Fellow of the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved

Be Recognized for Your Outstanding Experience, Commitment, and Engagement

Providing a Professional Reference

You have been asked by an applicant to the professional designation program of the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved to submit a professional reference letter. This is an important part of their Fellow of the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved application, and your support and insight are greatly appreciated. Please use the following guidance to help structure your letter. Once completed, please share a copy of the letter with the applicant to be included in their application package.

The applicant is applying to be recognized as a Fellow of the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved. This designation is a unique and rigorous marker of one’s professional expertise in providing care and disrupting barriers to health access for people who are marginalized, minoritized, or otherwise underserved. The applicant need not be involved in direct clinical care, but should be a key component of their organization’s work and have taken on roles where they use their knowledge and experience to help provide equitable, accessible healthcare to our nation’s most vulnerable populations.

The applicant for whom you serve as a reference should not be immediate family, nor should they be your supervisor or in a leadership role that oversees your work directly or indirectly. It is preferred that reference letter writers be a supervisor or upper-level leadership who can speak with significant firsthand knowledge to the candidate’s expertise, commitment, and engagement in their work with the underserved. If not a supervisor or leader of the candidate, letter writers should be at an equivalent or higher professional level at a similar organization, have significant firsthand knowledge of the candidate’s expertise, and be a fellow member of the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved. If you feel you do not meet these guidelines, please inform the candidate so they can select an alternate letter writer. 

Writing Your Letter

When composing your professional reference letter, please use the below points as your guide. You may incorporate them into your letter as a whole, or—in lieu of a traditional letter—answer each point directly. Letters should be one page in length (roughly 500 words). Please address the following:

  • How has the candidate demonstrated a commitment to caring for the underserved, both in their profession and beyond their work life?
  • How has the candidate demonstrated expertise in caring for the underserved, including gaining and sharing knowledge around topics that directly address overcoming inequities in healthcare access, such as social drivers of health (SDOH); justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI); historical and structural barriers to healthcare access; etc.? 
  • How is the candidate recognized as an expert in providing healthcare and related services to the underserved? 
  • How has the candidate engaged with the larger underserved care community, including through organizations like ACU, participating in boards or advisory committees, through advocacy or policy, or in community or government work to help shape the future of health equity and access to care? 

Thank you for your time and support of the candidate and the Fellowship of ACU designation program. Please share a copy of the reference letter with the applicant prior to the application deadline – May 31st – to be included in their full application package.  

If you have questions or concerns, please contact ACU Program Director Luke Ertle.