Friday, September 21, 2012

MAO event celebrates awardees, SNMA


FUNDING THE FUTURE: From left, Slavin, Williams, Bentley-Lewis, Carter, Watkins and Olson


Surrounded by displays about past and current medical innovations, MGH leadership, faculty and a future generation of innovators from the MGH and across the country – medical students and trainees – gathered at the Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History and Innovation Sept. 14 to celebrate the 2012 Multicultural Affairs Office (MAO) Faculty Development Award winners. The event also helped kick off the Student National Medical Association’s (SNMA) National Leadership Institute conference, co-hosted for the first time by MGH, MAO and the Harvard Medical School chapter of the SNMA. The SNMA is the oldest and largest student-run organization focused on the needs and concerns of medical students of color.

Peter L. Slavin, MD, MGH president, and Elena Olson, executive director of MAO, welcomed guests and emphasized the hospital’s dedication to diversity. “Increasing the diversity of our workforce is important for three reasons,” said Slavin. “For one, it’s simply the right thing to do. Also, if we want to be in a position to care for people of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds, we must have a workforce that understands their needs. Finally, research shows that the more diverse a group is, the better the quality of ideas that come from it.”

“MAO collaborates with every department and hospital leadership to advance the careers of individuals from backgrounds that are underrepresented in medicine,” added Olson. “We encourage you to think of MAO as a home away from home.”

During the event, Will Siu, MD, a resident in Psychiatry and Organization of Minority Residents and Fellows board member, encouraged colleagues to become involved with the program. SNMA President Nisha Branch thanked the MGH for its support and noted that the gathering would be the largest National Leadership Institute ever, with more than 120 students attending.

Winfred Williams, MD, nephrologist and co-chair of the MAO Advisory Board, and Michael Watkins, MD, vascular surgeon – who both serve on the MAO Faculty Development Awards selection committees – presented the 2012 awards. Rhonda Bentley-Lewis, MD, of the Diabetes Unit, is the recipient of the Physician-Scientist Development Award for “Development of a Screening Algorithm for Gestational Diabetes Mellitus,” and Jocelyn Carter, MD, MPH, of the Academic Hospitalist Service, is the recipient of the Clinician-Teacher Development Award for “Reducing 30-Day Hospital Readmissions in an Academic Medical Center.” The awards, funded by the President’s Office, the Executive Committee on Research and the MGPO, provide $120,000 over four years. 

“I’m very excited about this work,” said Carter. “With the help of the small but mighty coalition of the willing who I’ve gathered, I look forward to generating outcomes that will improve care delivery here at MGH and beyond.” 

Read more articles from the 09/21/12 Hotline issue.


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