Volume 1, Number 4  • June 2014


Graduates backstage

Meharry Medical College graduated its largest class since its inception on Saturday, May 17, 2014 with ceremonies held at the Grand Ole Opry House Auditorium, Nashville, Tennessee. Diplomas were awarded as follows: School of Medicine, 97; School of Dentistry, 41 and School of Graduate Studies and Research, 78, the largest number since its founding in 1972, which encompassed Ph.D., M.H.S., M.S.P.H. and M.S.C.I. degrees. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy at Meharry Medical College also recognized 12 recipients of the Certificate in Health Policy.

The keynote speaker was Norman C. Francis, J.D., president of Xavier University of Louisiana. To read his bio, click here.

To see read more about commencement, click here.


 Class of 64

Golf Tournament, Parties and Jazz for the "4s" and "9s"
Reunion 2014 was a huge success with a large alumni turnout from the classes ending in “4” and “9.”
Activities included the Charles E. Brown, M.D. ’60 27th Annual Memorial Golf Tournament, a “Let’s Reminisce” party for alumni, a shopping spree to Green Hills Mall, a Nurses Reunion Reception, the Silver and Gold Anniversary Receptions and “An Evening of Jazz.”

To see reunion photos, click here.

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Women's Health Brunch Focuses on "The Power of Prevention"
Women's Health BrunchOn Friday, May 16, 2014 the Women’s Health Brunch was held at the Loews Vanderbilt with 200 in attendance including alumni, community leaders, staff and faculty of Meharry and other guests. Shindana Feagins, M.D. ’01, principal of Feagins Medical Group, was the guest speaker for the afternoon. Her presentation, “The Power of Prevention,” emphasized the importance of recognizing the causes and prevention of heart disease and how it affects women, African-American women in particular.

A big thank you to the co-chairs of this event, Sherlene Fry, administrative assistant, senior for the Marketing and Communications Department and Veronica Marable Johnson, program & operations director for the Center for Women's Health. To see highlights from the brunch, click here.

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Annual Book Fair is a Success
The Book Fair 2014, was also held on Friday at the Loews. Authors in attendance were: A. Cherrie Epps, Ph.D. (represented by Carina Qualls), Pamela H. Payne-Foster, M.D., Charles W. Johnson, M.D., M.S. (represented by Mrs. Mattie Johnson), Edwin Harvey Hamilton, M.D. Min, Emma Wisdom, Kendall T. Edward, J.D., Rebera Elliot-Foston, M.D., MPH, Iris Shannon, Ph.D., R.N. and Karen Sloan-Brown, Ph.D.

The purpose of the Book Fair is to showcase authors and books written by Meharrians and about Meharry Medical College.


Meharry Vanderbilt AllianceIn celebration of 15 years of partnership between Meharry Medical College and Vanderbilt University Medical Center, the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance (MVA) is awarding grants to support activities that promote ongoing, mutually beneficial, health research partnerships between community organizations and academic researchers.

Funds are being awarded for two types of grants: Partnership Development and Community-Engaged Research. Partnership Development grants are up to $2,500 and will support new partnerships or strengthening of an existing partnership between a community organization and an academic researcher. Community-Engaged Research grants are up to $10,000 and intended for established community-academic partnerships and a well-defined joint project focused on reducing and eliminating health disparities.

For more information, click here.


In a proposal from Dr. Henry A. Moses, continuing education opportunities could soon be made available online from Meharry faculty—at a discount to active members of the Meharry National Alumni Association.

"The availability of online courses is becoming more popular, especially with younger alumni," the proposal says. "The availability of such courses reduces the time one is away from his/her office and the expense accrued to travel to attend traditional courses." Benefits to the alumni association would include the potential for more dues-paying members. For the participating academic departments, benefits could include the generation of additional income.

To read the actual memo, click here.


The installation of the new officers for The Meharry Association of Office Personnel (MAOP) will be Tuesday, June 17, 2014 at noon. Linda Witt, MAOP Advisor, will install the new officers. The 2014-2016 officers are: Theresa Miller, MAOP 45th logopresident, historian and marketing & public relations chair; Sherlene Fry, vice president and business affairs chair; LaTosha Jackson-Warfield, secretary; Dorothy Murphy, assistant secretary and fundraising chair; Cynthia McNeil, treasurer, Ta-Tanisha Thomas, assistant treasurer;  LaJuanna Jefferson, chaplain; Helen Settles, membership chair; Delores Boatright, parliamentarian; Teresa Young, professional career development chair; Theresa Perkins, hospitality chair and Barbara Grissom, decorating chair. The efforts of MAOP are to present a more professional and profound image to the campus and to develop a strong involvement between support staff, faculty and administration.


The Nashville Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated, will be hosting their 58th Regional Team Leadership Conference from July 2-6, 2014. Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated is a membership organization of mothers with children ages 2-19, dedicated to nurturing future African-American leaders by Jack and Jill logostrengthening children through leadership development, volunteer service, philanthropic giving and civic duty. Tennessee is part of the Southeastern Region of Jack and Jill, with families residing in the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee.
One of the planned activities for the 550 participants, ages 13-18-years-old, is a campus tour of Meharry Medical College, Fisk University and Tennessee State University. Besides exploring the campuses, attendees will learn, through videos and lectures, the history, the mission and the curriculum of each institution. This is a great recruitment opportunity and a chance to showcase the  many qualities Meharry has to offer.


