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UNMC, Creighton receive AAMC grant

Apr 2, 2024
2 min Read
Cathy Tibbels
King and Shipman
Pictured above are Keyonna King, DrPH, MA, left, and Scott Shipman, MD, MPH.


The University of Nebraska Medical Center and Creighton University, along with community partners, received one of four grants awarded across the U.S. by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Center for Health Justice to use and evaluate the association’s “Principles of Trustworthiness” toolkit for one year.  
The joint project, titled “United in Trust: A Multi-Sectoral Community-Academic Approach to Building and Evaluating Trust in North Omaha, Nebraska,” will be led by Keyonna King, DrPH, MA, University of Nebraska Medical Center director of community engagement & outreach, Great Plains IDeA-CTR Network, and Scott Shipman, MD, MPH, executive director, Creighton University Institute for Population Health (IPH).
The grant supports a partnership to initiate a conversation about trust and how the area’s medical and governmental institutions can demonstrate trustworthiness to the Black, Native American, Bhutanese, Karen, Somali and other refugee communities that call North Omaha home.

Creighton and the IPH are honored to jointly receive this highly competitive grant and co-lead this project with colleagues from UNMC.
— Scott Shipman, MD, MPH

“Our project focuses on three groups that historically have the largest gaps in health disparities and undesirable experiences with academic institutions — Black, Native American and refugee/immigrant populations,” King said. “We have a community partner on our core team representing each of the three groups as well as 10 community partner organizations to participate and guide the work. Our core team has already convened, and we anticipate meeting with all partners to finalize implementation plans of the AAMC Principles of Trustworthiness Toolkit by the end of April and hit the ground running thereafter. The goal is to make sure we include the voices not typically heard in our community to share their perspectives about trustworthiness and how it can be improved.”

Community lead partners include Steve Tamayo, founder and culture bearer of Bluebird Cultural Initiative; Jamin Johnson, EdD, division chief, health equity and planning, Douglas County Health Department; Leo Louis II, founder of Visionary Lions, LLC, and community organizer; and Hannah Vlach, founder and executive director of Restoring Dignity.

The team will use and evaluate the toolkit for a year. Following that year, the hope is that continued improvement of the toolkit will help organizations foster gains in trust and trustworthiness by recognizing the knowledge and expertise in the community, taking meaningful actions and sustaining ongoing engagement.

From left are community leaders Steve Tamayo, Jamin Johnson, EdD, Leo Louis II and Hannah Vlach.

“Creighton and the IPH are honored to jointly receive this highly competitive grant and co-lead this project with colleagues from UNMC,” Shipman said. “The AAMC, as sponsor of this project, shares our vision of the critical need to build and sustain trust with community leaders to be effective partners in promoting health equity and wellness for all.”

King said UNMC is thrilled to receive this grant and co-lead this project with partners. “In partnership with the community, Creighton and Douglas County Health Department, this grant will allow us to fulfill a necessary duty and desire to further understand and enhance trustworthiness with our community. This work is not possible if we do not work together to hold each other accountable in building and maintaining strong relationships to achieve health equity and social justice.”
Other community partners that will collaborate with the team to implement the toolkit include Big Elk Native American Center, Heartland Family Services, I Be Black Girl, Midland African Chamber, Nebraska Urban Indian Health Coalition, No More Empty Pots, North Omaha Area Health Clinic, the Empowerment Network, the Wellbeing Partners and YouTurn.
“For Creighton’s newly inaugurated IPH, it’s an important signal of our commitment to partnership – with UNMC and with the community organizations, in the service of population health and community engagement,” Shipman said.