June 12, 2020

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

The last several months have been difficult and disturbing for all of us.  Our nation is enmeshed by the confluence of two major catastrophes. While in the midst of incomprehensible human and economic losses related to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have also been horrified by yet another brutal killing of a black man at the hands of police officers. 

COVID-19 has disproportionately and negatively impacted communities of color, particularly the Black community.   Contributors to the disparate impact of COVID-19 include the high prevalence of underlying health conditions, poor access to healthcare, densely populated homes and neighborhoods, and overrepresentation in “essential” work.

Analysis of these and other factors in the pandemic is essential to our honest understanding of disparities in health and health care.  The COVID 19 pandemic not only put a spotlight on healthcare disparities but also exposed our country’s lack of preparedness and cohesive leadership to respond optimally.

The death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man who was killed by a white Minneapolis police officer while three other police officers participated or looked on, amplified the systemic disregard for the lives of black people during encounters with police -- just one more example in a long history of killings and injuries at the hands of police officers.   

We are outraged and horrified.  We condemn police brutality, and all forms of bigotry and discrimination.   However, during this deeply troubling moment, there is perhaps a real opportunity to make progress and accelerate the development of sustainable solutions for addressing inequality and racial injustice as well as accelerating progress toward greater diversity, inclusion, equity, improved healthcare access and outcomes for our communities.

The AAMP was formed in 1986 with the primary mission of increasing the number of underrepresented people in biomedical research, academic medicine and ultimately health care delivery and leadership.  We call upon all of our colleagues and sister organizations that  care about the overall welfare of all people to join us to address, find and implement solutions for the health and social inequities that plague this country.  Working deliberately and actively together we can (1) advance leadership opportunities in biomedical research, academic medicine and healthcare delivery; (2) increase opportunities and remove barriers to becoming health care professionals and practitioners -- particularly physicians; and (3) eliminate racial/ethnic disparities in health and health care.

 After 400 years it is no longer acceptable to deny the racism that many face every day. It is no longer acceptable to express outrage and then move on to business as usual until the next outrageous event occurs. Racism will not disappear until it is as uncomfortable for those who are not personally affected as it is for those who are.




The Association of Academic Health Centers (AAHC) recently announced that Robert A. Barish, MD, MBA, vice chancellor for health affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago, was elected as the chair of its Board of Directors at the AAHC Annual Meeting in October.  Dr. Barish, a distinguished emergency medicine physician and academic leader, oversees the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System (UI Health) in Chicago which encompasses seven health sciences colleges, the university tertiary care hospital, 40+ outpatient clinics, the 13 FQHC network sites of the Mile Square Health Center, and the University of Illinois Cancer Center.


Dr. Barish is a long-standing member of AAMP. Prior to his current position, he spent over twenty years at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore where he held multiple leadership positions rising to the rank of Vice Dean for Clinical Affairs. Dr. Barish also served as chancellor of the LSU Health Sciences Center at Shreveport, La from 2009 to 2015, where he provided leadership for the schools of medicine, allied health, and graduate programs; a major academic medical center; and two affiliated hospitals. A former lieutenant colonel and flight surgeon in the Maryland Air National Guard, Dr. Barish was among a select group invited to become NASA astronaut candidates in the early 1990s.





Dr. Meredith Bond, AAMP Council Member


The College of Sciences and Health Professions (COSHP), Cleveland State University (CSU) received the First Place Annual President’s Diversity Award for 2019-2020. Dr. Meredith Bond, dean of COSHP and a member of the AAMP council, indicated a major new imitative was the formation of the Equity Gap Task Force which uses a data driven approach to “quantify the academic equity gap among science students from historically underrepresented backgrounds and to develop appropriate interventions.”  In making the announcement Harlan Sands, JD, MBA, president of CSU told Dr. Bond “your college is fulfilling the role envisioned in the 2019-2020 Diversity Report and Action Plan to drive strategies that build a culture of diversity and lead to equitable change across CSU.”


AAMP Introduces the new membership category of Emeritus

If you have been a member at least 15 years, have reached 70 years of age, and have paid dues or made donations in two of the last five years, then click below, complete the application and submit according to the instructions. Benefits include dues reduction to $125, registration costs of the annual meeting and a copy of the program and abstract booklet.