Medical Students selected for
physician diversity program
OhioHealth physician mentors
with OU-HCOM minority Students
(Athens, OH – 7.18.12) The Ohio University Heritage College of
Osteopathic Medicine (OU-HCOM) recently announced the newest group
of medical students chosen to participate in the OhioHealth
Physician Diversity Scholars Program.
Shawn Cuevas, Sabria Gunn, Adeline Kikam, Paul Obeng-Okyere,
Lauren Orellana, Osman Perez, Eric Questel, and Fady Yacoub, all
members of the Class of 2015, were selected for this four-year
program that provides minority medical students early and sustained
exposure to physicians and their practices within the OhioHealth
Hispanic and African-American students are paired with OhioHealth
physicians from similar backgrounds who will serve as mentors and
provide introductions to possible careers within OhioHealth. The
medical students gain an up-close look at the many specialties and
opportunities within the OhioHealth system, and OhioHealth plays a
greater role in training potential physicians who can meet the needs
of the multicultural communities it serves.
After graduation, each scholar who enters an OhioHealth residency
program receives a loan repayment of $10,000 a year for each year of
The program is intended to increase the quality of patient care,
said Frank Dono, D.O., medical director at OhioHealth.
"What is important for students to remember is that when they commit
themselves to become physicians, their goal must be to enhance both
quality and access to care for all ethnic and cultural groups," Dono
said. "I believe that is the ultimate goal."
"OhioHealth has a strong commitment to developing a diverse
physician workforce and they have recognized that OU-HCOM shares the
same mission," said John Schriner, Ph.D., assistant professor
of social medicine and assistant dean of admissions. "The
recognition of our strong track record of recruiting, retaining and
graduating physicians of color made it a natural fit for OhioHealth
to partner with OU-HCOM in this very special initiative."
Minority students make up 19 percent of this year's first year class
at the college, Schriner added. In fact, in 2008, during its last
seven-year review of the college, the American Osteopathic
Association's Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA)
commended OU-HCOM's programs that routinely result in such
enrollment numbers of minority students.
The program requires at least three shadowing, community service or
professional organization events per semester during the first two
years. During third and fourth-year clinical rotations, each student
follows a customized course led by their OhioHealth mentor.
This year's OhioHealth mentors include David Tanner, D.O., family
medicine at Riverside Methodist Hospital; Nanette Lacuesta-Kimmel,
M.D., family medicine at Riverside; Kristen Rundell, M.D., family
medicine at Riverside; Wayne Cummings, M.D., family medicine at
Riverside; Shavonne Ramsey-Coleman, M.D., obstetrics and
gynecological hospitalist at Doctors Hospital; Teresita Morales-Yurik,
M.D., emergency medicine at Doctors; William Washington, M.D.,
family medicine at Linden Medical Center; and Danilo Polonia, M.D.,
family medicine at Grant Medical Center.
Alicia Boards, OU-HCOM assistant director of multicultural
programs, said this year's scholarship recipients have already
exceeded expectations. Most of them have already built strong
relationships with their mentors and seem excited to participate in
the program in the years to come."
In April, OhioHealth became the Preeminent Education Partner for the
college's new central Ohio extension campus in Dublin. The
affiliation will be referred to as the "Ohio University Heritage
College of Osteopathic Medicine, in affiliation with OhioHealth."
The new affiliation agreement builds on a long-standing relationship
between the two institutions, who have partnered to train
generations of physicians during the last 35 years. Leaders of the
college and the health system see this formal agreement as a logical
next step that supports the strategic mission of both institutions.
The agreement does not affect OU-HCOM's and OhioHealth's training
relationships with other institutions.