The call for abstracts has closed, but you can still review information about the proposal process below. Thank you to everyone who submitted an abstract!


ACU is now accepting workshop and poster abstracts for its 2021 Annual Conference, Mission: Health Equity. The conference will take place at the Mandarin Oriental in Washington, D.C., from October 31-November 2, 2021, and we will also offer a virtual option for those who cannot attend in-person. Stay tuned for updates.

The ACU Annual Conference brings together hundreds of healthcare clinicians, as well as public health and industry leaders from across the country, all with an interest in expanding access to care and improving healthcare delivery for underserved populations. The meeting is a special opportunity for clinicians, administrators, researchers, students, and advocates to network, learn, and share strategies to support our collective work.

This year’s conference theme, Mission: Health Equity, highlights the need to work harder at eliminating health disparities by calling out and adequately addressing individual and systemic practices that contribute to poor health among BIPOC and other marginalized groups.

The conference will include 24 educational sessions, networking opportunities, a pre-conference session, and more. Continuing Education credits will be available for workshop sessions. The full conference agenda, including workshop sessions, will be published in the summer of 2021.

Workshop Proposals

Twenty-four proposals will be selected for 60- and 75-minute workshops. Sessions will be grouped into four tracks: policy, practice, workforce, and a fourth track that will be determined based on proposals that fall outside our three traditional themes. Proposals that do not fit well within the policy, practice, and workforce tracks should focus on new research or trending and emerging issues that would be of interest to health centers and all those serving the underserve. While content will cover a wide range of clinical, administrative, and advocacy topics, we encourage you to consider how your workshop promotes health equity.

Proposals for the Policy Track

Workshops in this track should focus on local, state, or national efforts to eliminate health disparities and promote health equity through advocacy or policy development. This could include completed or developing initiatives, but should document the partnerships, replicable strategies, and results of efforts that brought increased access to care or improved quality outcomes to underserved communities.

Proposals for the Practice Track

Workshops in this track should focus on innovative practices to deliver health care to underserved populations and communities, especially those where health disparities exist. Workshop content might include clinical practice guidelines, pilot projects, community outreach and partnerships, and more. Key clinical areas are primary care, oral health care, behavioral health, vision services, pharmacy, health information technology, and emergency response.

Proposals for the Workforce Track

Workshops in this track should focus on the recruitment, retention, and development of a strong and agile health center workforce. This could include any number of organizational or practice initiatives that focus on increasing the number of health professionals trained and working in underserved areas. Proposals in this track can also include organizational approaches to training the health center workforce on issues such as implicit bias, anti-racism, cultural humility, and more. Presenters are encouraged to consider leadership development, workforce diversity, and provider satisfaction in this track.

Wildcard Proposals

Workshop proposals submitted under this track do not need to address health equity but should be of interest to health centers.

Poster Presentations

Research posters will be displayed in the exhibitor hall. A team made up of faculty from the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved and ACU leadership will review and judge conference posters for their presentation, information, and innovation. One poster will be selected and awarded with the opportunity to work with the Editor of the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved to publish an article. Research Posters should be displayed on a board measuring 4ft x 6ft. Presenters must be available to discuss their posters during dedicated poster sessions.

Presenter Registration and Travel

Both workshop and poster presenters must register for the Annual Conference. All workshop and poster presenters are eligible for a $50 discount from their registration rate. We are not able to cover any travel or hotel expense; please keep this in mind when you are submitting a proposal.

Presenter Timeline and Deadlines

  • January 25, 2021 – ACU will begin accepting workshop and poster abstracts
  • February 26, 2021 – Deadline to submit abstracts
  • March 26, 2021 – Workshop selection notifications sent out

Additional Information

  • Workshops are scheduled for October 1st and October 2nd
  • Workshops are scheduled for 60- or 75-minute blocks
  • Presenters may submit abstracts for both a research poster and a workshop
  • Presenters may submit more than one workshop and/or poster abstract
  • Submissions will be reviewed by a panel of experts and scored using the criteria below. Abstracts should attempt to meet at least 3 of the 5 criteria:
    • Addresses a current issue
    • Made a lasting change
    • Can be implemented by other organizations/providers
    • Solved a problem
    • Alignment with the conference theme (exceptions made for wildcard proposals)

The Call for Abstracts Has Closed

Our call for abstracts has closed. Thank you to everyone who submitted, and stay tuned for more updates!

Please contact Sabrina Edgington with any inquiries about the submission process or the conference itself. We look forward to seeing you in Washington!