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Minority Affairs Section Governing Council Election

2014 AMA Minority Affairs Sections (MAS) Governing Council (GC) elections are now open

The AMA Minority Affairs Section  (MAS) Governing Council urges all of its members to vote in its upcoming election. An encrypted ballot will be emailed April 1 to AMA-MAS members with viable emails. If the AMA-MAS office does not have your current email address, please send an email with your full name by April 2.

AMA-MAS GC election will take place April 1-15, 2014 for the following positions:

  • One Delegate will be elected by the AMA-MAS membership from nominations submitted to the AMA-MAS. The elected member will serve a three-year term.
  • One Medical Student Section Representative to serve for a one-year term – nominated by the AMA-MSS and elected by the AMA-MAS membership.
  • The Resident and Fellows Section Representative has appointed Dr. Tiffani L. Bell to serve on the MAS Governing Council for a two-year term
  • The Young Physicians Section Representative will be elected by the AMA-MAS membership from nominations submitted to the AMA-MAS. The elected member will each serve a three-year term.
  • The Associate of American Indian Physicians has appointed Dr. Donald K. Warne, to serve as the AAIP representative for the MAS Governing Council for a three year term.
  • The National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA) has appointed Dr. Mauricio Pinto, to serve as the NHMA representative for the MAS Governing Council for a three year term.

If you are not an AMA-MAS member, call (800) 262-3211 to join or renew your AMA membership. Then sign up for a complimentary AMA-MAS membership. Only AMA-MAS members will receive the encrypted ballot and a reminder email during the election period, which concludes at midnight Central time April 15.

If you have questions about the election, contact Cynthia Norwood of the AMA via email or at (312) 464-4743.

Delegate Position (Vote "Yes" or "No")

Dionne Hart, MDDionne Hart, MD
Rochester, MN
Specialty:  Psychiatry

Endorsed by:  International Medical Graduate Section; Minnesota Medical Association; AMA Section Council on Psychiatry; Wisconsin Medical Society; and Young Physicians Section

Statement of Interest:
I'm an adult psychiatrist currently serving as the Young Physicians Section (YPS) representative to the Minority Affairs Governing Council (MAS-GC), I've been honored to advocate for the interests of young physicians while also working to fulfill the mission of the Mas and address the needs of traditionally identified racial minorities.  During my service as YPS representative to the MAS GC, my colleagues recognized my leadership abilities, passion and achievements by electing me Vice Chair then Chair.  As chair, I led our group as we transitioned to a section; initiated relationships with other sections chairs and collaborated with other sections in developing educational programs; encouraged an increase in the number of MAS sponsored resolutions and testimony during the House of Delegates business meetings; and spearheaded member suggested outreach programs such as the Mock Interview program for college students.

I have used my position to publicly protests issues of stigma, health care disparities, homophobia, and gender inequality.  At every opportunity, I am a staunch advocate for medicine, going so far as to publicly defend our profession when prominent community leaders discouraged students from pursing medicine due to the cost associated with undergraduate medical education, malpractice insurance and health care reform. (Turner Trice, D., "Doctor offers a second opinion on health careers," Chicago Tribune, October 9, 2013, News.)

If elected, I will continue to build relationships within the HOD and seek health policy changes within the house of medicine to improve the practice and delivery of health care services.

Medical Student Section (MSS) Representative (Vote "Yes" or "No")

The MSS has nominated Rachael King to serve a 1 year term:  June 2014-June 2015 (first term)

Rachael A. KingRachael A. King
Tampa, FL
Medical School:  University of South Florida Morsani COM

Statement of Interest:
I can remember the first AMA-MSS conference I went to as a medical student. It was Interim-12 in New Orleans and, admittedly, I participated because of the location. Having fun was my only priority and that was all I was expecting from the conference. What I did not expect was an eye-opening experience that led me to meet other amazing medical students and exchange ideas with those who shared the same goals as I did about the future of medicine. It fueled my passion and commitment to advocate for minority health issues in a larger arena, where I can speak on behalf of my community and have their voice can be heard. As I approach my final year in medical school, I want the opportunity to give back to my community, the AMA, and the cohort of students that embraced me as one of their own. I feel that the best way I can to do that is by becoming the student liaison for the Minority Affairs Consortium Governing Council.

