Population-Based Health in Practice: Addressing Health-Related Social Needs for Black/African American Patients

This activity is part of a series


Aima A. Ahonkhai, MD, MPH
Associate Physician in Medicine
Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, MA
Director, Community Engaged Research Program
Harvard University Center for AIDS Research
Cambridge, MA
Aima A. Ahonkhai, MD, MPH

Dr. Aima Ahonkhai is an Infectious Diseases and HIV physician and leading researcher on health equity. She is an Associate Physician in Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital where she also serves as Associate Director of the Bio-behavioral and Community Science Core and Director of the Community Engaged Research Program for the Harvard University Center for AIDS Research. Dr. Ahonkhai is passionate about health equity and has focused this passion on the care of people living with HIV both in the US and in Africa. She has particular interest in the health needs of adolescents and young adults and has worked to implement care models for young people living with HIV this population in globally. With expertise in epidemiology, implementation, and community-engaged research, Dr. Ahonkhai has active research programs in Africa and the US. Her program, Care4Life focuses on improving engagement in HIV care in Nigeria by leveraging mobile technology to improve medication adherence and engagement in care, and to address mental health needs for the most marginalized individuals. Dr. Ahonkhai has worked extensively in the SE United States, a region disproportionately burdened by HIV, and maintains an adjunct faculty appointment at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She has collaborated with Tennessee Department of Health as well as local health departments and community-based organizations in TN, to identify and address disparities in HIV care. She is utilized novel strategies including partnering with Black barbers in TN to address HIV stigma in the state.

Martha A. Dawson, DNP, RN, FAAN, FACHE
Immediate Past President National Black Nurses Association
Associate Professor, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursing
Birmingham, AL
Martha A. Dawson, DNP, RN, FAAN, FACHE

Martha A. Dawson, DNP, RN, FAAN, FACHE is an Associate Professor at UAB School of Nursing. Dr. Dawson is the 13th and immediate past president of the National Black Nurses’ Association. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing. In 2010, she earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice from Case Western Reserve University Frances Payne Bolton SON. Dr. Dawson completed her hospital administration residency at Gaston Memorial Hospital, Gastonia. NC. Her practice, leadership and clinical research focuses are in the domains of administrative systematology, career progression, organizational injustices and barriers, and equality in nursing. She has served in senior level hospital positions. She is a co-convenor of the 2020 National Black Coalition Against COVID reaching over five million during the pandemic and a co-lead of the 2020 National Commission Addressing Racism in Nursing which is groundbreaking work to improve healing within the nursing profession. Dr. Dawson serves on the Advisory Board for Direct Relief Health Equity Fund that is allowing her to address social justice and SDOHs through the act of generous donors has awarded 170 grants providing 42.2 million to address health inequities.

She is a Scholar in UAB Sparkman Global Health Center, American College of Healthcare Executives Fellow, Robert Wood Johnson Nurse Executive Fellow alumina, and a Johnson & Johnson Wharton Nurse Administrative Fellow, alumina. In 2019, Dr. Dawson was inducted into the Alabama Nurses Hall of Fame, 2021 honored as a UABSON visionary leader and 2022, president of the year by the American Nurses Associations. She has received the UAB President’s Excellence in Teaching Award, UAB Dean’s Mentorship Award, and the American Organization of Nurse Leaders Prism Award. In 2022, she became a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and appointed as an associate scientist in the Social Science and Justice Research Center and in 2023 she joined as a Center Scholar in the UAB Center for the Study of Community Health, one of 26 Prevention Research Centers designated by the CDC nationally as an interdisciplinary research center.

She has publications in books, journals, newsletters, op-eds and podcasts. The University of Louisville Hospital, where she served as CNO and vice president was first to provide drive through flu shots in the US; the model that the CDC has used during COVID-19.  She was a contributing author in the Drive-Thru Flu Shots: A model for mass immunization. She is dynamic speaker and workshop leader.  In 2006, the Martha A. Dawson Genesis Scholarship was established with the National Black Nurses Association.

Statement of Need

The United States healthcare system was not designed with Black/African American patients in mind, nor has it adapted to serve the unique health-related social needs of Black people. Historic and modern racist practices, from discriminatory laws and policies to lack of access to clinical services, have led to disparities in patient care and outcomes for Black people. This collective experience of mistreatment has generational impact and contributes to patient mistrust and reluctance to engage with the system. Black/African American patients feel they are treated without respect, have to beg for services, and are seldom offered the same advanced services White patients routinely receive. Outcomes data appears to bear this out, with Black people having lower life expectancy, higher rates of cancer mortality, and the highest rates of infant mortality among all races.

