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June 2020 President's Newsletter

Saturday, July 4, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: External Affairs
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President's Newsletter: June 2020

Greetings SNMA Family,

Below is a recap is a recap of activities in the past few weeks and some of the upcoming events. It's a lot, so strap in!

First and foremost, I hope you are safe and well. My name is Osose Oboh, and it is my honor to serve as your National President. I know these past several months have been incredibly difficult for all of us. 

Despite all of the challenges we have experienced, our membership has used our collective voice to take a stand against racism. I hosted a Chapter President's Town Hall this past weekend where I could connect with so many of our local leadership. Chapters across the nation have drafted statements, participated in peaceful protests, executed anti-racism programming, and rallied together to support the chapters that have been impacted by their proximity to some of the injustices we have seen. I have never been prouder to be a part of an organization that is genuinely rooted in excellence.

Nationally, we have published statements against gun violence and police brutality in our communities, declaring that racism IS a public health issue, and expressing the importance of educating the future physician workforce on cultural and structural competency.

To show our unified support for ALL minority and underrepresented communities, SNMA recently put out a joint statement with LMSA, APAMSA, ANAMS, and AMSA, to demonstrate our stance and declare that "We stand in solidarity, together. We are not okay. We will not be silent." We issued a call to action to institutions that hold chapters of our organization to address racism, violence, and health inequity in our communitiesWe urged them to take a series of steps to eradicate violence against Black and African Americans and combat the growth of racism as a public health issue where they live and work.

SNMA launched SNMA “See Us”, a campaign to give imagery behind the fact that racism IS a public health issue in the United States. We encouraged our followers to share a collage created for the campaign or a black and white image of themselves with their story and feelings. We wanted students to share their unique voice and perspective.

On social media, we received messages of support and strong showing of united front from allied organizations and students against the unjust murder of Black people in this country.  It was powerful!

In addition to the support from these organizations, we would also like to thank Wear Figs Scrub Company, Cherokee, and the many other organizations and physicians who have provided SNMA with generous donations and overall support at this difficult time.

With the creation of a new subcommittee focused on Mental Health Initiatives, I aim to create access points throughout the year for our members to feel equipped and encouraged to navigate issues and avoid burn out. If you are interested in joining the committee, please email mentalhealth@snma.org.

We started a new program called “Safe Space Sundays”, to provide a safe environment for our members to come together monthly and discuss both personal and professional issues they are facing. It is held on the second Sunday every month! We have had two editions to date, including one with a short message by a guest speaker and SNMA alum, Dr. Tosin Odunsi.

Every Thursday, leading up to the second Sunday of the month (Safe Space Sundays), we will be focusing on Racial Healing across our social media platforms. The Racial Healing Series was created as a means to provide a lens into racial trauma-informed mental health services and self-practices. To jumpstart this series, we asked some of our members what Racial Healing meant to them. Watch here.

We are also super excited to announce the launch of the SNMA Podcast: The Lounge created from the vision of our Immediate Past President, Omonivie Agboghidi with the huge help of the Podcast Subcommittee chaired by Deandre Tate-Drummer and Ursula Griffiths-Randolph.

The Lounge podcast is a space for SNMA to deliver on its mission through conversations, collaborations, and engagement on topics ranging from the social, the political, and the personal. Whether you’re in the student lounge, the doctor’s lounge, or lounging around at home, join SNMA for meaningful conversations on topics affecting underrepresented minorities in medicine. Whether it’s dating, the application processes, or professionalism on the wards, join the conversation in The Lounge.
In celebration of Juneteenth, we had a successful #ShareTheMicNow series, with over 200 members sharing our versions of “Black Joy” on our ally social media pages. We are all getting excited to participate in #BlackOutDay which is coming up on July 7, 2020. We encourage all SNMA members to stand in solidarity by wearing our limited edition Juneteenth t-shirts, commemorating our freedom, while advocating for Juneteenth to be recognized as a federal holiday.

This year, we are focusing our efforts around the theme “Rooted in Excellence: Staying the Course Despite What Obstacles Arise.” My national programming will be highlighting three key areas: Academic and Professional Development, Mental Health, and Alumni Engagement. I have rebranded all of our academic and professional development related programming under the “Sowing Seeds Program.”

