Friday, September 20, 2013

Supporting equal educational opportunities


From left, DeFaria Yeh, Irazoqui and Castro

Expressing joy and gratitude, Doreen DeFaria Yeh, MD, from the Division of Cardiology, accepted the 2013 Clinician-Teacher Development Award from the Multicultural Affairs Office (MAO). “My parents grew up in Cape Verde with only a few years of formal education at that time. I feel so fortunate to have the educational opportunities I’ve had, and privileged to be supported in further work.”

Elena Olson, MAO executive director, provided opening remarks at the annual Welcoming and Recognition reception, which honored three Faculty Development Award recipients on Sept. 11 at the Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History and Innovation. The awards program was created in 2004 to help retain and promote faculty underrepresented in medicine and to increase opportunities for advancement to senior positions in academic medicine and leadership at the MGH. Each award provides $120,000 over four years.

“Over the past 10 years, we have sponsored 29 awards and have committed more than $3.8 million of funding, with an overall 90 percent retention rate. We’ve had a huge impact on the careers of the recipients,” said Olson. “In a few short years, we have seen academic promotions; increased funding, grants and publications; implementation of novel health care quality improvement, community and education projects; as well as advancements in academic and administrative leadership positions.”

Peter L. Slavin, MD, MGH president, presented the awards along with Winfred Williams, MD, nephrologist and co-chair of the MAO Advisory Board, and Michael Watkins, MD, from Vascular Surgery – who both serve on the MAO Faculty Development Award selection committees.

DeFaria Yeh was recognized for her project, “Redefining Adult Congenital Heart Disease Education in Massachusetts.” Also honored were Physician-Scientist Development Award recipients Javier Irazoqui, PhD, of the Department of Pediatrics, for his abstract, “Regulation of Chromic Intestinal Inflammation and Host Defense by Wnt Signaling,” and Cesar Castro, MD, MMSc, of the Department of Medicine, for “Leveraging Nanosensor Technologies for Pathway Characterization of Solid Tumors.”

“I am deeply grateful to the MAO for all the great work they do to promote equality of opportunity and to Dr. Slavin for his leadership and vision in addressing issues of diversity at the MGH,” said Irazoqui.

Castro beamed while accepting his award. ”While my quality of life outdoors during Boston winters may be challenged, my academic quality of life indoors during that time is quite balmy. And the indoor forecast will remain as such with this Physician-Scientist Development Award.”

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