Volume 2, Number 3 • December 2015
Everything Meharrians Need, In One Convenient App
The Meharry Mobile App is now available for iPhone and Android. This free app combines all things Meharry in one convenient place. Everything from Blackboard to Tweets about Meharry can all be accessed using the app. Android users can download the app by going to the Google Play Store. The app is also available in the iTunes Store for Apple iPhone users.
Office of the President:
Circle of Scholars Lecture Series
The Office of the President is hosting the first Circle of Scholars Lecture on December 10, 2015 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m at the Cal Turner Family Center for Student Education. This event will feature Dr. Kofi Derek Owusu Boahene, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Boahene will be speaking on the topic of "Minimal Access Surgery: Open and Endoscopic Assisted Approaches to Brain and Skull Base Lesions".
Meharry Addresses Declining Enrollment Among Black Males in Medical School
According to a recent report from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), only
515 black males enrolled in U.S. medical schools during the 2014-15 academic year. By
comparison, there were 13,289 white males enrolled during that same timeframe. Over
the past three decades the number of black male applicants to medical school has declined
from 1,410 in 1978 to 1,337 in 2014.
Meharry President Dr. James E. K. Hildreth and Morehouse School of Medicine president, Dr. Valerie Montgomery-Rice, recently held a reception for more than 100 attendees at the AAMC's annual meeting in Baltimore, Maryland to help raise awareness of the issue. In addition, AAMC Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Mark Nivet, author of the recent report, spoke at the reception.
Meharry, along with the other medical HBCUs, continues to do its part in diversifying the health professions workforce. Currently, there are 128 black men enrolled in the SOM at Meharry – nearly a quarter – of the total number of black men enrolled in U.S. medical schools. Even so, Meharry is developing programs to raise awareness and aggressively address the issue.
Student Spotlight: Douglas Robinson
Where are you from?
What made you want to be a doctor?
Seeing the health disparities in Baltimore –
in particular the growing number of minorities suffering from AIDS – was a driving force for me to do well in math and science so that I can help as many people as possible with infectious diseases or neurological disorders. As a result, I am in the M.D./Ph.D. program with an emphasis in neuroscience and pharmacology. In May of 2017, I will graduate with dual doctoral degrees to fulfill the dream of improving the lives of many underrepresented minorities who are suffering from infectious diseases and neurological disorders.
Use three words to describe yourself.
Patient, productive, powerful
What keeps you going during the long days and nights of an M.D./Ph.D. student?
My driving force is the acknowledgement that I am standing on the shoulders of giants and encompassed by a great cloud of witnesses. My support system keeps me internally motivated to reach the finish line with peace, appreciation and a trail visible to my mentees.
What role has mentorship played in your process?
Mentorship is an invaluable resource that has played a pivotal role in helping me to see that as Marianne Williamson said, "My deepest fear is not that I am inadequate but my deepest fear is that I am powerful beyond measure. It is not my darkness it is my light that most frightens me." Mentorship opened my eyes to see the possibility of not only earning my Ph.D., but facilitating others to earn their M.D./Ph.D.
Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
As a Meyerhoff Scholar from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, I am cognizant of the importance of having a 5 to 10-year vision, especially for my academic career. After graduating from MMC, I intend to pursue a neuro-surgery residency in Boston or San Francisco. Following neurological surgery residency I will do a fellowship in pediatrics to become a pediatric neurosurgeon to assist patients suffering from brain tumors and/or congenital malformations. My goal is to conduct basic science research with an emphasis in neuroscience and pharmacology. As a physician scientist, I hope to elucidate the biochemical mechanisms of congenital/neurological disorders impacting the pediatric population.
Meharry School of Medicine Provides Services
to the Nashville Community
Fall was a busy season for the School of Medicine. On October 6th, Dr. Darryl Jordan and Dr. Kirti Lokhande from Meharry’s Total Health Medical and Dental Clinic spoke to a group of senior citizens at Hickory Hollow Towers in Antioch providing medical and oral health information.
Dr.Tropez Sims, along with a group of faculty members and students conducted diabetes screenings and blood pressure checks during a Native American Pow Wow at Long Hunter State Park (pictured above, right).
In addition, Meharry faculty and students participated in the Health 4 Life Expo at the Music City Convention Center conducting blood pressure checks and distributing health information to more than 2,000 people.
Congratulations on a job well done!
Congratulations to the Meharry Medical College - Division of Student Affairs (DSA) on winning the 2015 Commitment Award from the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence. DSA will be recognized at the 23rd Annual Excellence in Tennessee Awards Banquet on February 24, 2016 at the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs.
