Washington, D.C. – October 20, 2021 – For Immediate Release – The Association of Clinicians for the Underserved (ACU) commends U.S. federal agencies for creating strategic plans to expand nonpartisan voter registration and engagement in response to President Biden’s Executive Order on Promoting Access to Voting. On September 28, more than a dozen agencies announced steps they will take to respond to the Administration’s call for an “all-of-government action” to further the ability of all Americans to exercise their right to vote.
“Civic health is a key element of health equity, but patients who are underserved are among the least likely to vote. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated existing barriers to civic engagement, especially for voters of color and people with disabilities such as those served by the clinicians and health centers that ACU represents,” said Amanda Pears Kelly, ACU Executive Director. “These federal initiatives represent an important starting point in helping empower patients to have a voice in issues impacting their lives while strengthening our democracy.”
For these reasons and others, ACU joins Vot-ER and other partners in welcoming any legislation or initiatives that will help empower and enable our patients and communities to register to vote and support civic engagement as a whole. Communities with strong civic health tend to have better overall health and employment, and trusted clinicians can and should play crucial, nonpartisan roles in empowering their patients for civic engagement to support a more open, engaged, and representative system of government while improving their communities’ civic health. While more work remains to be done, ACU applauds these initiatives and looks forward to working with these agencies, particularly the US Department of Health & Human Services, in taking concrete steps to advance these goals in the months to come.
The Association of Clinicians for the Underserved is a uniquely transdisciplinary membership association uniting clinicians, advocates, and organizations in the shared mission to improve the health of America’s underserved populations and to support the clinicians serving them. ACU provides professional education, training and technical assistance, and clinical tools and programs to thousands of clinicians and organizations every year to improve health equity for the underserved. Founded in 1996 by members and alumni of the National Health Service Corps (NHSC), ACU is the leading voice of advocacy for the NHSC, and its collective community includes over 10,000 organizations, individuals, and advocates. This new initiative builds on ACU’s existing workforce training, technical assistance, and advocacy efforts. To learn more about ACU, visit www.clinicians.org, like ACU on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.