I draw inspiration from my mother, a strong, independent Jamaican woman that raised my brother and me, by herself. She is the pinnacle of how I would like to be and, like her; I want to walk through this world with intelligence and grace. One of the most important lessons I learned from my mother is to give selflessly and help those who have not been afforded the same opportunities as I. Many of the simplest needs are not met living in Jamaica. Shelter, clean clothes, and food guaranteed everyday are considered a luxury, and having adequate healthcare is no exception. She knows what it was like to have very little and never let my brother and I take the food on our plates or the clothes on our backs for granted. Because of how I was raised and the value system I was brought up under, I am aware that many people are not as fortunate as I am. Many of these people are in the minority community, my community, and giving back to them is one of the cornerstones of how I was raised.

My upbringing and my culture are what drive my passion for minority affairs and health disparities. In Jamaica, people have to travel miles and across towns to see a doctor and get adequate healthcare. Shockingly, I have seen this same scenario in the United States, just 45 minutes north of where I go to medical school. Because of this, I have dedicated myself to work in minority health and consistently educate myself on its disparities. During my first year, I founded Caribbean Outreach through Medical Missions Assoc. (COMMA), which works toward the education of the medical student body about the healthcare needs of the Caribbean population in America and abroad. My organization also collaborates with the Caribbean Community Association of Tampa, of which many Caribbean-American physicians are members, to host a medical mission trip to the Caribbean once a year. In addition, I am in the Health Disparities Scholarly concentration at USF MCOM, where we discuss the current issues in healthcare and address the disparities therein. I also participated in Area Health Education Center's SEARCH program, which allowed me to work with individuals that have poor access to healthcare.

This past year, I was able to become a member of the Minority Issues Committee and begin accomplishing my goals within the AMA. Working with people that have the same passion for health disparities and minority issues as I do has been an irreplaceable experience. This past year, we have been able to collaborate with other MSS organizations and I worked directly with Community Service Committee members at the "How to…run a student clinic," session during I-13. We have also been able to reach out to minority professional societies outside of the AMA. By doing so, we hope to create a rewarding collaboration between organizations that will be lasting and have mutual benefits to all parties involved. The MIC has many more projects in the works, one of which is collaborating with the MAS and its current student liaison to help create a minority mentorship database.

If I am chosen as the MAS GC student liaison, I will use my culture, upbringing, and experiences in medical school to work for the AMA. I feel that my link to the minority community will be one of my strengths to this position, as it will make me more relatable and trustworthy to those I speak for. As the student liaison, I will draw on what I have learned in the past three years of medical school to further the goals of the MSS and the MAS and to carry-on the plans of my predecessor for an expansive and complete minority mentorship database. I am confident that the MAS and MSS will benefit from my passion, optimism, and ambition for minority issues, all of which will serve me well in advocating for equal health and medical students, alike. I am certain that I will learn much in the position and continue to grow as a person, medical student, and as an advocate. Given the opportunity, I know I will succeed in this position and make a difference in the AMA.

Resident and Fellows Section (RFS) Representative (Vote "Yes" or "No")

The RFS has appointed Dr. Tiffani Bell to serve a 2 year term:  June 2014-June 2016 (first term)

Tiffani  L. Bell, MDTiffani L. Bell, MD
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Specialty:  Psychiatry

Statement of Interest:

As an African- American female physician, I am acutely aware of the scarcity of others who "look like me" in the medical field. In medical school I was privileged to have a few African American mentors and Attending's but in general there weren't many. Because I understand the importance of becoming a community leader, I applied to become an APA/SAMHSA fellow. Through this award, I was awarded a grant and have planned and participated in several events for the community including career days, health fairs, and partnership with a local church. I also believe there is a dire need for mentorship and guidance for new physicians looking to make a difference in their community. I, along with 2 other residents, am planning a minority medical student panel to help rising 3rd /4th year students from the area decide which field of medicine they would like to choose. I'm passionate about reducing the stigma surrounding mental illness, eating disorders, and obesity in minority population. I am also planning a Doctors Back to School event here in North Carolina as an attempt to spread hope amongst underserved students about their potential to work in health care.

I am an enthusiastic person who enjoys sharing my passion for medicine, science and mental health. I have continued to grow in the face of adversity and understand the importance of giving back to those who suffer injustice based on their socioeconomic status. When I speak with students, I encourage them to hold fast to their dreams and that all things are possible if they prepare and are willing to work hard. I believe my biggest strength is my compassion and dedication for improving the lives of others. I am knowledgeable about psychiatry and mental health and I believe understanding the motivation behind the actions of others is a useful skill. It would be an honor to serve on this council and learn more about public policy and hopefully affect a change for a population that needs more leadership and direction. I ultimately aspire to include public health and policy in my career as a psychiatrist.