Commitment Awards are presented to organizations that are beginning to demonstrate commitment to, and implementation of, performance improvement principles. They have demonstrated progress by identifying and putting in place a measurement system to capture data and analyze results, and some key process improvements, which are directly attributable to a fact-based improvement process.
Congratulations to Dr. George C. Hill, former professor of microbiology and vice president for sponsored research at Meharry. Dr. Hill was recently appointed Vanderbilt’s first chief diversity officer and vice chancellor for equity, diversity and inclusion. In this role, Dr. Hill will be working with Chancellor Nicholas Zeppos to cultivate diversity at Vanderbilt.
Congratulations to Dr. A. Dexter Samuels, Senior Vice President for Student Affairs and Executive Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy at Meharry. Dr. Samuels was selected as a Nashville Health Care Council Fellow. According to their website, "the Council Fellows are a select group of senior industry executives who are passionate about solving health care's most complex problems in a way that supports organizations of all sizes - from privately held start-ups to publicly traded corporations".
Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance Community Member Spotlight: Neely Williams
Throughout her life, Neely Williams’ primary focus has always been community. “I was always active in civic concerns and social justice,” she recalled. “From as far back as my high school days, that’s the path I took in life.”
Her background includes a lineup of public service groups and efforts centered on a variety of social issues. Since 1997, she’s worked with the First Response Wellness Center of the Metropolitan Interdenominational Church, the Imani Coalition, Ujma House, the Interdenominational Ministers’ Fellowship Peniel Initiative and the Obesity Observational Research Initiative. “Wherever there was presented a need, I wanted to be a part of making it happen,” she said.
Neely currently serves as assistant pastor of the Community at New Unity Church. Her journey to the ministry began in 1990 when she returned to school at American Baptist College. She graduated in 1994, then enrolled at Vanderbilt University and completed a unit of continuing professional education and chaplaincy training.
She finished four years later then, in 2000, she entered a year-long institute certification program focused on program design implementation and evaluation for non-profit organizations with the South Carolina School of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
During that time, she served as program director and coordinator of the First Response Wellness Center of the Metropolitan Interdenominational Church in Nashville. “That served as a launching pad and hub for work I’ve done with the CDC, Health and Human Services, the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Agency, the National Institute of Health and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI),” Neely explained. “I work with national and local agencies dealing with HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, domestic violence, victim crime services and youth violence prevention.”
Neely’s efforts first intersected with the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance while serving on an advisory board for the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) grant. The grant promotes educational and research activities to enhance the “translation” of basic research findings into clinics and, ultimately, back to patients and the overall community in terms of prevention and best practice management of disease.
“The MVA served a supportive role for me,” Neely said.
The grant has multiple components including education the development of optimal therapeutics, informatics, biostatistics, industry relations, design and evaluation methods, research ethics, community engagement and novel clinical and translational methodologies. Neely’s efforts revolve around an obesity study for the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network - an initiative of PCORI - which is set to launch Jan. 1. She serves as a community principle investigator.
“I’ve always had great hope for the alliance and what they were doing,” Neely said. “I saw the need for a bridge between Vanderbilt University and Meharry Medical College, based on the work I was doing, and I was grateful to see that happen.”
Metz Can Cater All of Your Holiday Parties
Ease your holiday stress by letting Metz cater your office holiday party! Please call 615-963-2802 to place your order.
In January of 2016, Metz will be rolling out a new ordering system called Cater Trax. This system will simplify and streamline the ordering process. Save the date for Cater Trax training which will take place January 5-8, 2016. Registration details forthcoming.
The staff at Metz would like to wish the entire Meharry community happy holidays and a joyous New Year!
Holiday Hours of Operation
Administrative offices at Meharry will be closed on Thursday, December 24 and will reopen on Monday, January 4, 2016. MMG clinic areas will be closed Thursday, December 24, 2015 and will reopen on Monday, December 28, 2015. Clinics will also be closed on New Year’s Day, Friday, January 1, 2016 and will reopen on Monday, January 4, 2016.
Employees should contact your respective Dean, Department Chair and/or Division head regarding required work and duty schedules during this time. Those who have duties which require your presence will be provided appropriate compensatory days or "comp time."
Have a safe and happy holiday season!
Janet M. Caldwell • Vice President for Marketing & Communications
Jessica Powell • Communications and Outreach Program Manager
Ken Morris • Production Director
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Tarry Nwaise • Graphic Artist/Designer
Sherlene C. Fry • Administrative Assistant, Senior
Jonathan Butler • Temp, Administrative Assistant
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