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2013 AMA-MAS Governing Council Election Candidates

2013 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, 2013 for the following positions:

  • Two At-Large members to be elected by the AMA-MAS membership from nominations submitted to the AMA-MAS. Elected members will each 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 National Medical Association (NMA) has appointed Dr. Leonard Weather, Jr. MD to serve as the NMA representative for the MAS Governing Council.

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.

Adrian Begay, MD

Adrian Begay, MD

At-Large Positions

Gallup, N.M.
Specialty: Family Medicine


Statement of Interest:

As an American Indian, specifically a Navajo woman physician, it has always been my personal mission and vision to elevate the health status of all American Indian/Alaskan Native (AI/AN) peoples. Health care for federally recognized AI/AN is a trust responsibility of the United States government and it is important for me and other AI/AN physicians to advocate for our patients as resources to accomplish the goal of health equity is persistently inadequate; and also advocate for physicians who serve AI/AN populations as the work can be overwhelming in remote, rural areas of certain reservations or in urban areas where it is difficult for AI/AN to access health care.

Tyeese L. Gaines, MD

Tyeese L. Gaines, MD

At-Large Positions

Jersey City, N.J.
Specialty: Emergency Medicine


Endorsed by: Renee Volny, MD, Past SNMA Chairperson of the Board 2005-2006, Interim Associate Director of the Health Policy Leadership Fellowship at Morehouse School of Medicine


Statement of Interest:

In my various leadership roles in the Student National Medical Association from 1999 to 2008, I utilized my efforts and skills to help increase the number of minority medical students and physicians -- in line with the organization's mission. I was integral with both individual students and on a regional and national programmatic level. Over my years in undergrad and medical school, I participated in outreach to minority high school and premedical students on a local and national level. During my years in residency at Yale, I was committed to diversity recruitment for Yale’s GME programs. Through my reporting and position as health editor for theGrio.com, the African-American news site of NBC News, I mix my medical and journalism degrees to educate the African-American community about their health and diseases they might not otherwise know. My research focus is in health literacy and communication, especially in underserved populations.

So now, as an attending, I am highly excited about the possibility of continuing this work on a larger scale through the AMA-MAS Council. I also offer my six years of national board experience. I am ready to jump in as needed, and to spearhead any projects the council deems a priority for this coming year. I have the skill set, the resources and the time to contribute successfully to this role.

Sponsor's Narrative Statement:

The Nominee has shown a long pattern of dedication to helping minority students enter the health professions and to organizations that fulfill this mission. Her impact has been felt through several years of service to the Student National Medical Association and with her individual mentors. With her work ethic and passion, she will undoubtedly be a valuable resource to the AMA-MAS Council.

Niva Lubin-Johnson, MD

Niva Lubin-Johnson, MD

At-Large Positions

Chicago, Ill.
Specialty: Internal Medicine


Endorsed by: Sandra Gadson, MD, Past NMA President, Past Vice Chair, MAS Governing Council 2012 MAS Governing Council


Statement of Interest:

I have enjoyed being a member of the Minority Affairs Section Governing Affairs Council over the past 3 years. During this time we advanced from a Council to a Section and we equally contributed in the necessary input for this process. We developed our own strategic plan to increase MAS membership, activities and improving the visibility of the MAS. We have had exciting informative programs at the Annual and Interim Meetings, increased our membership, and submitted or sponsored Resolutions to the House of Delegates since 2010. I have secured the speaker for the Annual Meeting this year and will once again recruit pre-medical students of color for our 2nd Annual Medical School Interviewing Seminar, in June, in Chicago, during the 2013 meeting. I have also participated in every meeting and Doctors Back to School program that has occurred from June 2010- through June 2012. Family illness prevented me from going to Hawaii in November, 2012.

Our focus has and will continue to be to increase the numbers of minorities in medicine, those who belong to AMA and the Minority Affairs Section, and AMA members who belong to the MAS. The above activities have allowed us to achieve these goals over the past 3 years and I look forward to more success if re-elected to the Minority Affairs Section.


