Washington, D.C. – October 5, 2021 – For Immediate Release – The Association of Clinicians for the Underserved (ACU) and Abt Associates are collaborating on a new Bureau of Health Workforce initiative that prepares National Health Service Corps (NHSC) pathway participants to serve communities with longstanding health needs.

The NHSC Empowering Clinicians for Resiliency and Transformative Care Initiative supports members of the NHSC Scholarship Program and Students to Service Loan Repayment Program by building their capacity to address the root causes contributing to health inequities. The initiative also works to build resiliency among NHSC pathway participants by addressing common drivers of burnout and stress during routine practice and during a public health crisis.

“Community advocacy and partnerships are critical to addressing social determinants of health. In addition to understanding the local resources available to assist patients, this initiative engages NHSC pathway participants in understanding how to work with community leaders to get at the root cause of issues driving poor health and advocate for systemic changes to maximize impact,” says Amanda Pears Kelly, Executive Director of ACU. “Clinicians play a hugely important role in advocating for their patients. As providers, they are ideally positioned to bring awareness to local issues contributing to health disparities which have a ripple effect across the whole community.”

The NHSC Empowering Clinicians for Resiliency and Transformative Care Program also uses educational materials, case studies, and mentorships to prepare NHSC pathyway participants for the demands of working with underserved populations. Through this initiative, NHSC pathway participants will have a better idea of what to expect when they begin working at their NHSC-approved sites and will have the skills to recognize when they need to pause and focus on their own emotional wellbeing so they can remain in a healthy space throughout their career.

“Working with underserved populations is both difficult and rewarding. Many patients receiving care at NHSC-approved sites have low incomes, are uninsured or underinsured, and have extremely complex healthcare needs. Many of their needs cannot be addressed in a single clinic visit and require a holistic approach. When clinicians are prepared to address their patients’ complete needs, and when they work in a supportive environment, this work can be extremely rewarding and has led to many clinicians choosing to stay at their service sites long after they’ve met their obligation,” said Pears Kelly.  “We are thrilled to partner with Abt in this important work and look forward to supporting both clinicians, as they do the vital work of caring for the nation’s underserved patients and communities, as we endeavor to address and put an end to health disparities at their root.”

ACU is currently recruiting NHSC members and alumni who are interested in serving on Committees, participating in trainings and technical assistance, and serving as mentors for new NHSC pathway participants. Learn more and sign up here.  

About ACU

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.

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Sabrina Edgington
Senior Director of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Initiatives