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Up Close: Meet the SNMA Headquarters Staff—Jacquelyn Lendsey

Posted By Cynthia Bell, Monday, May 2, 2016
Jacquelyn Lendsey joined the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) in August 2013 as interim executive director during a time when the organization was experiencing considerable uncertainty. As a consultant replacing the previous executive director, Ms. Lendsey’s role quickly expanded to meet the complex needs of SNMA’s operations. Initially, she took stock of the organization – its finances, membership, communications, etc. – then made recommendations based on her extensive experience in the nonprofit sector. She has been successful in managing the operations of SNMA and leading several new initiatives to improve current systems.

In June 2014, Ms. Lendsey assumed the permanent role of executive director. Despite the magnitude of the work and the rapid changes at SNMA during that time, she believes her transition was seamless because of the time spent as interim director, as well as the cohesiveness of the headquarters staff. "One of the things that I think is important for someone who steps into a new organization is being able to work as a team with existing staff,” Ms. Lendsey said. "I believe the staff is great and I can’t say enough about them. It definitely made my transition very easy and very seamless.”

Her driving force at SNMA is her commitment to the mission of the organization. One of the things she enjoys most about the SNMA is its membership. With a background in education, she believes strongly in the goals of the organization and in working with student leaders. "I really like being able to share what I know about how to run an organization and have members say, ‘yeah, give me more.’” She also takes great pride in building and helping to shape people that are in the community, who will become future leaders and play critical roles in improving the status quo.

Although there are inherent challenges to running a nonprofit organization whose leadership and membership comprise students, such as high turnover and limited resources, Ms. Lendsey considers these challenges simply as parts of the job with opportunities to apply her expertise. Among many things recently, she has been busy with the roll-out of a new communications and social media platform for SNMA’s Annual Medical Education Conference (AMEC), increasing awareness and understanding of how to use the capabilities of the SNMA website, and securing funding for the continued growth of the organization.

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Up Close: Meet the SNMA Headquarters Staff

Posted By Cynthia Bell, Thursday, March 17, 2016
  The Student National Medical Association's (SNMA) National Headquarters (HQ) building is centrally located on Georgia Avenue, in the heart of Northwest Washington, DC, equidistant to the White House and the National Institutes of Health. The HQ staff members play pivotal roles in the execution of the daily operations of the SNMA. Although the HQ staff work tirelessly and consistently throughout the year, much of the work they do occurs behind the scenes. Furthermore, as a result of their many years spent working for the SNMA, they have a wealth of institutional knowledge, having seen the SNMA change and grow over the years. In the coming month the Internal Affairs Committee will be highlighting members of the HQ staff, providing their background and perspective. We hope these snippets will offer more insight into the inner workings of SNMA and the people who help to make it all possible.

Annette McLane

Annette McLane is the Associate Director of Programs and Conference Services. The current breath and scope of the Annual Medical Education Conference (AMEC), as well as its growing popularity and attendance, keep Ms. McLane very busy. Her full-time responsibilities include staging and directing the onsite management of the annual conference and working with the rest of the staff to organize the quality programming that many of us enjoy each year. She also helps to organize and manage quarterly National Leadership Institutes and Board of Directors meetings.

Mrs. McLane has been part of the SNMA for 25 years, initially working as a consultant, managing the AMEC in 1991 before becoming employed first as Executive Director. She subsequently took on several other roles, before accepting her current position. During that time, she has seen the SNMA go through many transitions, including the monumental effort to purchase and move into the National Headquarters building in 2000. One of the challenges for all the staff each year, she says, has been, and continues to be, the annual change in Board leadership. Another challenge, is maintaining a consistent and sound financial base. However, despite these challenges she remains motivated by all that the SNMA has to offer. She states:

"As a non-profit, we have no commodity to sell, no tangible product … no books or widgets, no toasters to give to new members. We have to entice members and supporters with an idea, with our mission. What we have to sell is LOVE. We sell love through the administration of our community service protocols and the learning and camaraderie enjoyed at AMEC each year. Progressively, we promote a vision that quality healthcare can be made a reality available to everyone and that students of color can and will become the best healthcare professionals in the world.”

