Former Meharry Medical School Dean Wins Nickens Award
A former dean of the school of medicine at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn., has been named the most recent recipient of the Association of American Medical Colleges’ (AAMC) prestigious Herbert W. Nickens, M.D., Award.
Dr. Anna Cherrie Epps, who now serves as senior adviser to the president and dean emeritus of Meharry’s school of medicine, received the award last month during the AAMC’s 114th Annual Meeting in Washington.
The Nickens award is named for the AAMC’s former vice president of the Division of Community and Minority Programs, and is presented to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to promote justice in medical education and health care.
A pioneer in meeting the needs of minority physicians, Epps has made contributions to the recruitment, education and retention of minority and disadvantaged students in the field of medicine.
In 1969, she became director of the Medical Education Reinforcement and Enrichment Program (MEdREP) for minority and disadvantaged students and the Health Career Opportunity Program (HCOP) at Tulane University Health Sciences Center. She designed MEdREP to identify, counsel, motivate, recruit, retain and graduate an increased number of pre-professional undergraduate and post-baccalaureate minority students from rural or disadvantaged backgrounds. As a result of this program, which ended in 1997, more than 1,200 minority rural or disadvantaged students are either practicing physicians or are currently enrolled in medical school.
Epps began her association with Meharry Medical College in 1994, when president Dr. John E. Maupin Jr. sought her expertise in designing and implementing medical education programs. Under her leadership, first as a consultant, then as acting vice president for academic affairs, and later as dean of the school from 1997 to 2002, the faculty has instituted an integrated curriculum, and expanded and enhanced pre-clinical and clinical learning experiences, resulting in improved student performance.
Epps received a bachelor’s degree in zoology from Howard University, a master’s degree in biological studies from Loyola University and a Ph.D. in zoology from Howard University in 1966.
Other Nickens award recipients include: former Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher, former University of Michigan President Lee Bollinger and University of Maryland Medical School Dean Dr. Donald Wilson.
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