Institute for the Advancement of Multicultural & Minority Medicine
A Message from the
Richard Allen Williams, MD
It is a privilege to serve as chair of the board of directors of the Institute for the Advancement of Multicultural & Minority Medicine (IAMMM). During 2003-2005, IAMMM clearly defined its mission; solidified its infrastructure; increased visibil- ity; and, perhaps most important, established key partnerships with health professionals and other health care providers, corporations, community organizations, consumer advocates, lawmakers and others.
In addition to targeting disparities in health and health care, IAMMM worked to improve minority representation in the health care professions and to develop, implement and support educational and training programs for medical profession- als already working in the field. We have built a strong network of historically black colleges and universities and their re- spective medical schools, as well as individual physicians and health care providers to help us accomplish these objectives.
These programs and initiatives are all part of IAMMM’s strategy for long-term success as it takes the lead in the fight to eliminate disparities in health and health care. Although the overall health of the nation has improved, statistics continually show that people of color continue to be disproportionately affected by chronic diseases, have inadequate access to health care, and have shorter life spans in comparison to whites. Our motto, Elimination Through Collaboration, is the most effective way to work to close these gaps. By developing partnerships across racial lines and professional disciplines, we will reach our goal to eliminate disparities. Also, it will enable us to raise awareness, educate communities, and improve health care outcomes and the quality of care given to minority and other underserved communities. Collaborating with national health and consumer organizations and others enables us to reach the greatest number of people.
We have created a tiered approach that begins with strengthening linkages between key groups: policy makers, journalists, health care professionals and community leaders. It is important to initiate an ongoing dialogue between communities, health care professionals and legislators. Lawmakers play a significant role in shaping policy, such as the Medicare Part D program, that are then implemented by health professionals and impact millions of people. IAMMM’s role is to translate policy and research findings into action by developing initiatives that are culturally and linguistically appropriate.
As we move forward, we want to solicit your support of and participation in all of our innovative initiatives, such as our Scholars in Residence program that will take important information for dealing with health care disparities taught by the best experts to at least three cities next year; the establishment of our Collaborative Partners Council (CPC), which will al- low IAMMM to interact with dozens of corporations and organizations regarding issues of diversity, cultural competence, and health care; and programs involved with improving health care for minority men.
We have accomplished a great deal, but in some ways our work has just begun. We look forward to expanding our partner- ships and work across communities until our mission is accomplished. We can only do this if you give us your commitment and your help.
Richard Allen Williams, MD
2003-2005 AnnuAl RepoRt