This is a dedication, a drive and a goal that all SNMA members can emulate and share. Her commitment to the SNMA is rooted in an ideal that we should all strive for: Pay it forward.

Tags:  #SNMA  AMEC 

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AMEC 2016 is Fast Approaching, So Register Today

Posted By Cynthia Bell, Thursday, February 25, 2016
 AMEC 2016 is less than a month away! Register today or get  more information at You don't want to miss all that AMEC has to offer.

The Student National Medical Association will host AMEC 2016 on March 23-27 at the JW Marriott Hotel in Austin, Texas. Be a part of the conversation on Mental Health: Facing the Challenges of the 21st Century, as we examine the role of mental health in today's society. AMEC 2016 will provide education on integrated care and will highlight the effects of social determinants of mental health.

AMEC will also look at the scarcity of African-American men entering the field of medicine, with an eye on advocacy at the National Advocacy Forum. For attendees, workshops will focus on developing tangible skills that are applicable in both their personal lives and professional careers.

Click here to register for AMEC 2016. For more information, go to and:

Keep these dates in mind as you plan for the best AMEC ever!!!

  • Regular registration ends – February 29, 2016
  • Late online registration – March 1 - March 9, 2016
  • Onsite registration at AMEC – starts March 24, 2016
  • AMEC Hotel Reservation Rate ends – March 6, 2016

Remember to friend SNMA on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram. 


Tags:  AMEC 2016  Mental Health 

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#LEADwithSNMA and Leave Your Mark on SNMA

Posted By Cynthia Bell, Friday, December 11, 2015


SNMA has been a part of my life for a while now. Over the past seven years, I have planned my schedule around AMEC and regional conferences to make sure that I didn't miss the annual reunions with my fellow pre-medical and medical students, better known as my SNMA family.

Looking back, I wonder just what my life would be like without the SNMA. The answer: it would be different, but incomplete. I definitely would not be a medical student. My dreams would have fallen by the wayside after my first biochem exam. That one shook me so bad. In fact, my SNMA mentor sat with me in the library for hours helping me see that I could do this as we picked through the steps to find an unknown pka.

Ask yourself, where would you be without SNMA? Better yet, how can SNMA continue to have an impact on so many without your help, without leaders like you? Better still, how can you get involved?

Leadership in the SNMA will allow you to improve your leadership skills on the job, to network with professional organizations and physicians from all over, and (my favorite)to make lifelong relationships with other medical students.

Worried that you don't have the experience? Don't be! We have leaders ranging from one year of SNMA experience to the life-timers like me.We need your gifts and talents to ensure that our organization continues to grow, serve our communities, and impact the next generation that will diversify the face of medicine.

Interested in leaving your mark on the SNMA?

Check out the elections application for more information. It includes all of the position descriptions, the application itself, and details about the process. Thinking about leadership and not so hot on running in a national election? Look into the National Committee Chair positions.The deadline for the Election Application is February 12, 2016! After you submit your application, we will confirm you as a candidate, then have an informational call to help you along the way to #LEADwithSNMA.

Email questions to me at

Yours in SNMA,

Christen Johnson

National President-Elect

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Join SNMA as We Participate in #ActionsSpeakLouder Campaign

Posted By Cynthia Bell, Monday, December 7, 2015

   As a whole, our society is evolving. Bias – both unconscious and conscious – is starting to be acknowledged and we are finally at a place where the dialogue about it and its effects on our society is omnipresent. What most Americans may not realize though, is that bias is especially prevalent in medicine – and blatant when examining health disparities and health outcomes in communities of color.

