From exam rooms to boardrooms, equity is increasingly viewed as essential to the mission of health care. Courageous leaders at all levels in health care recognize the need to move care upstream to address the social and structural drivers of health inequity. This awareness is welcome, overdue, and presents us all with a critical opportunity for action.
Yet as clinicians, payers, and policymakers begin to act on this urgent need, they require a specific set of skills and knowledge to do so effectively. These competencies build upon what we have traditionally been taught in graduate schools and training programs but stretch well beyond them into realms where learners must deliberately seek instruction. In this moment, the make-or-break question for many in the vanguard of healthcare is no longer simply what upstream care looks like or why we should prioritize it—the most astute leaders want to know how.
A new series of six interactive modules created by HealthBegins with the American Medical Association (AMA) helps to answer that question.
These self-paced modules, titled Core Competencies for Upstreamists, are housed online on the AMA Ed Hub™—the American Medical Association’s online learning platform—and cover the following competencies:
- Essentials of Population Health and Public Health
- Structural Competency: Racism, Power, and Equity
- Community Health Informatics and Social Epidemiology
- Upstream Quality Improvement and Management
- Partnership and Leadership for Health Equity
- Financing and Sustaining Upstream Transformation
These modules aim to help launch aspiring Upstreamists into effective action—to alchemize their passion for equity and the opportunity of this moment into a lasting transformation. The core competencies do not represent the end of an Upstreamist’s preparation (there could be no such thing), but rather a crucial boost or a solid beginning, readying them to deepen their impact and further their foundational awareness of what it takes to transform a practice or health system and work with community collaborators to advance health equity and repair the social, institutional, and structural drivers of health inequities.
Modules in the series are eligible for continuing education credits for physicians, nurses, social workers, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and other health care professionals.
This module was sponsored by Blue Shield of California. Blue Shield of California is an independent member of the Blue Shield Association.