May 14, 2004

School of Medicine student organization earns top honors

Featured Image

Jacek Hawiger, M.D., Ph.D

School of Medicine student organization earns top honors

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine’s chapter of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) was named Chapter of the Year for its region at the national meeting held in New Orleans earlier this month.

The SNMA is a medical student association that promotes the recruitment of minorities into the medical field and works to bring health care to underserved communities through the efforts of local chapters.

Vanderbilt chapter president, second-year student Mary Fleming, was elected assistant regional director for the organization, and third-year student Rasheeda Stephens earned a national scholarship.

“I think the SNMA, under Mary Fleming’s leadership, has achieved a new height and new level in the effort to increase the diversity of our students, as well as teamed with other student organizations committed to this effort, such as the Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association,” said George Hill, Ph.D., professor of Microbiology and Immunology and associate dean for Diversity.

Vanderbilt’s association has worked to gain awareness and become active in the community over the past year, according to Fleming.

“For a relatively small chapter, we have made great strides in becoming more active and involved,” she said. “It’s exciting to be recognized by our region for these efforts.”

“This group has taken a lot of initiative to bring health care to the community,” said Cornelia Graves, M.D., associate professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and assistant dean for Diversity. “Since Vanderbilt is not historically a minority school, this honor speaks to the strength of Vanderbilt’s diversity efforts.”

Fleming said Vanderbilt’s SNMA chapter hopes to continue garnering awareness for the organization and the need for diversity, remain active in the community, and increase awareness for issues such as HIV/AIDS, diabetes and voter registration in the coming year.