Young Physician Section (YPS) Representative (Select One)

Frank A. Clark, MDFrank A. Clark, MD
Columbia, South Carolina
Specialty:  Psychiatry

Statement of Interest:

I am a fourth year general psychiatry resident at Palmetto Health/University of South Carolina School of Medicine. I currently serve as the resident representative on the Minority Affairs Section Governing Council (MAS-GC). I am quite familiar with the inner workings of the MAS-GC and share their vision to help eliminate health care disparities and increase the number of underrepresented minority physicians in the field of medicine.

In order to help cultivate this vision, I have been a strong advocate for our patients and physicians by sowing seeds in my local community. One of my goals while serving on this diverse council was to implement a Doctors Back to School program (DBTS) at elementary and high schools in my community of Richland County, South Carolina. The purpose of this program is to motivate and mentor under-represented minority students who have aspirations of pursuing a career in health care. Over the past two years I have accomplished this endeavor by speaking to students at several of my local school districts.
The Young Physician Section (YPS) emphasizes the importance of leadership. My goal as a candidate for the YPS representative to the MAS is to continue to plant seeds of advocacy and passion for the field of medicine as we seek to improve health outcomes for our patients.

Heidi S. Millard, MDHeidi S. Millard, MD
Loma Linda, California
Specialty:  Family Medicine

Endorsed by: Dean G. Richard Olds, Vice Chancellor, UC Riverside School of Medicine and Dr. Tarek Mahdi, President of Riverside County Medical Association (RCMA)

Statement of Interest:
As a Hispanic female working in family medicine, I am very passionate about providing for the needs of the local underrepresented minority groups within Southern California and across the country.  I am currently working for a local clinic that provides medical services to low income, primarily minority patients who often struggle to afford medical care.  I am also a clinical faculty member of the University of California, Riverside School of Medicine whose goal is to provide services and produce medical leaders in the Inland Southern California region.  I am active in recruiting and training medical students from our local diverse ethnic areas and who are often the first in their families to complete a college degree.  I am regularly involved in a nearby free health clinic and will be assisting the free health fairs located in San Bernardino and the Coachella Valley.  I have been a resident delegate from the California Medical Association to Sacramento for the past two years and became an AMA Physicians as Community Health Advocate as I believe being a voice for underrepresented patients is an important part of physician leadership and growth.  I feel that I am already advancing the interest of the YPS and would love the opportunity for a national voice to further aid minority groups across the country.

Associate of American Indian Physicians (AAIP) Representative (Vote "Yes" or "No")

The AAIP has appointed Dr. Donald K. Warne, to serve a 3 year term:  June 2014 - June 2017 (first term). 

Donald K. Warne, MDDonald K. Warne, MD
Fargo, North Dakota
Specialty:  Family Practice

Endorsed by: Association of American Indian Physicians

Statement of Interest:
I have worked in multiple areas in the health profession, including primary care, public health academics, research, administration and advocacy.  My primary population of interest is the American Indian (AI) population.  AIs have among the worst health disparities in the nation, and we are underrepresented in the healthcare workforce, including medicine.  IN my capacity with the AMA, I look forward to the opportunity to advocate for the health, education and medical leadership needs of the AI population.

National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA) Representative (Vote "Yes" or "No")

The NHMA has appointed Mauricio Pinto to serve a 3 year term:  June 2014 - June 2017 (first term).

Mauricio Pinto, MDMauricio Pinto, MD
Odessa, Texas
Specialty: Family Medicine

Statement of Interest:

As a Hispanic physician, I have served on various leadership roles through different organizations.  Upon completing my hospitalist fellowship, I began practicing hospital medicine in 2013 for Medical Center Hospital in Odessa, Texas.  After only 5 months of practice, I was promoted to director of the group to start in July 2014.  I enjoy leadership opportunities and roles and looking forward to further improving my medical skills and becoming a liaison/mentor for Hispanic physicians seeking careers in the medical field.  Additionally, I seek to get more involved in academic medicine and seeking efforts to improve health care disparities specifically to those involving the Latino patient population.