Sponsor's Narrative Statement:

Dr. Niva Lubin-Johnson is a candidate for Delegate at Large to the MAC Governing Council. She is a highly capable and qualified candidate. She is active in organized and is a member of the NMA. She has served NMA as secretary, vice-speaker and speaker of the House of Delegates. She has served as chairman of the board of trustees. She is a member of the Trinity United Church of Christ and very active in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Dr. Lubin-Johnson is a native Chicagoan and a board certified Internist who practices on the South Side of Chicago. She is honest, forthright, innovative and extremely competent and knowledgeable in health care and what we as physicians need to care for our patients. I highly recommend, Dr. Niva Lubin-Johnson and ask that you give her you vote for delegate at large to the MAC Governing Council.

Sandra Gadson, MD Past NMA President, Vice Chair MAC Governing Council.

Adrian Jacques Ambrose

Adrian Jacques Ambrose

Medical Student Section (MSS) Representative

Honolulu, Hawaii
John A. Burns School of Medicine


Endorsed by: Seiji Yamada, MD, MPH, Associate Professor,University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine


Statement of Interest:

Coming from a modest background of homelessness and being the first in my family to graduate high school, I cultivated an intrinsic commitment to fight the sociopolitical and economic perpetuation of health disparities. As a lecturer for inmates, a peer mentor, and a student advisor, I guided and encouraged underserved and socioeconomically disadvantaged students to pursue higher education. In addition, as an intern and student representative on the Hawaii State Senate and Hawaii Interagency Council on Homelessness, I actively advocated for policy developments to reduce health disparities among Hawaii’s vulnerable and homeless populations. As the President of multiple collegiate organizations, AMSA President, AAMC-OSR Chair, and Class President, I ardently promoted awareness of local and global minority issues through academia (e.g. Social Justice Medical Curriculum Program, social justice lecture series, Native Hawaiian health and medical education publications), social activism (e.g. Interprofessional Social Justice Symposium, primary healthcare legislation advocacy), community development (e.g. Native Hawaiian cultural exchange projects), and volunteerism (e.g. homeless outreach, anti-human trafficking, vulnerable population education). Rooted in my lifelong endeavor of health equity, I strive to be a part of AMA-MAS Governing Council in order to promote diversity education and interculturalism in medicine, and serving in the underrepresented populations.

Amber LaTeal Robins

Amber LaTeal Robins

Medical Student Section (MSS) Representative

Baton Rouge, La.
University of Rochester School of Medicine and Denistry


Endorsed by: Cheryl Kodjo, MD, Associate Professor, University of Rochester Medical Center


Statement of Interest:

