Aquifer stands in solidarity with our healthcare professional colleagues and students around the United States as we work to alleviate the racial and healthcare disparities that continue to be a critical public health issue in our country.
As the leading provider of online health professions education teaching and learning tools, we feel a deep responsibility to ensure that our educational materials do not perpetuate stereotypes in healthcare and education, our courses incorporate contemporary teaching about social determinants of health and structural factors leading to bias, and that we actively promote equitable healthcare education for underrepresented student populations.
We have been dedicated to these ideals from the onset, but there is always more work to be done. Our specific next step actions will include:
- Certify that all of our consortium members and Aquifer staff have completed anti-bias education by September 30, 2020.
- Continue to use our previously published curricular checklist to ensure contemporary teaching about structural and social determinants of health in our ongoing case maintenance process
- Create a new leadership position within our Educators Consortium to accelerate our plans to:
- More fully address social and structural determinants of health and bias in our current educational materials;
- Ensure that all new materials meet the Aquifer standards of excellence in this content area;
- Advance feedback and communication mechanisms explicitly addressing racism and healthcare disparities.
- Actively seek new partnerships to develop sustainable educational systems to support underrepresented student populations.
- Provide ongoing communication to our stakeholders about our work in these areas
We are dedicated to the success of our learners and their future patients and accept the responsibility to address these issues in a respectful, inclusive, humble, and sustained manner that reflects our core values and that of the healthcare profession in which we serve.
Sherilyn Smith, MD
Aquifer Chief Academic Officer
Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington
Leslie Fall, MD
Aquifer Chief Executive Officer