(left to right) Shirley Theodore, C.R.N.A, Errol Quintal, M.D., and Joseph Labat, M.D. provide discussion for the Black History Month luncheon celebrating the legacy of Flint Goodridge Hospital and Flint Medical College
The School of Medicine’s Office of Diversity & Community Engagement (ODCE) is privileged to serve as a sponsor to medical student cultural affinity organizations, Student National Medical Association (SNMA) and the newly chartered Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA). The office is additionally proud to support the active engagement of our students who are providing an active voice to the strengthening of our campus climate’s dimensions of equity and cultural competency.
This winter, student leaders promoted and organized the emergence of a new student organization SAME – Students Advocating for Medical Equity. Student leaders envision the evolution of an active, diverse, intersectional student group that includes members spanning all medical school levels and works closely with faculty and staff.
Their vision espouses a Mission Statement which articulates that: Students Advocating for Medical Equity (SAME)’s mission is to contribute to the development of a more equitable and diverse institution at LSUHSC and to collaborate with students, faculty, and staff to create opportunities that will prepare students to be compassionate and culturally competent physicians. Organizational goals focus on:
- Engage with the Office of Admissions for Equity
- Engage in Student Development and Curriculum Planning for Equity
- Engage in Faculty Development for Equity
- Engage with other Student Groups for Equity
Meetings between various student representatives of SNMA, LOCUS, SAME, APAMSA, and LMSA have created a synergy in purpose and commitment to effecting positive change in our campus culture. Senior SOM leadership at Dean’s staff level have actively committed to forging constructive engagement with students in SAME to advance institutional growth and change that will empower both students and faculty. Dr. Robert Maupin hosted an evening dinner meeting at his home, bringing together engaged student leaders with Drs. Hamilton Farris and Cathy Lazarus from Student Affairs and Dr. Robin English, the New Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education, to develop strategic planning around advancing cultural competency in areas of curriculum and faculty development.
This past month the ODCE was also privileged to host a historic exchange between New Orleans area African American medical pioneers and LSU medical student members of the Student National Medical Association. A Black History Month luncheon was hosted in the Chancellor’s Reception Room celebrating the legacy of Flint Goodridge Hospital and Flint Medical College, which provided medical education for African American medical and nursing students, and clinical practice opportunities for physicians of color during the Reconstruction and Jim Crow eras in Louisiana. Our LSU students were extremely grateful to physicians and nurses from the New Orleans Medical Association who passionately recounted the successes and challenges of building and advancing hospital services, which provided an unprecedented access to care for the African American community prior to the racial integration of access to medical care for both patients and physicians of color.