May 30, 2024

Crusader for Justice – Virgilio Licona

A note from ACU’s Executive Director, Craig Kennedy: Dr. Virgilio Licona, a great friend to me and to so many advocates for the underserved, passed away on March 29, 2016. His passing is a tremendous loss for his family, friends, colleagues, and the health care community. We will miss him deeply, and are honored to have witnessed the profound impact of his life’s work. For more information on his legacy, please visit his tribute page here. (!licona/n5kji) I am … [Read more...]

New Funding Platform for Health Projects

Crowdsourcing Platform Addresses Health Disparities. Clinicians with great ideas for community health programs have a new source to look to for small grants to get them off the ground. ACU member Dr. Rishi Manchanda, a co-founder of HBFunder ( says, “Like many frontline providers, we have seen how hard it can be to get funding for small projects that can have a big impact on social determinants of health and healthcare for vulnerable populations.” HBFunder connects … [Read more...]

ACU Announces Health IT Award Winners

ACU’s first ever Health IT for the Underserved Awards showcased talent, innovation and perseverance on behalf of underserved communities. The awards were presented at the Health IT and the Underserved Conference held in Poughkeepsie, NY on March 7 - 8, 2013. Casey Davis was recognized with the User from the Field Award for developing a health education website with materials in American Sign Language for the deaf and hard of hearing community, Mary Zalasny, CEO of Finger … [Read more...]

Clinicians and Gun Violence: What to know and what to do

Clinicians and Gun Violence: What to know and what to do By Annie Savarese, MD On December 14, 2012, twenty children and their teachers were murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary.  In January of this year, there were forty-three fatal shootings in Chicago.  In the United States, gun violence is responsible for over 30,000 deaths and over 70,000 injuries every year.  On average, 282 people are shot daily and 50 of them are children or teenagers. How have the medical and political communities … [Read more...]

Randy Hall: Dedicated Advocate for the Underserved

On Friday, March 8, 2013 ACU recognized Emerson 'Randy' Hall for his dedicated service as an advocate for the underserved. Randy served as an ACU board member from 2008 – 2012. He has made significant contributions to health care for the underserved in the areas of HIV/AIDs, depression and mental health services, diabetes, smoking and access to care, to new only a few. He  has been involved in patient advocacy and worked with more than 70 national societies and consumer groups. The … [Read more...]

Dr. Fred Lewis-Hall on Patient Engagement

Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall, an ACU charter member, began her career as a member of the National Health Service Corps. Today, she appears regularly on the television shows "The Doctors" and "Rachel Ray." In this interview with ACU President Katherine Brieger, Lewis-Hall reflects on what she has learned about patient engagement in a career that spans working with the underserved, teaching, research, private practice and industry. She is the author of Make Your Mark! Why Legacy Still Matters. … [Read more...]

House Calls for the Homeless

USA Today's House calls for the homeless: Street docs find no quick fix profiles Street Medicine Detroit – a program involving about 100 Wayne State medical students who visit patients in the homeless shelters, parks and underpasses where they live. Also featured in the article is ACU Member Jim Withers.  Withers, a pioneer in taking health care to the streets to reach the chronically homeless, began his nightly excursions to meet the homeless on their own turf in 1992. He calls his approach … [Read more...]

JHCPU Special Issue on Quality Improvement

Evidence for Informing the Next Generation of Quality Improvement Initiatives: Models, Methods, Measures, and Outcomes, the August 2012 special supplement to the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved (JHCPU), includes quality improvement initiatives from across the safety net.  Among the topics addressed are promoting healthy weight, cancer screening and follow-up, HIV care, medication use, urban health, depression, early childhood caries, diabetes, asthma, and more.  View the full … [Read more...]

Report Highlights ACU Members as Change Agents in Their Communities

Community Health Centers (CHCs) use their role in the community to improve the social determinants of health, according to a new report from the Institute for Alternative Futures called Community Health Centers Leveraging the Social Determinants of Health. Among the case studies featured in the report are several current or former ACU members, including Hudson River HealthCare  in Peekskill, NY Community Health Partners in Livingston, MT Kokua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services, … [Read more...]

ACU Says Thank You and Farewell

The ACU Board of Directors extends its thanks to departing member Vinod Miriyala. Dr. Miriyala is a dentist working in southeastern Ohio for the Ironton Lawrence County Area Community Action Organization. As an ACU board member, he has helped strengthen ACU's ties to the oral health community and identified oral health resources for our work on tobacco cessation.     We also bid farewell to Dr. Merrell Sami, who worked with ACU while participating in Georgetown … [Read more...]