The newest addition to this program is the Specialty Series. We will engage our esteemed alumni as panelists, sharing their wealth of knowledge to assist our membership in the pursuit of their goals. Please stay tuned and mark your calendars for our upcoming events as more get added to cover the diverse needs of our membership! If you have attended in the past, please give us feedback so we know how we are doing and how we can better serve you.

In light of the current pandemic and the new spotlight on health disparities, I will increase programming throughout the year that will provide our members with the knowledge and skills needed to combat the inequities that we see across the nation. We hit the ground running with our “Coping with Covid” webinar where we brought physician leaders in the fields of medical education, residency programs, and psychiatry to share how we as students can best understand and navigate these times.

If there is work you are doing at a local level that you want to share, please let us know! Anything pertaining to current events, email hplaadvocacy@snma.org. We have toolkits coming to assist all of you in your endeavors, and we are working to have a one stop shop to find out work that is being done by our family across the nation.

We are highlighting our frontline students by collaborating with faces of the frontline: a student-led community of over 7,800 humans (representing 15 countries) built to create inspiring discourse surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic through story-telling and the arts.

Introducing the 2020-2021 National FLP Fellows!

The Future Leadership Project (FLP) serves as a programmatic initiative in the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) to offer the general member an opportunity to gain leadership skills and learn more about the national organization. FLP is designed to recruit and mentor the next generation of SNMA leaders. Members who participate in the program will have the unique opportunity to develop leadership skills, receive mentorship from SNMA leaders and engage in personal growth. All SNMA national members are eligible to apply for the Future Leadership Project. Please help me in welcoming our new fellows!

Introducing the 2020-2021 HPLA Fellows!

SNMA's Health Policy & Legislative Affairs (HPLA) Fellowship Program is designed to provide select individuals exposure to health policy and advocacy from the perspective of a non-profit organization, as well as the experience of organizing an advocacy project. This program offers the opportunity to gain a more thorough understanding of a medical career in health policy and an introduction to current health policy, grassroot efforts, and critical health policy issues. It is the aim of this program to develop leaders within the SNMA that will influence the future of healthcare through advocacy and activism efforts that will systematically address the inequities faced by underserved communities. Welcome to our new cohort!

Apply to be our 2020-2021 SNMA-Kaiser Permanente Fellow!
 
The SNMA-Kaiser Permanente Fellow is a unique position for a new physician or physician-in-training student to spend a year augmenting their formal medical training by delving deeper into critical issues affecting health equity, diversity in the healthcare workforce, and access to affordable, quality healthcare. The SNMA-KP Fellow will work closely with staff and national leaders within the Kaiser network and at the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) to enhance and advance the pipeline of underrepresented students into medicine. Please find the application here.
Applications are due July 3, 2020 by 11:59pm EST.

 

An information session was hosted on June 3, 2020. You can access the slides from that session and/or direct any questions or comments regarding the fellowship to Kelley Butler at kaiserfellow@snma.org.

We are also bringing back the SNMA Excellence Series to celebrate you, SNMA members throughout the year! So, submit yourself for a feature here! It is so important, especially now to celebrate every victory no matter how small. Have you celebrated yourself lately? The time has come. Tell us about yourself, your work, your passions. You deserve to be celebrated. Have a Chapter program or community service project you think deserves the spotlight? Fill out the form, send us your photos, and allow us to put the spotlight on you. 

Hashtags: #SNMAExcellence #SNMASpeaks #SNMAServes

If you made it this far, I commend your ability to focus! I know mine has dwindled a bit since sheltering in place started, but there was so much that I wanted to share with you.

While the first six months of 2020 have been full of challenges, the year ahead is full of potential. I am looking ahead with renewed hope from the hardwork I have seen amongst our membership and student leaders. Be a part of the movement. Encourage your friends and peers to pay their dues and join our family whether they are premed, med or alumni! Get involved. Join a National Committee. Engage with your region and local chapters. Do not be a passive member or alumni. There is room at the table, and I am pulling out a chair for you. Join me!

I am praying for each and every one of you, and sending love your way. Stay the course.

Best Regards,

Osose Oboh, MPH

57th SNMA National President

 

Student National Medical Association

5113 Georgia Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20011

Telephone: (202) 882-2881

Fax: (202) 882-2886

Copyright © 2020 Student National Medical Association, All rights reserved.

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