Research shows that patients tend to have better relationships with physicians who share commonalities with them, such as ethnicity and race, which overwhelmingly lead to better patient outcomes. As the landscape of healthcare in America continues to change with the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, we are seeing an even more diverse group of patients presenting to primary care clinics for preventative care and treatment. However, as quickly as the demographics of patients seeking primary care are changing, we are still eons behind in seeing a change in the make-up of healthcare providers who treat these patients. For instance, although 13 percent of Americans are of African descent, they only make up about 4 percent of physicians in this country, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. The statistics are slightly better when looking at other health professions, such as nursing and dentistry, but a major disparity still exists when examining the diversity of the healthcare workforce overall, in America.

On Thursday, December 10, 2015, the one-year anniversary of the National White Coat Die-In, WhiteCoats4BlackLives will be reflecting on the lack of diversity in our medical schools and how it translates to care for poorer patients in our communities of color. #ActionsSpeakLouder will encourage a long overdue discussion on improving racial diversity at our institutions and hospitals, led by students with a vested interest in racial justice and health equity. Ultimately, we hope to promote a healthcare workforce that is more reflective of our country’s population, as well as help better address our nation’s health disparities.

Please join us this week as we examine how we can all contribute to making our institutions and hospitals more equitable, ensuring better health outcomes for patients from all backgrounds. We look forward to seeing all of your successful campaigns on social media!

Yours in Advocacy,

Valerie A. Pierre

Health Policy and Legislative Affairs, Co-Chair 2015-2016

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New Scholarship Available to SNMA Members

Posted By Cynthia Bell, Thursday, October 29, 2015

  The Satarie Thelma Edwards Minority Medical Scholarship Fund is now available to members of the Student National Medical Association. The $50,000 fund honors Satarie Edwards or Thelma, as she was affectionately called, who epitomized courage, ambition, perseverance and immutable resolve. Her unwavering edict was that education is unequivocally the key to success, and her humble beginnings did not preclude the attainment of ultimate success.

Satarie Thelma Edwards strongly believed in the dogma that with the formula of strong work ethic, perseverance and steadfast motivation, every goal is procurable. She was a great mother and an excellent teacher by profession, but also served as a counselor and a leader within her community by imparting knowledge, sage advice and guidance to everyone she encountered.  Although her life was abbreviated on earth, her tenets and values live on perpetually.

Satarie Edwards, raised all three of her children in Jamaica, and despite numerous encumbrances, she successfully instilled in them all the values described herein.  This scholarship was therefore established, by her family, in honor of her unflappable credo, her life and her legacy.

As such, the Satarie Thelma Edwards Minority Medical Scholarship candidate(s) must demonstrate unquestionable commitment to achieving academic excellence in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges.

Two to five scholarships will be awarded in her honor to outstanding medical students who are in their first or second year of study. SNMA members are encouraged to apply. 

Qualified candidates must be:

  • A first or second year medical student,
  • Interested in a career in oncology,
  • Required to complete a clinical rotation outside of the student's medical school at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa Florida (, and
  • A member of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA).

The application packet must include:

  • A 1,000-word essay on how the student overcame adversity, not to exceed two, double-spaced pages (i.e. examples and experiences that demonstrate how the student and/or their family overcame adversity; whether or not the student would be the first in their family to pursue a medical degree; why a career in oncology, etc.).
  • An official transcript, and curriculum vitae (CV) with contact information that clearly highlight any awards, scholarships, distinctions, research interests, current or past research projects and journal publications.
  • Two letters of recommendations from faculty members.
  • A nomination letter from the medical school's dean or dean's designee stating that the candidate has maintained good academic standing throughout the first one or two years.
  • Demonstration of leadership skills and/or interest in addressing disparities in any aspect of medicine, the educational, societal, and healthcare needs of racial and ethnic minorities, and active in extracurricular activities including SNMA or MAPS chapters or other groups and include any past or current research projects ands/or publications. 

* All letters and personal statements should be doubled-spaced with 1” margins and size 11 Tahoma font. 

The deadline for submitting the application packet to the Satarie Thelma Edwards Minority Medical Scholarship Fund is Monday, November 30, 2015. Please Email the completed application package (in a single file) to with Satarie Thelma Edwards Scholarship in the subject line. Late applications will not be considered.

