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Hurricane Harvey Affects Region III

Posted By Cynthia Bell, Thursday, August 31, 2017

Our hearts go out to those affected by the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey. Our Region III Director has been in contact with those chapters affected by the storm, and is keeping the organization updated on ways the SNMA can help on a national level.

The SNMA is currently seeking out ways in which we can provide relief for those affected by the storm. Below, you will find the link to a resource guide complied by HPLA Co-Chair Joniqua Ceasar. While it mostly caters to the Houston area, it lists important phone numbers, shelter information, and ways for our members outside the area to get involved. We have also included another link to resources provided by the Texas State senate website. Additional information will be shared via social media as it becomes available, and our Community Service committee is actively finding ways to help individuals in the affected areas.

Please know that we are committed to helping our members through this difficult time. Our prayers are with all of those directly affected by the storm, as well as the friends and family members of those individuals. Please feel free to let us know if we can be of assistance in any other way, and know that the SNMA is here for you.

TS Harvey Resource Guide:

Hurricane Harvey Resources (TX):


Yours in SNMA,
Danielle M. Ward, MS
National President, 2017-2018
Student National Medical Association  


Tags:  HPLA  SNMA 

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Disheartened Over Recent Acts of Hatred, Racism and Violence

Posted By Cynthia Bell, Tuesday, August 15, 2017

 I am completely disheartened over the acts of hatred, racism and violence that have recently taken place. These events have directly impacted our SNMA and MAPS members at the University of Virginia, and they have been horrific for us across the country to witness. It saddens me that in today’s world, some of us still have not learned the basics of love, tolerance and compassion that are required for growth and moving forward.

These events do not just impact one segment of the country. They impact all of us. As such, the SNMA has always denounced any form of racism, bigotry and violence, and we will continue to hold this stance. We will stand firm in our mission of supporting our current and future underrepresented minority students, addressing the needs of the underserved, and continuing to produce clinically excellent, culturally excellent, and socially conscious physicians. Now, it is more important than ever that we stress the importance of cultural competency, and we will make sure our members continue to develop this in upcoming regional and national conferences.

To our SNMA and MAPS family at the University of Virginia and surrounding institutions, please know that the SNMA stands with you and you are not alone. We encourage all of our chapters to come together to uplift, support and protect one another. Know that every single chapter is here to support you, and that you should never be afraid to reach out to your chapter presidents and regional directors for support during these difficult times.  


Yours in SNMA,
Danielle M. Ward, MS
National President, 2017-2018
Student National Medical Association  

Tags:  #SNMA 

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It's An Honor To Lead The SNMA

Posted By Cynthia Bell, Monday, July 10, 2017

  I am beyond excited and honored to lead the Student National Medical Association as the 2017-2018 National President! This organization means so much to me and I wholeheartedly believe I wouldn’t be the medical student that I am today if it weren’t for the SNMA. I have been involved with the SNMA for over a decade now, and it was back in 2007 when I attended my first Annual Medical Education Conference (AMEC) in San Francisco. I look forward to not only a successful year, but the full circle moment that will take place as I end my term at the 2018 AMEC in San Francisco, which is the same AMEC location that inspired me to continue to be a part of the SNMA.

The SNMA has provided me with the support, encouragement and resources to succeed in my journey toward becoming a physician. It has also incited my passion to continue the pursuit of medicine and dedicate myself to a life of service. It is my goal to incite the same passion in both pre-medical and medical students across the country this year.

I created my executive agenda for the 2017-2018 year with the desire to give back and make a way for those who come behind me. To address healthcare disparities within our communities and to enhance and develop our membership, I hope to lead SNMA specifically in:

  • Providing membership with community service opportunities in rural and inner city areas, Indian reservations, as well as Caribbean locations where some of our students receive their medical education, through mission trips to underserved communities and building partnerships with organizations, such as the Student Osteopathic Medical Association.
  • Engaging and providing resources to our students from various ethnic backgrounds through webinars, community programming and social media outlets.
  • Expanding the Pre-Medical Minority Enrichment and Development programming to include the unique skill sets of non-traditional students.
  • Showing the world "We Do Exist" by highlighting and recognizing our contribution to healthcare as both underrepresented minority students and physicians.
  • Stressing the mission of the SNMA that is supporting current and future underrepresented minority students, addressing the needs of the underserved, and increasing the number of clinically excellent, culturally competent and socially conscious physicians.

As a non-traditional student and a single mother, I understand firsthand why the SNMA should provide support to premeds as they go through the process of making it through college, taking gap years and applying to medical school. My agenda reflects this. As an underrepresented minority and future osteopathic physician, I am thankful for the opportunity to use my platform as a voice for both groups in medicine. There remains a lack of diversity in health care professions across the nation, which makes it nearly impossible to provide the best culturally competent care to underrepresented minority patient populations. I also recognize the need to support the diversity of the SNMA on a level that goes beyond race to promote community service and enhance partnerships with other organizations committed to doing the same. This year will show the SNMA’s dedication to making sure all of its members succeed, and it is my hope that my work over the next year with the SNMA will help address some of these issues and pave the way for future generations of aspiring physicians. My agenda reflects all of this, and I am excited to see another year of excellence from our membership. 

