VUSM student lands award from AMAJan. 24, 2013, 9:42 AM
Kristen Eckstrand, an M.D./Ph.D. student at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, has been named a recipient of the American Medical Association Foundation’s 2013 Leadership Award.
Eckstrand is one of 20 medical trainees nationwide selected for the award, which recognizes those demonstrating outstanding non-clinical leadership skills in advocacy, community service and education.
Eckstrand provides co-leadership of the Vanderbilt Program for LGBTI Health with Jesse Ehrenfeld, M.D., MPH, associate professor of Anesthesiology (and recipient of the AMA Foundation Award in 2008). Andre Churchwell, M.D., associate dean for Diversity at the School of Medicine said Eckstrand has helped make Vanderbilt a leader in a new era of diversity in medicine.
“Kristen is the right person at the right time in the life of this Medical Center as we deepen and broaden our commitment to diversity. Her lucid thinking and passion around LGBTI issues adds great clarity and vision for those of us working on diversity in the Medical School and University as a whole,” Churchwell said.
Eckstrand, who is a fifth-year M.D./Ph.D. candidate, will also receive the AMSA/GLMA LGBT Health Achievement Award from the national organizations representing medical students and gay and lesbian medical students, respectively.
Together, Eckstrand said, these awards indicate this is an important time for the development of LGBTI health equality.
“I view this as being representative of two things — first, a culture and climate change at Vanderbilt that has allowed someone like myself to work with and be mentored by leadership here to build systems supporting LGBTI health.; second, it speaks to a readiness in the culture of medicine as a whole to support LGBTI issues,” she said.