Don't forget, Early Bird registration for AMEC 2016 is in progress through November 30, 2015 with substantial discounts. Click here to register for AMEC 2016.  Remember to friend SNMA on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.


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Register for AMEC 2016 Today!!!

Posted By Cynthia Bell, Wednesday, September 30, 2015

    Registration is now open for the Student National Medical Association’s 2016 Annual Medical Education Conference (AMEC) that will be held March 23-27, 2016 at the JW Marriott Hotel in Austin, Texas. Be a part of the conversation on Mental Health: Facing the Challenges of the 21st Century, as we examine the role of mental health in today's society.

AMEC 2016 will provide education on integrated care and will highlight the effects of social determinants of mental health. The conference will also look at the scarcity of African-American men entering the field of medicine, with an eye on advocacy. For attendees, workshops will focus on developing tangible skills that are applicable in both their personal lives and professional careers. 

Click here to take advantage of Early Bird Registration and get a substantial registration discount from NOW until November 30, 2015. 

Look for program and logistical information in the upcoming weeks on the SNMA website.  



Tags:  #AMEC2016 

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NLIs are an Excellent Source for Leadership Training

Posted By Cynthia Bell, Monday, August 24, 2015

   The Student National Medical Association’s second National  Leadership Institute (NLI) of the year is just around the corner! "Mental  Health, Social Media, and Leadership in 21st Century Medicine” is  the topic and the NLI will provide leadership opportunities for both SNMA  members and non-members. Duke University School of Medicine will host the event  on September 11-13, 2015 in Durham, NC. Click here to register and for more information.        

SNMA holds NLIs three times each year, in conjunction with its Board of Directors meetings. SNMA and MAPS members nationwide gather for a weekend of educational workshops on leadership training, organizational advancement and project development. Educational tracks are crafted specifically for board members, regional and chapter members at large, and for pre-medical students.

This past June, I had the pleasure of attending the NLI in Wilmington, Delaware, hosted by Christiana Care Health System and Sidney Kimmel Medical College. That NLI offered a plethora of exceptional workshops for participants. The workshops included talks and discussions on a variety of topics, such as the Philadelphia Refugee Mental Health Collaborative, Balancing Life in Medicine, Making the Most of Your Residency, Emotional Intelligence, Physician Leadership in Implementing and Disseminating Organizational Change, as well as my favorite – the 5 A’s of Failure (spoiler alert – there are also 5 F’s of success).

As strange as it may seem, failure was the topic of my favorite workshop, which was led by Dr. Robinson, senior vice president and executive director of Christian Care Health System. As we strive to make A’s in school, this workshop hit home focusing on the following A’s.

1) Acknowledge failure – This may seem pretty straight forward, but is often the hardest. As medical and pre-medical school students, we are accustomed to a certain amount of success. When failure inevitably comes our way, it is even harder to accept. According to James Barrie, author of a small, unknown children’s book and play called Peter Pan, "We are all failures – at least, the best of us are.”

2) Attitude – You must see failure as an opportunity. According to Winston Churchill, another not very well known individual, "Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.” You must also possess mental toughness and maximize your experiential learning.

3) Adversity – According to Wilma Rudolph, "Winning is great, sure, but if you are really going to do something in life, the secret is learning how to lose…. If you can pick up after a crushing defeat, and go on to win again, you are going to be a champion someday.” That she was as the first American woman to win three gold medals in track and field during a single Olympic Game, a member of the National Black Sports and Entertainment Hall of Fame, an inductee into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1983, and the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1994. If that wasn’t enough she was the muse for the 1977 TV movie, The Wilma Rudolph Story, where Denzel Washington got one of his first starring roles. An athlete at heart, although not in skill, I easily get sidetracked by sports, so now back to those A’s.

4) Action – You must base your action on failures and what you have learned.

5) Achieve – According to Charles Kettering, developer of the electrical starting motor and leaded gasoline, "One fails forward toward success.” It is important that you do not spend so much time strengthening your weaknesses that you weaken your strengths.

