The Association of Clinicians for the Underserved’s Annual Reports showcase selected accomplishments and initiatives in our ongoing programs, training and technical assistance, and advocacy to improve the health of underserved populations and support the clinicians that serve them across the United States.
As ACU celebrated our 26th year, our community and organization made powerful progress in our shared work for health equity. To continue to effectively support our community, ACU grew exponentially, debuting new programming, achieving record-breaking membership, and unveiling a new strategic plan. This report highlights those achievements, from expanding initiatives to bolster health center workforce recruitment and retention, expand eye health and vision care at health centers, and support National Health Service Corps (NHSC) members to vital advocacy, exciting events, and our ever-expanding work for justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Despite the pandemic’s challenges, our community’s incredible commitment to underserved populations shone through, and together we made powerful progress in our shared work to achieve health equity for all in 2021. In this monumental year, ACU grew exponentially as our staff and network raised our organization to new heights. This report highlights those achievements, ranging from expanding our programs to support workforce recruitment and retention and a new initiative to help prepare National Health Service Corps (NHSC) members to work in underserved communities to singular advocacy and a renewed commitment to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in all that we do.
In a year of crisis—from the emergence of COVID-19 to funding instability for key health programs—our community demonstrated exceptional resilience, and together we have made powerful strides in achieving our mission. These achievements range from our work to connect health centers with vital personal protective equipment in response to COVID-19 and our STAR² Center’s workforce trainings which reached more than 2,100 attendees to our redesigned website and brand. The report also highlights other program and educational milestones, including our first Virtual Conference, the provision of $60,000 in grants to help FQHCs start vision services, and the training of 1,700 providers and team members in suicide prevention in primary care.