got Us program is a collective of Boston-based Black health care professionals and students dedicated to empowering Black communities through evidence-based tools to make informed health decisions about COVID-19 and vaccinations. In 2021, ABIM Foundation provided a grant to Tri-county community Network on behalf of the We Got Us program.

ABIM Foundation supports the We Got Us Empowerment Project – December 2021

Leapfrog Group’s Lives & Dollars Lost Calculator Grant

The Leapfrog Group’s Lives & Dollars Lost Calculator helps purchasers, providers, and hospitals recognize harm to vulnerable populations and how that harm wastes resources within their own sphere of responsibility. ABIM Foundation provided a grant for a six-month project to explore the feasibility of expanding the Lives & Dollars Lost Calculator to estimate lives lost and dollars wasted due to racial, ethnic, and language-based disparities in harm from patient safety events.

AFFIRM (American Foundation for Firearm Injury Reduction in Medicine) at the Aspen Institute Grant

AFFIRM (American Foundation for Firearm Injury Reduction in Medicine) at the Aspen Institute is the nation’s leading nonprofit dedicated to ending the American firearm injury epidemic using a public health approach. ABIM Foundation provided a grant for AFFIRM to create a “Reframe playbook” that will codify the Reframe program and include extensive materials that can be adapted for various concerns including firearm suicide, firearm domestic violence, firearm community violence, unintentional firearm injury, firearm targeted violence and mass shootings.

DiverseMedicine Inc - Black Men in White Coats Grant

Founded in 2011 to foster diversity in medicine through mentorship and motivation, Dallas-based DiverseMedicine Inc. creates and implements community programs to expose underrepresented students to the field of medicine. The ABIM Foundation provided a grant for DiverseMedicine to evaluate the nationwide impact of its various diversity, equity and inclusion programs, including Black Men in White Coats.

Read more about our DEI efforts