The AMA Minority Affairs Section (MAS) Governing Council has a unique goal of increasing the number of minorities in medicine in new and innovative ways. When I first learned of MAS, I was amazed at the many initiatives that the council has undertaken through projects like the Doctors Back to School program and Physician Interview Project. My amazement was rooted in this council having a similar dedication as I do to the underrepresented medical minority community. At the beginning of my journey as a African American medical student in 2010, I was disheartened to see that there were very few minority physicians who looked like me. I so longed to have someone who I could talk to about the experience of being a minority physician. Fortunately, I found a mentor; however, I am aware that all minority medical students do not have such fortune. In addition, pre-medical students have a similar struggle. Learning that MAS Doctors Back to School Program and mentoring initiatives are helping to address these very issues shines a new light on ways to positively change the current atmosphere of medicine. My interest is to be part of this amazing group of individuals with such an honorable goal. My hope is that through this essay you can see my passion and dedication in working to help improve the number of underrepresented minority medical physicians in the future and enhance the current experience of minority medical students now. During my time at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, I have participated as an elected officer, researcher, and volunteer in multiple areas aiming to serve and further improve my medical school and community. As a class representative for the medical school’s Curriculum Committee, I work to enhance our program for current and future medical students. With my experience of being involved with evaluation of our curriculum to include learning themes such as diversity and preparation for accreditation, I have learned important concepts that each medical school considers in improving a curriculum to develop more well-rounded physicians. I also am involved with the Obstetrics/Gynecology (Ob/Gyn) Interest group and held the position of co-leader last year. In this position of co-leader I organized lunch presentations and volunteer opportunities, engaged medical students with interest in the field, and created a mixer that connected students with Ob/Gyn residents. Having this wonderful experience led me to be selected as the American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology (ACOG) District II Upstate New York Medical Student Representative 2012-2013 where one of my main goals is to connect medical students with ACOG and help create additional Ob/Gyn interest groups in New York medical schools. Being a medical student has also given me the opportunity to conduct four separate research studies that include a retrospective chart review of endometrial and ovarian cancer patients, survey of minority medical students regarding career decision making and diversity at their institutions, and focus groups on the decision making for breastfeeding in the Rochester, NY, adolescent minority community. I hold the position of Principal Investigator in the latter two studies. Through such research, especially those involving minorities, I have become even more passionate about increasing awareness and bringing attention to possible disparities within the minority community. In addition to research, I am also an active member of the American Medical Association (AMA) and Student National Medical Association (SNMA) where I was the 2010-2011 Public Relations Chair.

In a joint collaboration between these two organizations, I helped plan and execute a Rochester community-wide health fair with a focus on the urban community. After this positive outreach experience I was led to form a community youth step team in the summer of 2011, a group that performs rhythmic step routines at community events, with the goal of providing a positive and educational environment for our Rochester youth participants. Not only have I served the Rochester underserved community, I am also passionate in helping the underserved all over the world via travel and published journal articles. As an undergraduate student, I participated in a cross-cultural exchange program in St. Michaels, Arizona, where I taught Native American high school students about African music. Additionally, during my 1st and 2nd year I wrote articles for the Journal of Minority Medical Students as a means to inspire other minority medical students to continue in their pursuit of becoming a physician. In one of my articles, I spoke of my experience volunteering in Rabat, Morocco, as an English teacher in a women's center during the summer between my first and second year of medical school. In Rabat, I taught English to Arabic and French speaking Moroccan citizens which consisted of phrases used in everyday conversation, names of anatomy, and assisted with English grammar. More recently, I have been working with the University of Rochester's Diversity Committee to form a lecture on "Diversity in Medicine" which I will be giving on Martin Luther King Day 2013 as a member of my institution's Medical Education Pathway. The goal of this lecture is to share an educational moment about Martin Luther King, Jr., to bring more awareness to biases one may have, and ways to address these biases when seeing patients. As I hope you can see, I not only have passion for increasing minorities and diversity in medicine, I also have put my passion into action. The major benefit of being a member of MAS is that I will be with others who have this same passion and are willing to put action forth in order to positively impact medical diversity. If afforded this opportunity, I intend to learn from those on MAS as I begin my future career in addressing issues involving minority medical professionals and those interested in our field. This opportunity will be of benefit to both our medical community and the patients to whom we serve. With my past experience, I am confident that I can contribute new ideas and perspective to the goals of MAS.

Leonard Weather, Jr., MD

Leonard Weather, Jr., MD

National Medical Association (NMA) Representative


The NMA has nominated Dr. Leonard Weather, Jr., MD to serve another 3 year term: June 2013 - June 2016 (second term).


Shreveport, La.
Specialty: Obstetrics & Gynecology


Statement of Interest:

It has truly been an honor and privilege to serve as the National Medical Association's representative on the AMA Minority Affairs Section (MAS) Governing Council. I passionately embrace the MAS's goals and objectives and would like to continue to provide my time, talent and energy for this essential section. Additionally I am profoundly appreciative to the American Medical Association for its interest, compassion and dedicated service to all physicians and the patients they serve.