Give Back, Pay it Forward

aka AMA Foundation   |   Chicago, IL   |


The AMA Foundation brings together physicians and communities to improve the nation's health.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

R. Barkley Payne

Main address

330 N. Wabash AMA Plaza

Chicago, IL 60611 USA

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NTEE code info

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (T12)

Community Health Systems (E21)

Graduate, Professional(Separate Entities) (B50)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Medical Education & Leadership

Through educational support and development programs, the AMA Foundation cultivates a diverse group of physician leaders committed to serving their communities and improving our nation’s health. Our scholarships, in keeping with the Foundation’s long-standing support of medical education, enable students to further their schooling while affirming their commitment to serving our nation’s public health needs.
Our Medical Education & Leadership program includes:
- Physicians of Tomorrow Scholarships, providing $10,000 scholarships to students entering their final year of medical school;
- Leadership Development Program, which cultivates a diverse cohort of aspiring physician leaders;
- National LGBTQ+ Fellowship Program, designed to address the social determinants of health specifically affecting LGBTQ+ individuals and create a pipeline of diverse health care providers who are knowledgeable and culturally competent in LGBTQ+ health.

Population(s) Served
Sexual identity

Our Community Health Programs provide charitable grants to financially support innovative programs targeting the prevention and reduction of type 2 diabetes and hypertension. Grant funding will support community-based organizations such as free health clinics that provide services to vulnerable and underserved populations.

The AMA Foundation aims to increase health equity and improve health outcomes among vulnerable populations utilizing evidence-based models of care. Committed to fostering focused, measurable health improvements, Community Health Program Grants are offered for up to $60,000 annually, renewable for up to three years.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
People with diseases and illnesses

Through the Excellence in Medicine Awards, the AMA Foundation recognizes physicians who exemplify the highest values of volunteerism, community engagement, leadership and dedication to the care of under served populations. The awards include:

• Dr. Debasish Mridha Spirit of Medicine Award - Recognizes the work of a U.S. physician who has demonstrated altruism, compassion, integrity, leadership, and personal sacrifice while providing quality health care to a destitute, distressed, or marginalized population in an impoverished community.

• International Award in Medicine - Honors physicians for outstanding international service in the areas of medical practice, medical education or medical research.

• Edmond and Rima Cabbabe Dedication to the Profession Award - Honors physicians who are committed to expanding increasing knowledge through teaching, conducting research and publishing. In addition this is heavily involved in volunteerism and philanthropic efforts in medical organizations and other civic organizations.

• Jack B. McConnell, MD, Award for Excellence in Volunteerism - Honors senior physicians (over 55 years old) who are committed to providing medical care to those without access to health care in the United States.

• Pride in the Profession Award - Honors physicians who aid under served populations in the United States.

• Excellence in LGBTQ Health Award - Honors physicians, residents/fellows and final-year medical students that have demonstrated outstanding work, innovation and leadership in LGBTQ policy, advocacy, patient care, academics (teaching and research), workforce diversity, and/or healthcare administration.

Population(s) Served
Age groups
Sexual identity
Work status and occupations

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of new donors

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Health, Sexual identity, Social and economic status

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success


Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The AMA Foundation's portfolio of charitable programs are in alignment with Reducing (Health) Inequities, Quality Education, and Good Health and Well-being. This is primarily achieved through the AMAF's medical education and leadership program, which includes scholarships for medical students, as well as a year-long leadership development institute for rising final-year medical students. This is also achieved through the AMAF's National LGBTQ+ Fellowship Program, designed to improve the education of physicians in LGBTQ+ health. The AMAF's Community Health Program is also designed to reduce health inequities as well as promoting good health and well-being. Currently the AMAF is supporting 9 physician-led community based health clinics, serving our most vulnerable populations in the prevention and maintenance of type-2 diabetes and hypertension.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    The AMAF serves medical students, including those underrepresented in medicine, through its scholarship program and Leadership Development Institute (LDI). The LDI is a 10-month program dedicated to cultivating a diverse cohort of aspiring physician leaders. We also are serving the LGBTQ+ community in the development of a national fellowship program for LBGTQ+ Health. The AMAF also serves our most vulnerable patient populations through its Community Health Program (CHP) which is focused on the prevention and maintenance of type II diabetes and hypertension. The CHP is also supporting three clinics who are focused on reducing hypertension among residents living in west Chicago neighborhoods – where cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    The AMAF Board regularly reviews its charitable programs to ensure they remain relevant and are being fully leveraged to achieve its mission. Just recently, the AMAF Board convened a workgroup to review the programs in its Medical Education and Leadership portfolio. This assessment included donors, former medical education program recipients and other key stakeholders. Based on the feedback received, numerous improvements will be made to the Foundation’s scholarship and Leadership Development Institute. Enhancements include improvement to the applications, criteria eligibility, review rubric, and promotional efforts/outreach to potential applicants. Some of these improvements were activated in the current cycle of these programs while others will be implemented in the upcoming 2022 cycle.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    The AMAF highly values feedback and collaboration among all of its stakeholders. By working together, we can achieve more! The Foundation leverages these relationships in all aspects of its work – both internally and externally. We cannot be effective working in a vacuum. Instead, we learn and grow from the insights and leadership of others, while sharing openly what others may be able learn from us.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time,



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Board of directors
as of 02/22/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Dr. Heather Smith

Joshua Cohen, MD, MPH, FAHS

Teva Pharmaceuticals

Erica Marsh, MD, MSCI, FACOG

University of Michigan Medical School

Heather Smith, MD, MPH

Brown University and Women & Infants Hospital

Jacqueline Bello, MD, FACR

Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Nancy Mueller, MD

NYU Langone Medical Center and Bellevue Hospital and Institute of Neurological Care

William Sternfeld, MD, MMSc

University of Toledo Medical Center and the Toledo Clinic, Inc.

Mary Beth Ellison

Jon Ekdahl, JD

Retried General Counsel, AMA

Lisa Egbert, MD

Paragon Women's Care

Willarda Edwards, MD, MBA

Drs. Edwards & Stephens, Internal Medicine

Albert Ray, MD

Permanente Medical Group

Jeremy Lazarus, MD

Retired Psychiatrist

Thomas Madejski, MD

General Physician, P.C.

Jerry Kennett, MD

Missouri Heart Center

Diana Ramos, MD, MPH, MBA, FACOG

Dave Street

Nicholas Leighton

Shaquile Charles

Cedric Bright, MD, FACP

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 9/21/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 04/16/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.