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AAMC names WSU Spencer Foreman Award finalist for community service

July 05, 2017

The Association of American Medical Colleges has selected the Wayne State University School of Medicine as one of three finalists for the association’s annual Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Service.

The prestigious award recognizes community service as an important element of the academic mission, and singles out institutions that serve as examples of social responsiveness for academic medical communities. Schools that receive the award must demonstrate a broad-based, continuing commitment to community service in a variety of programs and initiatives.

“As you know, community service has been embedded in our school’s DNA for nearly 150 years. Through our curriculum; community engagement and outreach initiatives; collaborative partnerships; and pipeline programs, you – our Wayne State students, alumni and faculty – transform communities and improve health education in Detroit and beyond,” said School of Medicine Dean Jack D. Sobel, M.D.

For example, the medical school’s Year 1 and 2 students clocked more than 34,000 hours of community service in 2016; the student organization Street Medicine Detroit has had more than 1,100 patient encounters with 790 patients since 2012; the Robert R. Frank Student-Run Free Clinic team volunteered more than 200 hours, serving 42 patients for a total of 130 visits in 2016; the Community Homeless Interprofessional Program Clinic team has conducted evaluations of nearly 225 homeless individuals in the last two years; and the Perinatology Research Branch team has assisted more than 20,000 at-risk mothers. (Click here for more examples of our impact on the community).

The School of Medicine also was named a top three finalist for the award in 2014. Schools that are named finalists must sit out the competition for two years. Schools that receive the award must abstain from entering for 10 years.

A four-member site visit committee from the AAMC will come to the School of Medicine on July 13 for a site visit related to the Spencer Foreman Award. Representatives of certain student organizations, faculty members and administrators can expect to be contacted to represent their groups during the visit. The winner of the award will be announced in time for recognition at the annual AAMC meeting in November in Boston.

“This is welcome news indeed, and follows on the heels of what I believe was a positive site visit by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education in April. As we continuously work toward better preparing students for residencies and future careers, our institution’s longstanding culture of care and ever-increasing commitment to community service will play a key role,” Dr. Sobel said. “Again, I want to thank everyone involved in this effort and I look forward to continued good news.”

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