The Association of American Medical Colleges, or AAMC, honored the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine for its outstanding contributions to medicine and community service on Sunday, Nov. 13, during its annual meeting, Learn Serve Lead 2016, in Seattle, Washington.
The medical college received the Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Service recognizing its diverse partnerships in Flint and in rural Michigan areas that focus on improving health care across the state.
One of the nation’s first community-based medical schools, the College of Human Medicine has been partnering with local communities since its founding in 1964.
Last year, the medical school played a central role in exposing toxic lead levels in Flint’s water system. With Flint being the home of the college’s public health–focused initiatives, the university partners with local hospitals, as well as government and community stakeholders on the Flint Public Health Research Advisory Committee.
Another effort focused on helping all of Flint’s children to grow up healthy and strong is the Pediatric Public Health Initiative, a partnership between the school, community and Hurley Children’s Hospital. Other programs that reinforce this community–college collaborative model, include the Rural Physician Program, the Rural Community Health Program, integrated engagement planning across college campuses and required community service for students.
“This is a great honor for our people who do such a great job,” said Aron Sousa, senior associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Human Medicine. “We are the first land-grant university and one of the very first community-based medical colleges in the country. We live in an environment of service to our communities, so it’s part and parcel of who we are. We not only train physicians and do research, we create a scientific safety net for our communities by working with community groups and leaders.”
In addition to the college’s Spencer Foreman Award, two MSU faculty members received lifetime achievement awards. Brian Mavis, professor and chief of the Shared Discovery Academy, received the Group on Educational Affairs Merrell Flair Award. Wanda Lipscomb, associate dean for student affairs and senior associate dean for diversity and inclusion, received the Group on Student Affairs Exemplary Service Award.
For more information, visit www.aamc.org/initiatives/awards/2016-aamc-awards-recipients/.