OREANDA-NEWS. Thanks to a $3 million grant from health care leader Kaiser Permanente, Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) has created an undergraduate program designed to help underrepresented students enter graduate-level study in the health and biomedical fields. The Undergraduate Health Sciences Academy at Morehouse School of Medicine was announced today during the school’s 32nd fall convocation, white coat and pinning ceremony.

“Kaiser Permanente is proud to partner with institutions, such as Morehouse School of Medicine, who share our strong commitment to clinical excellence and our vision for improving health equity,” said Ronald Copeland, MD, senior vice president, Diversity & Inclusion Strategy and Policy, and chief Diversity and Inclusion officer at Kaiser Permanente. “Partnerships like this are not only key to helping us transform the future of health care and medical education, but help ensure that those who are on the front lines of community health reflect the diversity of our nation’s communities.”

The Undergraduate Health Sciences Academy will provide critical tutoring, mentoring, hands-on research and support for current undergraduate students matriculating at Atlanta University Center Consortium (AUCC) schools, which include Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College and Spelman College. The overarching goal of the program is to advance and help ensure the success of the next generation of diverse health care providers. The Academy will greatly increase the potential of AUCC undergrads to successfully progress to medical school and pursue careers along the “health care pathway.” The Academy kicks off this fall 2016 semester in response to the growing need for health care professionals in Georgia’s underserved urban and rural communities.

“The program allows participants who are underrepresented in biomedical sciences to not only collaborate with our faculty and students but to join a community effort to provide culturally-relevant, compassionate care,” MSM President and Dean Valerie Montgomery Rice, MD, said. “The Academy provides students with advising, mentoring, tutoring, test preparation and guidance so they can become self-regulated learners.”

AUCC schools are looking forward to partnering with MSM

“Morehouse College has a long track record of educating young men that go on to be leaders in the health sciences and so our plans to strengthen and improve on that record are invigorated by this targeted effort of Morehouse School of Medicine in partnership with Kaiser Permanente,” Morehouse College President John Silvanus Wilson Jr., PhD, said.

This fall, MSM welcomed its largest and most competitive class to date with 151 students recognized at today’s convocation, white coat and pinning ceremony held in the Louis W. Sullivan National Center for Primary Care. New students received the symbol of their chosen profession and took their first oath of professional medical ethics.

About Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM)
Founded in 1975, MSM is among the nation’s leading educators of primary care physicians and was ranked by Annals of Internal Medicine in 2010 in the first study of U.S. medical schools as the top institution in the country for social mission based on our production of primary care physicians, training of underrepresented minority doctors and placement of doctors practicing in underserved communities. Our faculty and alumni are noted for excellence in teaching, research and public policy, as well as exceptional patient care.

About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve more than 10.6 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia.