April 04, 2018

UAB Student National Medical Association earns distinction at national conference

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SNMA pictureThe annual Student National Medical Association (SNMA) Conference was held this year in San Francisco from March 28 – April 1. For more than half a century, this conference has served as the largest nationwide gathering of under-represented minority medical students and health professionals. The 2018 conference was entitled, “Embracing Our Diversity: Filling the Gaps and Building the Future,” and included five attendees from the UAB chapter of the SNMA at UAB School of Medicine. Their notable achievements include:

• Co-recipient of the 2017-2018 service grant award, along with Vanderbilt University
• 3rd place award in the Poster Session
• Alana C. Nichols awarded 2017-2018 SNMA Member of the Year
• Election of Alicia Williams as Region IV liaison
• Induction of local physician Dr. Christopher Carter to SNMA’s Hall of Heroes

Among many other outreach initiatives, the SNMA features a National Community Service Grant Program. This program is intended to encourage local chapters to develop student-initiated service projects and to leverage funding to increase participation in community service. UAB’s SNMA was one of two recipients of the 2017-2018 service grant award, sharing the honor with Vanderbilt University’s SNMA chapter.

UAB’s chapter of the Student National Medical Association also distinguished itself in the poster session. Their poster detailed the activities of the 4th Annual Integrative Healthcare Summit, which was held in February at the UAB School of Medicine. This poster served as one of the criteria for determining the service grant recipients, so it was a critical element in the ultimate grant award. First year M.D./Ph.D students Melissa Jennings and Alana Jones prepared the poster, and first year medical student Morgen Owens was responsible for presenting the poster, which ultimately earned third place among all the entries.

UAB’s SNMA members also won individual recognition. Second year medical student, Alana C. Nichols, JD, was awarded the honor of 2017-2018 Member of the Year. This national award is granted annually to one active SNMA member, who has earned distinction in terms of involvement on the local, regional and national level. This includes implementation of unique programs and activities designed to enhance the chapter’s community involvement as a role model through outreach and mentorship.

In addition, first year medical student Alicia Williams was elected as Region IV’s Liaison for the South, granting her the responsibility to carry out the mission of the SNMA throughout the region.

UAB’s SNMA chapter also submitted a nomination for the Student National Medical Association Hall of Heroes. Established in 2010 by the SNMA House of Delegates, the Hall of Heroes is intended to bestow distinction upon individuals who support the mission and goals of the SNMA through selfless service to premedical and medical students. UAB’s SNMA Chapter nominated Christopher Carter, M.D., of the Mineral District Medical Society, and he was subsequently selected as the 2018 inductee into the Hall of Heroes.

Various members of the UAB SNMA, as well as the chapter itself, have been nominated for several of UAB’s Student Excellence Awards.