Those were the five A’s, but of course I would be remised for not noting the failure. So here are the 5 F’s of success.

1) Faith (In god, in family, in your friends, and in yourself)

2) Foresight

3) Focus

4) Fortitude

5) Fearlessness

My second favorite workshop was the discussion on the Philadelphia Refugee Mental Health Collaborative (PRMHC) that touched upon my interest in mental health. PRMHC offers a spectrum of wellness-focused clinical and community-based interventions to promote well-being among refugee and immigrant communities.

From the workshops to the social events to networking, the June NLI thoroughly exceeded all of my expectations. Again, don’t miss SNMA’s next NLI hosted by Duke University School of Medicine on September 11-13, 2015 in Durham, NC. We would love to have you join us! Click here to register today.


Cortlyn Brown

SNMA Vice President 2015-2016

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Congratulations to Jordan Research Forum Winners

Posted By Cynthia Bell, Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Student National Medical Association proudly announces the winners of the annual Dr. Wilbert C. Jordan Research Forum. Congratulations to the following members who were awarded up to $1,000 of their efforts.

Ruka Aderogba (Pre-Med) 

Umaru Barrie (Basic Science)

Eric Walker (Dual Degree)

Crystal Nnenne Azu (Dual Degree)

Gadini Delisca (Clinical Science)

Amber Anders (Social Science) 

Research categories included basic science, clinical science, social science, and obesity or health complications of obesity. Abstracts were submitted and displays of work were presented and reviewed during Annual Medical Education Conference by a panel of judges that interviewed each participant.

The Research Forum is named for Dr. Wilbert C. Jordan in honor of his commitment to the SNMA and his significant personal and financial support of the forum. Dr. Jordan is an internationally renowned leader in the research community for his work in infectious diseases, particularly in tuberculosis and small pox. He is especially noted for his research on AIDS in the African American Community.

Look for upcoming “Grand Rounds” containing more information about member benefits, SNMA programs, alumni activities and much more. If you have an idea for “Grand Rounds,” email

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Tags:  amec2015  snma 

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A Vision to Uphold the SNMA Legacy

Posted By Cynthia Bell, Thursday, April 30, 2015

I am honored to take on the role of National Chairperson of the Board of Directors for the Student National Medical Association. The organization has truly been formative during my medical school career. It is my hope to help the SNMA continue to flourish; and to have an impact on current and future medical students and the communities in which we serve.

My vision is to uphold the legacy of the SNMA. Those who have come before us have paved an incredible path of achievement. It is now our duty to protect all aspects of the SNMA including its finances, brand, members and the communities it serves so that we can continue to support future and current underrepresented minority medical students, help underserved communities, and increase the number of culturally competent, socially conscious and clinically excellent physicians.

While upholding the legacy that has been laid before us it will be important for us to continue to strengthen our foundation. Society is always changing. We must stay current and make sure that we are using the most technologically efficient and savvy ways to connect with our membership – past, present and future. We must also continuously assess and come up with solutions to address the needs of underserved populations. This means better documentation of our events, establishing creative partnerships, increasing funding opportunities and approaching problems by thinking outside of the box.

It is also important that we cultivate an environment for the success of our mission and SNMA members. I plan to have a strong focus on Board Development to ensure that our members are well equipped with the skills needed to actively participant in governing a nonprofit organization, to advocate for healthcare and medical education policy, and to plan and execute events that will help to mitigate health disparities and impact the lives of millions. This training will take place during our National Leadership Institutes and various webinars throughout the year.

One of the largest projects that we’ll be undertaking this year is the creation of a new three-year strategic plan. This plan will be a blueprint for success for the next three administrations to follow that hopefully will continue to develop and fortify the SNMA.

I am excited to work with the new Board of Directors and can’t wait to see all of the amazing progress that we can accomplish over this next administrative year.


Yours in SNMA,


DaShawn A. Hickman

Chairman, SNMA Board of Directors



Tags:  snma 

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