During this program, national experts will examine how racism, discrimination, and inter-generational trauma impact clinical care practices for Black/African American patients. The educational discussion will center on introducing trauma-informed care practices and other trust-building interventions into clinical care to improve patient outcomes and address health-related social needs for Black/African American patients.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify the unique health-related social needs of Black patients and their impact on clinical care practices
  • Incorporate strategies into clinical practice to address the health-related social needs of Black patients and improve cultural humility

Financial Support

This program is supported by an independent medical education grant from CVS Health.

Target Audience

Physicians, nurse practitioners (NPs), nurses, physician associates (PAs), pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians within the CVS Health System

Credit Information

Jointly accredited provider

In support of improving patient care, CME Outfitters, LLC, is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

Interprofessional (IPCE) 1.0

This activity was planned by and for the healthcare team, and learners will receive 1.00 Interprofessional Continuing Education Credit for learning and change.

Physicians (ACCME) 1.0

CME Outfitters, LLC, designates this Enduring Material for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Nurses (ANCC) 1.0

This activity is designated for 1.00 contact hours.

Pharmacists/Pharmacy Tech (ACPE) 1.0

This application-based activity is approved for 1.00 contact hours ( 0.1 CEUs) of continuing pharmacy credit ( JA0007185-0000-23-135-H01-T ).

Pharmacists (ACPE) 1.0

This application-based activity is approved for 1.00 contact hours ( 0.1 CEUs) of continuing pharmacy credit ( JA0007185-0000-23-135-H01-P ).

PAs (AAPA) 1.00

CME Outfitters, LLC, has been authorized by the American Academy of PAs (AAPA) to award AAPA Category 1 CME credit for activities planned in accordance with AAPA CME Criteria. This activity is designated for 1.00 AAPA Category 1 CME credits. Approval is valid until 12/07/2024. PAs should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation.


Successful completion of this CME activity, which includes participation in the evaluation component, enables the participant to earn up to 1.00 medical knowledge MOC points in the American Board of Internal Medicine’s (ABIM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. Participants will earn MOC points equivalent to the amount of CME credits claimed for the activity. It is the CME activity provider’s responsibility to submit participant completion information to ACCME for the purpose of granting ABIM MOC credit.

MIPS Improvement Activity

Completion of this accredited CME activity meets the expectations of an Accredited Safety or Quality Improvement Program (IA_PSPA_28) for the Merit-based Incentive Payment Program (MIPS). Clinicians should submit their improvement activities by attestation via the CMS Quality Payment Program website.

Royal College MOC

Through an agreement between the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, medical practitioners participating in the Royal College MOC Program may record completion of accredited activities registered under the ACCME’s “CME in Support of MOC” program in Section 3 of the Royal College’s MOC Program.

Disclosure Declaration

It is the policy of CME Outfitters, LLC, to ensure independence, balance, objectivity, and scientific rigor and integrity in all of their CE activities. Faculty must disclose to the participants any relationships with commercial companies whose products or devices may be mentioned in faculty presentations, or with the commercial supporter of this CE activity. CME Outfitters, LLC, has evaluated, identified, and mitigated any potential conflicts of interest through a rigorous content validation procedure, use of evidence-based data/research, and a multidisciplinary peer review process.

Dr. Ahonkhai reports the following financial relationships:

Grants and Research Support: National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Speakers Bureau: Gilead (non-branded)

Dr. Dawson reports no financial relationships to disclose.

Disclosures were obtained from the following peer reviewer and CME Outfitters, LLC, staff, with no disclosures to report:

  • Joshua Caballero, PharmD, BCPP, FCCP (peer reviewer)
  • Albert Eubanks, Jr., RN (peer reviewer)
  • Jessica Whelan, DNP, APRN, FPMHNP-BC, RN-BC (planning committee)
  • Thomas Mitchell (planning committee)
  • Susan H. Yarbrough, CHCP (planning committee)
  • Sandra Caballero, PharmD (planning committee)
  • Sharon Tordoff (planning committee)

Faculty of this CE activity may include discussions of products or devices that are not currently labeled for use by the FDA. The faculty have been informed of their responsibility to disclose to the audience if they will be discussing off-label or investigational uses (any uses not approved by the FDA) of products or devices.

Obtaining Credit

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Questions about this activity?

Call us at 877.CME.PROS (877.263.7767).



Population-Based Health in Practice: Addressing Health-Related Social Needs for Black/African American Patients
Event Date: 12/08/2023