September 28, 2007

Churchwell named to VUSM diversity post

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Andre Churchwell, M.D.

Churchwell named to VUSM diversity post

Andre Churchwell, M.D., assistant professor of Medicine, has been named associate dean for Diversity in Graduate Medical Education and Faculty Affairs.

“We have become recognized as leaders for our efforts to increase diversity among our medical student population, and I give George Hill (associate dean for Diversity in Medical Education) great credit for that,” said Steven Gabbe, M.D., dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

“What we face as a challenge is enhancing diversity in residents and faculty. That's where we want to focus more attention.

“We would like to recruit great students, keep them as residents and get them to become faculty. Andre will work collaboratively with George to achieve this goal,” Gabbe said.

Churchwell, a cardiologist with the Vanderbilt Heart & Vascular Institute, graduated magna cum laude in biomedical engineering in 1975 from Vanderbilt University.

He received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 1979, and later completed his internship, residency and cardiology fellowship at Emory University School of Medicine and affiliated hospitals in Atlanta.

He was the first African-American chief medical resident at Grady Memorial Hospital. He was a Robert Wood Johnson Minority Faculty Scholar of 1986.

While at Emory, Churchwell served as director of Minority Affairs.

Churchwell was named the 2005 Walter R. Murray Jr. Distinguished Alumnus, an award given by the Association of Vanderbilt Black Alumni, which recognizes lifetime achievements in personal, professional and community arenas.

“Partnering with Andre will be exciting. To be a truly diverse institution, we must attract more students, residents and faculty who are underrepresented in medicine, and this process is interrelated,” said Hill, Ph.D., Levi Watkins Jr. Professor.

“I look forward to working with Andre in these efforts and his experiences will be invaluable as we together implement the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine's diversity strategic plan.”

Named the Emory University School of Medicine Resident Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award winner in 2004, Churchwell also received the J. Willis Hurst Award for Best Clinical Teacher in 1991 from Emory and has been named one of the nation's top cardiologists in “The Best Doctors in America.”

“My plan has always been to work with the Dean's office to express my interest in diversity and finding people of color who can add to VU through their unique backgrounds and intelligence,” Churchwell said.

“My hope is that when I finish this job, VUMC will not need attention to diversity and that a 'snapshot' of VUSM will mirror the world at large.”