Men's Health Report Card“The Tennessee Men’s Health Report Card provides vital information on the health of men in Tennessee,” said Duane T. Smoot, M.D., chair of the Department of Internal Medicine at Meharry. “This is important information that needs to be viewed by men across the state. This is also information that our public health officials and state representatives can utilize to adequately deploy health care resources around the state.”
Dr. Smoot goes on to say that overall heart disease and cancer are the top two causes of death for men in Tennessee (24.7 percent and 24.4 percent, respectively). 

“The state has been doing very well with regard to heart disease, as the death rates have been declining and we are near our state goals in this area, which includes not just Whites, but also for African Americans and Hispanics,” said Dr. Smoot.  “However, with regard to cancer, the state is not doing that well, with death rates well above the state goals for most cancers; and we continue to have significantly more African Americans than whites and Hispanics dying from cancer (when age-adjusted).”  

In relation to heart disease, Dr. Smoot notes that Tennessee has made much progress. However, there is still much work that needs to be done across the state to reduce cancer death rates overall and also to reduce the racial disparities.

To see full report card, click here.


YP Nashville

Congratulations to Kaitlyn Couch, an intake specialist with the Lloyd C. Elam Mental Health Center, has been recognized as a finalist for the 2014 Nashville Emerging Leader Awards (NELAs) by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and YP Nashville in the Medical and Health Care Services category. She was selected for her strong leadership, her imapact on the community and her professional success.

NELAs finalists were also announced in The Tennessean. Click here


BellVanessa Elliot Bell, Ph.D., assistant professor of pediatric medicine in Meharry’s School of Medicine, was recently featured on the "Steppin Out with D. Lashay," television program aired on Channel 30 WUXP. Dr. Bell discussed errant behavioral problems in children and when, or if, such behavior would warrant professional help.


GBT Leadership Scholarship
OdomsWomen in Medicine logo


Congratulations to La'Nyia Odoms, a 3rd-year medical student, on being selected to receive a $5,000 LGBT Leadership Scholarship from Women in Medicine for 2014. She has been invited to speak at the Women in Medicine Conference in Ogunquit, Maine, August 6 - 10, 2014, where she will receive the award. Keep up the great work!

First-Ever Recipient of Scholarship Recognized
HarrisKathryn Harris, a 2nd-year medical student was recently acknowledged at the American Medical Association Annual meeting in Chicago for being the first ever recipient of the Richard Allen Williams & Genita Evangelista Johnson/Association of Black Cardiologist Scholarship as part of The Minority Scholars Award program. The program not only encourages diversity in medicine and alleviates debt, but also rewards commitment to the elimination of health care disparities. Harris said she was extremely honored to have represented Meharry at the conference.

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Meharry Medical Students Excel at the NMA Annual Medical Education Conference
SNMA 50th logoMeharry’s School of Medicine was well-represented at the Student National Medical Association’s (SNMA) 50th Anniversary at the Annual Medical Education Conference 2014. Fourteen delegates were sent to represent the College. A total of three Meharry students presented original research at the conference and fielded questions from scholars and audience members.

Dr. Wilbert C. Jordan Research Forum Presenters:

Tulani Washington-Plaskett, MS-III
Taryn Smith, MS-III
Christopher D. Watson, MS-III

SNMAThe Meharry SNMA Chapter won First Place for the Community Service Poster Session, "Into the Streets: Community Health Outreach in Barbershops and Beauty Shops." This was a student led community outreach effort where students partners with local Nashville barbershops and beauty salons to educate community members about certain health risks that most commonly affect minorities. Christopher D. Watson, 4th-year medical student, was awarded the Clinical Sciences Membership Scholarship.



New faces will soon be appearing on campus as classes for the new year, 2014-2015, begin on Friday, June 27, 2014. Below are links that will take you to helpful, valuable information.

New Student Orientation Flyer, click here.

Academic Calendars, click here.

New Student Handbook, click here.

2014-2015 Academic Catalog, click here.

Meharry Student Emergency Relief Fund (M-SERF), click here.

Students in the News, click here.


Student & Faculty Affairs Offices Closed for Retreat
The Division of Student & Faculty Affairs will be closed for a retreat on Monday, June 16, 2014. The offices/departments that are a part of student & faculty affairs that will be closed are: admissions & recruitment; the registrar’s office, student life, CEDS, the library, institutional research, student financial aid, counseling services, faculty affairs and development and Title III.

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New Construction on Campus
Construction work will soon begin on a new surface parking lot that is being built to support constituent visits to Lyttle Hall, the OIT building and the historic Hubbard Hospital Entrance. This new lot will be located in front of the OIT Building and will be accessed from the circle drive in front of the Hubbard Hospital entrance.

Please use extreme caution when walking on the sidewalks near these buildings while construction is underway and remember, because this circle drive is reserved for emergency vehicles responding to campus emergencies it is illegal to park in the circle drive in front of Hubbard Hospital Entrance.

Work on this project will start by next week and should be completed in approximately 60 days. This new lot will be a practical and visually appealing addition to the college’s landscape facing Dr. D.B. Todd Jr. Boulevard.

Contact Campus Operations or Dr. Bernard Ray with any questions.

Remember, your newsletter is designed to Recognize, Inform and Motivate. If you have an item you would like to include in MeharryLIFE, please email the details to:


MeharryLIFE is a campus news service of the Department of Marketing and Communications in the Office of the President at Meharry Medical College.
Janet M. Caldwell • Senior Vice President for Marketing & Communications
Gayle Starling-Melvin • Writer-Editor
Ken Morris • Production Director
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Tarry Nwaise • Graphic Artist/Designer
Sherlene C. Fry • Administrative Assistant, Senior

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