Welcome to AASWSW Close the Health Gap Grand Challenge website.  We encourage you to learn more about our Grand Challenge Initiative below and join us in our effort for health equity among all disenfranchised people.

Close the Health Gap

Led by the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare, the Grand Challenges for Social Work is a groundbreaking initiative to champion social progress powered by science. It’s a call to action for all of us to work together to tackle our nation’s toughest social problems.

This site is dedicated to one of the 12 Grand Challenge initiatives–Close the Health Gap.  More than 60 million Americans experience devastating one-two punches to their health—they have inadequate access to basic health care while also enduring the effects of discrimination, poverty, and dangerous environments that accelerate higher rates of illness. Innovative and evidence-based social strategies can improve health care and lead to broad gains in the health of our entire society.

Network Co-Leads to Close the Health Gap: Michael Spencer and Karina Walters.


Close the Gap Steering Committee Members:

Karina L. Walters, University of Washington (co-lead)

Michael S. Spencer, University of Michigan (co-lead)

Heidi L. Allen, Columbia University

Christina Andrews, University of South Carolina

Audrey Begun, Ohio State University

Teri Browne, University of South Carolina

John Clapp, Ohio State University

Peter Maramaldi, Simmons College

Darrell P. Wheeler, University of Albany (SUNY)

Edwina Uehara, University of Washington

Bradley Zebrack, University of Michigan