6 AMA members honored for advancing health equity
Over the past two years, unexpected trials have taken place in healthcare, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic. But many young health care leaders have persevered in their efforts to strengthen their communities, reduce health inequities, and improve outcomes in the United States.
Many of these patient advocates, researchers, policymakers and other medical experts have been named to the annual list of “40 Leaders Under 40 in Minority Health” compiled by National Minority Quality. Forum (NMQF).
Among those on the NMQF list are physicians who use their positions to lead the charge to improve patient outcomes and build sustainable, healthy communities. Their work highlights the continued need to foster diversity in their organizations. Six of this year’s winners are WADA members and you can read more about them below.
Yet it is clear that the fundamental drivers of health inequity cannot be overcome through the exceptional efforts of individual physicians, however talented and committed. Learn about the AMA’s strategic plan to embed racial justice and advance health equity and how the AMA Center for Health Equity is embedding health equity across the organization so that it be part of practice, process, action, innovation and organizational performance and results .
Additionally, the AMA Ed Hub™ Health Equity Education Center provides physicians and other learners with the basic health equity concepts needed to support them as they continue to take action and address health injustice. Meanwhile, the AMA’s “Prioritizing Equity” CME video series highlights how COVID-19 and other determinants of health uniquely affect marginalized communities.
6 doctors who make a difference
Of the NQMF’s 2022 “40 Under 40 Leaders in Minority Health” who are members of the AMA, five are also part of the AMA’s Ambassador Program, which equips physicians with the skills and knowledge to speak up confidence in WADA’s initiatives and the value of WADA membership.
Kavita Shah Arora, MD, MBE, MS, is an obstetrician and division director for general obstetrics and gynecology at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Dr. Arora sits on the Board of Directors of the AMA’s Young Doctors Section, as an Ambassador for the AMA, and her research focuses on reproductive ethics, inequalities in contraception and sterilization. postpartum care, patient-centred quality of care and ethics education. Learn more about how Dr. Arora is improving health and reducing inequalities.
Joel A. Bervell, MS, is a third-year Ghanaian American medical student and medical social media educator at Washington State University’s Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine. He is currently a Med Student Digital Fellow of the AMA Ambassador Program and co-founded Hugs for, a non-profit organization that empowers the next generation of global high school leaders. Bervell is also fighting racial inequality in medicine through education and sharing on his Instagram and TikTok, which named him the best “Voice for Change” of 2021.
Alec Calac, of the Pauma Band of the Luiseño Indians, is a medical student and doctoral student at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science. Calac chairs the AMA Medical Student Section Committee on Native American Affairs, is an AMA Ambassador, and his research focuses on medical education and workforce development, tribal public health , vaccine hesitancy and the spread of misinformation and the use of social media. He is also president-elect of the Association of Native American Medical Students. Watch this “Prioritizing Equity” video featuring Calac and others on COVID-19 and the experiences of medical students.
Faith Crittenden, MD, MPH, is a pediatric resident at the Yale School of Medicine. Dr. Crittenden chairs the Public Health Committee of the AMA Residents and Fellows Section and played a key role in shaping the AMA’s policy to recognize racism as a threat to public health. She is an AMA Ambassador and focuses on educating patients from historically marginalized racial and ethnic groups about food, nutrition, and weight management from a cultural perspective, as well as implementing anti-racist strategies in clinical medicine and highlighting his first-generation experience through narrative medicine. .
S. Monica Soni, MD, is an internist and associate chief medical officer at New Century Health in Los Angeles. Dr. Soni works cross-functionally in the areas of clinical informatics, engagement of physicians and other healthcare professionals, value-based strategies, and innovation. Its goal is to ensure high-quality, cost-effective care for patients and an optimal experience for physicians.
Tiffani Bell Washington, MD, is a quad board-certified physician who specializes in adult, child, and adolescent psychiatry, obesity medicine, and lifestyle medicine in Winston-Salem, NC. She is in her second term on the WADA Ambassador Program Steering Committee. After losing several family members to preventable diseases at a young age, Dr. Bell has dedicated her life to maximizing health and limiting the impact of chronic disease on historically marginalized racial and ethnic populations. She is also a founding member of the Pierce Bell Institute of Black Psychiatry, which advocates for research and policy that addresses the unique mental health needs of black people, and has also served as a resident and fellow section representative on the Board of Directors. Administration of Minority Affairs of the AMA.
Learn more about this year’s 40 under 40 and see the full list on NMQF.
Dive into the details of the AMA-sponsored study, “Experiences of racially and ethnically minority and marginalized physicians in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic” (PDF).
Also, learn how AMA Ambassadors and members of the AMA Minority Affairs Section are speaking out and advocating for issues that affect physicians and medical students from historically marginalized racial and ethnic groups.