Fellow of the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved

Be Recognized for Your Outstanding Experience, Commitment, and Engagement

A New Professional Designation

The Fellowship of the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved (ACU) was established in 2023 by the ACU Board of Directors as a professional designation to recognize ACU members who are bona fide specialists in working with underserved populations. Fellows of ACU are recognized for their dedication to caring for those people and communities that have been minoritized, marginalized, or otherwise faced barriers to accessing healthcare and related services; deep understanding of the social, systemic, and historical factors that disrupt access to care for people and communities; and their engagement with ACU and its broader community. ACU would like to recognize the contributions of the Task Force members who informed the development of the program.  

Those eligible to receive the professional designation of Fellow of the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved must be an ACU individual member for at least one year prior to the application closing date or employed by an organization that has maintained an organizational membership for at least 2 years prior to the application closing date. Upon receiving the designation of Fellow of ACU, all fellows must become individual members if they received membership through their organization.  

Clinical and non-clinical professionals applying for the Fellowship of the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved must demonstrate a nuanced, dedicated understanding of the needs of the underserved to provide outstanding care to the communities they serve. Applicants should ensure they meet the criteria of each of the three pillars of exceptional care to the underserved shown below.

Watch a video introduction from Dr. Douglas Olson, MD, President of ACU’s Board of Directors.

Criteria

Commitment

A significant portion of the applicant’s career has been dedicated to caring for those people and communities that have been minoritized, marginalized, or otherwise faced barriers to accessing healthcare and related services.

  • At least five years of work dedicated to caring for the underserved
  • Or an equivalent amount of time spent voluntarily providing care, services, or advocacy that directly combats systemic inequities and provides care for underserved populations

Expertise

Demonstrated, deep understanding of the social, systemic, and historical factors that disrupt access to care for people and communities and best practices for providing care in those environments, such as social drivers of health (SDOH); justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI); systemic barriers to care in marginalized, rural, or tribal communities; and similar topics. Candidates should demonstrate:

  • How they have continued to expand their knowledge of these topics and developed an expertise in their field and supporting the underserved
  • How they have integrated this knowledge into their work to provide equitable, accessible, effective, and exceptional care
  • How they have passed along this knowledge to others and advocated within or beyond their organization to improve access to appropriate, effective healthcare

Engagement

Applicants have engaged with ACU and the broader community of those caring for the underserved by attending trainings, webinars, or conferences, and/or participating in ACU committees, boards, task forces, or other programming support.

Further Guidelines

Applicants will be expected to submit a thorough application with supporting materials attached as evidence of meeting the standards of each of the three pillars above. Supporting materials are described in the application below, as well as in the application FAQ here.  

Applicants must provide a letter from a professional reference (a supervisor, organizational leader, or colleague) to describe how they meet this standard of excellence in their work for underserved communities. Guidance for writing the letter can be found here.

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Deadline & Selection Notification

The due date is midnight PT on May 31st. ACU will begin application review on June 1st and send selection notifications on or before July 15th. The in-person induction ceremony will be held each year at ACU’s Conference, beginning at the 2024 Conference on August 4-7 in Washington, D.C.

If you have questions about the application requirements or issues accessing the form, please contact ACU Program Director Luke Ertle.

Application Materials

Get started on your application for the Fellowship of the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved with the materials below: