A video presentation (see below) explained that the AAFP's EveryONE Project aims to advance health equity by promoting evidence-based strategies that support community and policy changes, creating tools to help family physicians and their teams advocate for health equity, and collaborating with others who share these values.
"At the AAFP, we believe that everyone deserves to live their healthiest life," the video says. "And we know that good health isn't just about health care. Health is determined, too, by economic stability, neighborhood and physical environment, education, access to food and social connections. More and more, these factors are contributing to health inequities in America."
Danielle Jones, M.P.H., manager of the AAFP's CDHE told AAFP News The EveryONE project will coalesce family medicine and other medical specialties and industries around the central theme that all communities are entitled to optimal health.
"It will provide an opportunity for family physicians to engage their communities as leaders and subject matter experts on the subject of health equity using specific tools to have a local impact," she said. "More importantly, it provides a platform for them to speak to the issue of health equity with the backing and support of a national organization like the AAFP."
Even before the project officially launched, Jones joined Kevin Kovach, Dr.P.H., M.Sc., population health manager in the AAFP Health of the Public and Science Division, to present "Family Medicine Leading the Way: A Journey from Health Disparities to Health Equity" Sept. 13 at FMX.
- On Sept. 15, the AAFP's Center for Diversity and Health Equity (CDHE) unveiled The EveryONE Project during the 2017 Family Medicine Experience (FMX) in San Antonio.
- The CDHE collected member input this year to inform the development of a toolkit to support their local health equity efforts.
- In 2018, FMX in New Orleans will focus on health equity, and The EveryONE Project will be integrally involved in all aspects of the conference.
The presentation educated participants about
- the scope of social determinants that affect health, income, education, race and geography;
- family physicians' role in building a culture that supports health equity through detection, understanding, providing solutions and action; and
- how the Academy is taking a lead role in advancing health equity with a unified purpose by engaging people, establishing practices and creating a platform.
The EveryONE Project Toolkit
This year, the AAFP's CDHE collected member input to inform the development of a toolkit to support their local health equity efforts.
"The new toolkit will synthesize in one place all that we know and understand about the process of including a screening protocol for social risk in the clinical setting," Jones said. "It will inform members about how to assess the needs of their population, how to establish reciprocal referral processes with community social service agencies, information on how to capture this social risk in EHRs, and on coding and billing to support reimbursement."
The toolkit will be anchored by a mix of evidence-based and innovative new practices, Kovach added.
Coming in 2018
In 2018, FMX in New Orleans will focus on health equity, and The EveryONE Project will be integrally involved in all aspects of the conference.
"I envision that every topic will include some content on current health disparities," Jones said, which could include
- content specific to body systems (e.g., cardiovascular, reproductive);
- efforts to reduce disparities in these topic areas;
- continued emphasis on screening and community partnerships; and
- local and national advocacy.
"Striving for health equity is more of a movement than an intervention," Kovach said. "It will require a change in culture, a change in the belief systems people have, a change in how people pick and choose priorities and go about their day-to-day work.
"Striving for health equity is an adaptive challenge, not a technical challenge. While toolkits can be helpful, the driving forces will be individual, organizational and public policy changes."
Related AAFP News Coverage
2017 Family Medicine Experience
New AAFP President Hears, Understands Family Physicians' Concerns
2017 AAFP FMX: Day Two(storify.com)