UMSOM Award Recipients Committed to Promoting Health Equity and Career Advancement for Underrepresented Groups
“Tonight, we reaffirm our commitment to the values of diversity and celebrate our successful strides and accomplishments.” With these remarks, E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs at UM Baltimore, the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor, and Dean of the School of Medicine, welcomed faculty, alumni, students, and guests at the 12th annual “Celebrating Diversity” reception and dinner held on Feb. 23, at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel.
The event was attended by nearly 300 guests, who gathered to honor diversity at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), recognize those who have helped increase its diversity, and to raise money for an endowed scholarship in the name of Dean Emeritus Donald E. Wilson, MD, MACP, AGAF.
“The School of Medicine is strongly committed to the recruitment and retention of talented, culturally and ethnically diverse faculty, staff, trainees, and students,” said Dean Reece.
Gregory Carey, PhD, Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology and Director of Student Research and Community Outreach, was presented the Dean’s Faculty Award for Diversity and Inclusion. Dr. Carey has served at the national level expanding and building diversity and inclusion programming. Dr. Carey’s outreach activities have served to collaboratively bridge the local West Baltimore community and the School of Medicine. In addition to overseeing the research activities of medical students at UMSOM, Dr. Carey also is the new Director of STAR-PREP, Science Training for Advancing Biomedical Research Post-Baccalaureate Research and Education (STAR-PREP) program, which he mentors and matriculates recent baccalaureate graduates who have a strong desire to pursue advanced science degrees.
“Diversity and inclusion means more than just a number – it is about feeling that you belong,” Dr. Carey said in receiving the award, urging faculty and UMSOM leaders to continue to promote diversity.
The Dean’s Alumni Award for Diversity and Inclusion went to Kristin Powell Reavis, MD, MS, Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine. Dr. Reavis also serves as the Associate Director and Director of Maternal-Child Health for the Residency Program. Dr. Reavis completed her undergraduate education at Morgan State University before earning her Master of Biological Science at Drexel University. She earned her medical degree from UMSOM and completed her residency and fellowship training in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Dr. Reavis joined the faculty at the UMSOM in 2013, where she practices family medicine.
In receiving her award, Dr. Reavis underscored that the achievement of diversity is driven by the presence of opportunity. “Everyone deserves the opportunity to ‘just be’ regardless of their race, gender, or anything else that makes them different from the status quo,” she said. Dr. Powell-Reavis has served as a mentor to students and residents, and has engaged in admissions recruitment processes to enhance the representation of minority students. She also has spearheaded several faculty development workshops on how to mitigate the impacts of unconscious bias in healthcare.
During the 2018-2019 academic year, the School of Medicine awarded more than $4 million in direct support to our students. Of that total, almost $2 million was awarded in the form of diversity scholarships to 65 medical students. In 2016, The Dean Emeritus Donald E. Wilson Endowed Scholarship Fund was established to honor the legacy of Dr. Wilson and continue the School of Medicine’s enduring commitment to enhancing the diversity of the Schools students and the medical profession. Dr. Wilson became the nation’s first African American dean of a non-minority medical school in 1991. During his 15-year tenure – the second longest ever for a medical school dean – Dean Wilson created one of the most diverse student bodies and faculties in the country.
The Endowed Scholarship Fund facilitates the recruitment of a bright, diverse student body and provides financial assistance to support minority medical students. Jasmine Blake, MSPH, now a third-year medical student, is the first recipient of this award. “Being the inaugural Wilson Legacy Scholar, comes with an incredible duty to uphold and advance the legacy of Dr. Wilson and the areas of diversity, medicine, research, and outreach,” she said while sharing highlights on her third year at the UMSOM.
Prior to medical school, Ms. Blake earned a Master of Science in Public Health degree from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health with a concentration in International Health Systems and two certificates in Maternal & Child Health and Health Communication. Ms. Blake serves a founding member of the UMB Health Alliance, an interpersonal student-run organization dedicated to providing free health education, case management, social, and legal services to West Baltimore residents. “Often we speak of diversity as what are eyes can see, yet it is so much more than that. I am grateful that our University is listening to our voices and making more strides to become more diversified.”
Ms. Blake plans to use her skills in medicine and public health to continue advocating for the education an empowerment for underserved populations in West Baltimore and around the world.
To contribute to the Dean Emeritus Donald E. Wilson Endowed Scholarship fund, please visit http://medschool.umaryland.edu/development/ for more information.
“Celebrating Diversity” Dinner 2019 Image Gallery: