April 25, 2007
Contact: Jerry Carey
Phone: (856) 566-6171
UMDNJ Student Chapters Win Awards
STRATFORD — Two student groups at the UMDNJ-School of Osteopathic Medicine have each received “Chapter of the Year” designations by their national sponsoring organizations.
The National Boricua Latino Health Organization (NBLHO) recently picked the medical school’s student organization as the winner of its “Dr. Helen Rodriguez-Trias Chapter of the Year Award,” and the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) chapter at the school has been named the Northeast region’s “Chapter of the Year” by SNMA ’s national board.
“To have both these chapters honored in this fashion is a tribute to the dedication and leadership of the student physicians at our school,” said Dr. Thomas Cavalieri, interim dean of the UMDNJ-School of Osteopathic Medicine. “Both groups have done much to improve the quality of life on our campus and in the surrounding communities. Their programs and events provide service to our communities and enrich the diversity we celebrate at our school.”
The Dr. Helen Rodriguez-Trias Chapter of the Year award is given annually to the chapter that best represents the ideals of NBLHO which include recruiting Latinos into higher education, advocating for increased Latino representation in health-related areas and promoting awareness about social, political and economic issues involving Hispanic populations. During the past year, the UMDNJ-School of Osteopathic Medicine chapter sponsored a series of medical, cultural and social events for Hispanic Heritage Month, co-sponsored the Juvenile Diabetes Walk-a-thon, co-sponsored a Christmas party at a local nursing home and re-launched a mentoring program for high school students at LEAP Academy in Camden.
Established in 1964, SNMA is the nation’s oldest and largest medical student organization dedicated to ensuring culturally sensitive medical education and services, as well as increasing the number of African-American, Latino and other students of color entering and completing medical school. Selected from among the 18 SNMA chapters in the region, the members of UMDNJ-School of Osteopathic Medicine’s chapter were noted for their tireless work to promote the SNMA mission of cultural competence and service to the medically underserved. Among the many events sponsored by the local SNMA chapter were a series of community lectures on topics related to health disparities, free health screenings at several events, a school supplies drive for Operation Backpack, a bone marrow donor registration drive and a fashion show and fundraiser to benefit local charities.
UMDNJ is the nation's largest free-standing public health sciences university with more than 5,500 students attending the state's three medical schools, its only dental school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions, a school of nursing and its only school of public health, on five campuses. Last year, there were more than two million patient visits to UMDNJ facilities and faculty at campuses in Newark, New Brunswick/Piscataway, Scotch Plains, Camden and Stratford. UMDNJ operates University Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center in Newark, and University Behavioral HealthCare, a mental health and addiction services network.