The Principles of Trustworthiness

Since 2015, the AAMC has produced an annual series of Community Engagement Toolkits in collaboration with our members and their communities. These toolkits provide unvarnished community perspectives on crucial issues and views about how our members can be better partners. 

This year, the AAMC Collaborative for Health Equity: Act, Research, Generate Evidence (CHARGE) — the AAMC’s national collaborative of health equity scholars, practitioners, and community partners — gathered perspectives from a diverse set of 30 community members from across the United States regarding trust, COVID-19, and clinical trial participation.  

These 10 Principles of Trustworthiness integrate local perspectives with established precepts of community engagement to guide health care, public health, and other organizations as they work to demonstrate they are worthy of trust. The AAMC Center for Health Justice, launching later in 2021, will continue this work to support organizations right now and in the future as they partner with communities and the many sectors that serve them to develop ways to shift our society toward health equity and justice.

The Principles of Trustworthiness: Community Video

Principles of Trustworthiness Community Video (Spanish Subtitles) from AAMC on Vimeo.

This video, part of the AAMC Center for Health Justice Principles of Trustworthiness, underscores reasons and causes for mistrust of the health care system and offers suggested actions that organizations of all kinds can take to demonstrate they are trustworthy. To learn more about the Principles of Trustworthiness, visit

This work is funded by a cooperative agreement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Improving Clinical and Public Health Outcomes through National Partnerships to Prevent and Control Emerging and Re-Emerging Infectious Disease Threats (Award # 1 NU50CK000586-01-00)

10 Principles of Trustworthiness

Deserving trust is crucial to equitably partner with the communities you engage and to achieve health justice.

Remember, though, the process of engagement is as important as the product. Here are 10 principles that community stakeholders endorse as the guiding compass on your journey to establishing trustworthiness.

The Principles of Trustworthiness Toolkit

This toolkit of materials is for organizations to download and use to facilitate discussions within their communities, develop relationships with a broad coalition, and track lessons learned. It includes the kinds of questions, discussions, and activities that will help an organization and its community to unpack the Principles of Trustworthiness, explore how they come to life locally, and determine what local actions might be taken to demonstrate trustworthiness.

These resources can be used to help build vaccine confidence as part of the AAMC’s cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Learn more about this effort at

The Principles of Trustworthiness Community Video

The Principles of Trustworthiness Community Video (Spanish Subtitles)

Toolkit at a Glance: 10 Principles of Trustworthiness (PDF)

Interactive Discussion Guide (Word)

Video Guide: 10 Principles of Trustworthiness (PDF)

Discover Your Community via Appreciative Inquiry (PDF)

Community Engagement Action Guide (Word)

Community Engagement Reflection Guide (PDF)


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The Principles of Trustworthiness Workshops

The 10 Principles of Trustworthiness are the product of local community perspectives combined with established precepts of community engagement. These principles serve as a guide for health care, public health, and other organizations as they work to demonstrate they are worthy of trust.

At this interactive working session, presented by the AAMC Center for Health Justice, participants will learn about and discuss the Principles of Trustworthiness Toolkit and hear experiences of early adopters, as well as from those who have just begun delving into it. Together, we will learn from those who are working to translate the Principles into actions as their organizations build partnerships, foster trust, and work toward health equity in their communities. More information will be released as it becomes available.


Etsemaye P. Agonafer, MD, MPH, MS
Assistant Professor, Department of Health System Science
Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine

Maranda Ward, EdD, MPH
Assistant Professor
The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences

Wednesday, June 30, 2021
1:30 – 3:00 p.m. ET

Tuesday, July 20, 2021
12:30 – 2:00 p.m. ET