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Fifteen Medical Students, Residents, Fellows, Physicians Honored

For immediate release:
May 23, 2014

National award recognizes achievements in community service, medical education and public health

CHICAGO – The American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation will present Leadership Awards to a select group of medical students, residents, fellows, and young physicians who demonstrate outstanding non-clinical leadership skills in advocacy, community service and education. 

Four outstanding physicians and 15 medical students, residents, fellows, and early career physicians will be honored at the Excellence in Medicine Awards celebration on June 6, 2014, in Chicago, presented in association with Eli Lilly & Co., Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals, Inc., PhRMA, and Pfizer Inc. 

AMA Foundation Leadership Awards recipients are recognized for demonstrating outstanding non-clinical leadership skills in advocacy, community service, and education. The award program provides medical students, residents, fellows, and early career physicians from around the country with special training to develop their skills as future leaders in organized medicine and community affairs. 

Jordan Amadio, MD, MBA
Emory University School of Medicine
Jordan Amadio, MD, MBA, is a senior neurosurgery resident who is innovating in the field of neurosurgery and medical technology design. His academic interest is in incorporating novel machine interfaces with the human nervous system. Dr. Amadio bridges his surgical activities with societal dimensions of health care inducing bioethics, medical journalism, and building medical device startups. After earning simultaneous MD and MBA degrees through a joint program by Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. Amadio moved to Atlanta, where he currently teaches and mentors students at the Georgia Tech Biomedical Engineering design program. By co-founding Forge, a lean med-tech accelerator as well as a Consortium for Wearable Computing in Surgery, he has helped change the landscape of innovation in Atlanta. As Editorial Fellow at Neurosurgery, the leading journal in his field, he has launched successful initiatives to engage surgical trainees and hosts a popular podcast. Dr. Amadio is now editing a special theme issue on neurosurgical ethics for the AMA's ethics journal. He is active in numerous service projects for medical outreach, urban renewal, and the arts.

Anu Atluru
The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School
Anu Atluru is a second-year medical student who has applied her creative inclination and management consulting experience to expand the innovation ecosystem for rising physicians. She serves as the Product Track Co-Director for the Dallas-area Innovating Healthcare Solutions program and leads a team of MD/PhD candidates to develop a medical device for use in complicated cesarean section deliveries. She is also an elected Administrative Board Member of the Association of American Medical Colleges Organization of Student Representatives. Ms. Atluru envisions a multi-faceted career as both a clinician and an educator. She hopes to drive the creation of novel, impactful technologies, and approaches to patient care.

Ashley Cobb
Mayo Medical School
Ashley Cobb is a third-year medical student pursuing a career in primary care, which she hopes to integrate with her interests in global health and public service. After graduating from the University of San Diego, Ms. Cobb worked with AmeriCorps in an after-school program for at-risk youth and coordinated a community health fair for migrant farm workers. Currently a medical student at Mayo Medical School, she volunteers extensively in her community, serving as a mentor for local adolescents. She has also conducted a qualitative study in Uganda and organized a successful fundraiser for people in the Philippines. Ms. Cobb will attend University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill to get her Master's of Public Health in maternal and child health next year.

Kevin Contrera
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Kevin Contrera, a third-year medical student at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, is committed to integrating a greater understanding of clinical research into our country's health policy. He has spent two terms representing medical students in the American Medical Association House of Delegates, during which he led his local section in one of the largest membership increases in the country. As chair of the Medical Student Section's Committee on Legislation and Advocacy, he built a national grassroots network that rallied to preserve federal funding for graduate medical education. Mr. Contrera has received a fellowship with the National Institutes of Health to pursue a master's degree in public health.

Ahizechukwu Eke, MD, MPH
Michigan State University School of Medicine/Sparrow Hospital
Ahizechukwu Eke, MD, MPH, is a second-year OBGYN resident in Michigan, where he serves as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Junior Fellow Chair. His interests include promotion of safe obstetric practices, cost-effectiveness analysis of obstetric interventions, management of high-risk pregnancies, and promoting sexual and reproductive healthcare and women's rights. As an active member of the Cochrane Collaboration, he is a peer reviewer and author of several Cochrane reviews. He earned a Master's of Public Health in healthcare policy and management from the Harvard School of Public Health in 2011. Dr. Eke is interested in a fellowship in maternal fetal medicine after he completes his residency.

Asghar Haider
University of California, Irvine School of Medicine
Asghar "Abbas" Haider, a fourth-year student in the combined MD/MBA curriculum at the University of California, Irvine, is passionate about community outreach. As an immigrant and first-generation college student, Abbas recognized the need for mentors for teens in his community. As an undergraduate in 2007, he co-founded the Peer Advancement Community for Teens, an organization that mentors and tutors underserved students in the Los Angeles area. Mr. Haider is working towards a dual MD/MBA degree to better understand the changing healthcare landscape and to advocate for his future patients. His aspiration is to become a leader in academic ophthalmology.

Nadine Kaskas
Louisiana State University, School of Medicine at Shreveport
Nadine Kaskas is a third-year medical student pursuing a career in academic dermatology and medical editing. She founded and currently serves as editor-in-chief of the American Medical Student Research Journal, an academic publication authored, reviewed, and edited by medical students. She also founded the Research Distinction Track program and Empathy in Medicine elective at the Louisiana State University Health Shreveport School of Medicine. Ms. Kaskas' service interests include mentorship programs for students and providing care to underserved

Michael Maguire
University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine
Michael Maguire is a third-year medical student in the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine (UMMSM)'s combined four-year MD/MPH program. His interests include primary care, global health, health policy, medical education, and administration. Since his freshman year, Mr. Maguire has worked with the World Health Organization as an intern and consultant, focusing primarily on malaria control programs and strengthening health systems. Mr. Maguire is passionately involved in UMMSM's Department of Community Service and is responsible for developing a new student-run clinic partnership with Caridad Center, which cares for a largely uninsured, underserved immigrant population in Palm Beach County, Florida. He is interested in curriculum reform and has contributed to the creation of multiple new fourth-year rotations at UMMSM, including an elective for Medical Education and a Public Health Clerkship that is now mandatory for MD/MPH students.

Kanika Monga
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso Paul L. Foster School of Medicine
Kanika Monga is a third-year medical student and a dedicated social activist. In 2012, Monga established a non-profit organization, Voice for the Deprived, which uses mass media to increase awareness of the underprivileged in India's day-to-day issues in an effort to assemble resources for them. The organization's goal is to influence policies and programs and empower communities to make sustainable improvements in the health conditions of the urban poor. Kanika has been inducted into the Gold Humanism Honors Society and will graduate with a distinction in research and scholarship.

Raja Narayan
University of California, Irvine School of Medicine
Raja Narayan is an MD/MPH student at UC Irvine School of Medicine pursuing a Master's of Public Health in applied biostatistics and epidemiology. He has been deeply involved in deploying technology to advance medical education and patient care, which has led him to be named a Patron Fund Diplomat at TEDMED, a New England Journal of Medicine Gold Scholar, and co-president of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. At Yale, Mr. Narayan was a member of the Institutional Review Board, a senior clinical team member of the student-run HAVEN free clinic, lead editor for the Yale Journal of Health Policy Law and Ethics, winner of the Yale Global Health Case Competition, and captain of the Movember initiative that raised money to support research on men's health. Mr. Narayan will be completing his final year of medical school at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine as he applies to residency in general surgery.

Aakash Kaushik Shah
Harvard Medical School
Aakash Shah is a third-year medical student interested in state-level health care policy and the delivery of affordable, high-quality health care to underserved populations. As an advisor to state Senator Loretta Weinberg and a fellow at the Center for State Health Policy, Mr. Shah assisted with the passage and implementation of legislation establishing Medicaid Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) in N.J. Mr. Shah obtained his MBA and MSc in comparative social policy from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. Mr. Shah hopes to pursue a career in health policy and clinical medicine.

Kavita Shah Arora, MD, MBE
MetroHealth Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University
Kavita Shah Arora, MD, MBE, is an assistant professor of reproductive biology and bioethics at Case Western Reserve University and director of quality in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio. Her research interests include reproductive ethics and ethics health policy, as well as ethics and professionalism in medical education. She has served on the national ethics committees of both the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. In 2009, Dr. Arora earned both a medical degree from Jefferson Medical College and a master's degree in bioethics from the University of Pennsylvania. She completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University in 2013, where she served as the chief resident for education.

Jason Singer
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Jason Singer is a first-year medical student and Returned Peace Corps Volunteer. During his time as a Peace Corps volunteer in Madagascar from 2010 to 2012, Jason worked alongside local counterparts on various malaria prevention, clean water, and family planning efforts. Upon starting medical school, Mr. Singer was elected class president for the inaugural cohort of Vanderbilt's new one-year pre-clinical curriculum and has been influential in creating a collaborative environment for his fellow classmates. This past year, he organized and moderated a health policy panel at Vanderbilt University. This panel provided insight into how health policy decisions are made as well as tools for fellow students, residents, and faculty to actively shape the evolving health care system. His interests include health care delivery, global health, and medical device innovation.

Carl G. Streed Jr., MD
Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
Carl Streed Jr., MD, has advocated for the inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) health issues in the John Hopkins Schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health curricula, has increased the visibility and value of the LGBT community at Hopkins through community advocacy, and has successfully achieved transgender equity in health insurance coverage. Nationally, Dr. Streed has served as the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) LGBT Policy Coordinator & Liaison, advised the American Medical Association Board of Trustees as a member of the Advisory Committee on GLBT Issues, and served on a board of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. Dr. Streed's efforts have previously earned him the Johns Hopkins Diversity Leadership Award, the AMSA James Slayton National Award for Leadership Excellence, the Erickson-Zoellers Point Foundation Scholarship, as well as recognition by the White House Office of Public Engagement as part of the Next Generation of LGBT Leaders and the Washington DC Next Generation Leadership Foundation.

Sameer Vohra, MD, JD
The University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital
Sameer Vohra, MD, JD, is currently a third-year resident physician in pediatrics and public policy. He is a Fulbright Scholar, has worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Public Health Law Program, and has completed fellowships for the American Pediatric Society for Pediatric Research and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Department of Federal Affairs. Dr. Vohra currently sits on the AAP's Section on Medical Students, Residents, and Fellowship Trainees National Executive Committee. He previously served on the Illinois State Medical Society Board of Trustees and the National Administrative Board for the Association of American Medical Colleges Organization of Student Representatives. Dr. Vohra plans to pursue a career devoted to improving the health and achievement of children in both a clinical and policy setting.

The AMA Foundation, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt foundation, is improving the health of Americans through philanthropic support of quality programs in public health and medical education. To join the AMA Foundation in supporting medical heroes like the Excellence in Medicine Award winners, visit www.amafoundation.org.

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Media Contact:
Amy Jenkins, AMA Foundation
(312) 464-5864