Danielle M. Ward, MS
SNMA National President

Tags:  #SNMA 

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NBC News Honors Christen Johnson During Black History Month

Posted By Cynthia Bell, Monday, February 13, 2017
 SNMA President Christen Johnson is being honored during Black History Month as a part of NBCBLK28 a series of article developed by NBC News to recognize the accomplishments of 28 African American innovators, vanguards, trendsetters and pioneers under 28 years old. According to NBC, "This year's crop is redefining what it means to be young, gifted and unapologetically Black. Make sure you check out Christen’s story on February 24th.

Christen described the being honored by NBC as "humbling and speechless,” and that the "honor is not only for me, but for SNMA.” Being President not only gives Christen a chance to change the way minorities look at medicine, but also as "[a] opportunity to inspire people.”

When asked what prompted her to go into the medical field, Christen recalls a story when she was younger and had an ear infection. She was treated by a black physician who let her play with the instruments. From that experience, Christen discovered that she didn’t chose medicine but "medicine chose her.”

To be a minority pursuing the medical field has always been intimidating for many people, and it often discourages them from pursuing the field. However, Christen described African American history as going "beyond the USA.” The "first doctors came from Africa” as slaves and were brought to treat various ailments. Therefore, the field of medicine is "in our blood.”

Remember to friend SNMA on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

Tags:  #IheartSNMA  #SNMA 

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Register Today for AMEC 2017!!!

Posted By Cynthia Bell, Tuesday, November 15, 2016
 The holidays are just around the corner, but so is SNMA’s Annual Medical Education Conference (AMEC). Each year, more than 1200 medical and pre-medical students gather for one of the nation's premiere and most diverse medical education conferences. SNMA’s AMEC 2017 will be held in Atlanta, Georgia from April 12-16, 2017.

This year’s theme, Lighting the Way: Creating Health Equity through Education, Advocacy and Service, will highlight the importance of community engagement and clinical excellence in solving the health disparities of today. The focus will be on opportunities for students to grow as future physicians while directly interfacing with the community in Atlanta and elsewhere. AMEC will also feature plenary sessions tackling the complexities of implicit bias and microaggressions in medical education, the impact of violence on public health, and the importance of physician advocacy in health care. Students will be provided with the opportunity to expand their knowledge through a host of innovative professional development workshops, yielding hands-on clinical skills and the tools to plan for their continued success.

For Attendee Registration, Click here.

· Hotel reservation at the Hyatt Regency, Click here.

For Exhibitor Registration, Click here.

More information about AMEC 2017 can be found at

  • Check out the latest AMEC updates under the Events tab at the top of the home page for details, such as Fees and Registration, Travel Accommodations, Conference at a Glance. 
  • Click the AMEC banner ad at the top of the home page to register.
  • See pertinent AMEC registration info under the Events section at the bottom of the home page.
  • View the AMEC 2017 Promotional Video in the upper right corner of the home page.
  • Browse the photo galleries from AMEC 2016.

Look for more information in the upcoming months on AMEC 2017 speakers, workshops, and all that AMEC and Atlanta has to offer. But, keep these dates in mind as you plan for the best AMEC ever!

  • Regular Registration: November 1, 2016 – March 10, 2017 (last date for cancellations)
  • Late Registration: March 11, 2017 – April 10, 2017
  • Online Registration Ends: March 24, 2017
  • Hotel Registration Rate Ends: March 28, 2017

Remember to friend SNMA onFacebook, and follow us onTwitterandInstagram.

Tags:  #SNMA 

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Channel Your Grief Into Action

Posted By Cynthia Bell, Monday, September 26, 2016
SNMA Family,

It pains me to have to address you concerning such tragedies yet again. Many of you are aware of several recent shootings of black males by law enforcement officials that have been in the news. Our hearts go out to their families and our minds have stayed on the consequences that each of these deaths have for our local communities, nation and world at large. Statistics consistently show that Black people and other people of color are disproportionately killed by law enforcement officials. This loss of lifeinevitably becomes a mental health issue for loved ones and the affected communities left to relive this trauma time and time again.

In my last statement on this issue, I assured you that the Board of Directors are working diligently to make sure that we are both present and professional when addressing these types of issues that deeply affect both the communities that we serve and for many of us, the communities from which we come.While we cannot stop the pain, grief and anger that some feel, there are some actionable and productive steps that we have taken. Following board approval at our National Leadership Institute this weekend, we will be able to provide the Mobilize and Activate Advocacy Manual. As a part of my executive agenda, a committee was formed and a manual was created to guide you in your advocacy efforts.This manual includes an explanation of a policy created for how our organization responds to these types of events, a policy for you to gain approval to use the SNMA name during advocacy programming, and an outline of safe and professional practices for activism as a student physician.This will also include all of our position statements for your review.

Our Month of Service next month has been dedicated to violence prevention.Along with chapter community service projects, we will be having town hall meetings across the country to open the dialogue between physicians, medical students, and community members as to how violence directly impacts our communities. Further we are hosting four (4) national webinars, the first being The Effects of Violence on Mental Health given by one of our founding members, Dr. Gilbert Parks on our Founders’ Day. More information will be released soon.

The SNMA Statement on Gun Violence and Statement on Policy Brutality can be found on the this website. Our hearts and our prayers are with all who have been touched by these acts of violence. As we take the time to mourn the loss of beloved lives gone too soon, channel your grief into action that promotes discussion and seeks prevention of such events. Please look for ways that you can get involved and stay informed in the coming days.

Stay Safe SNMA,

Christen Johnson
National President, 2016-2017
Student National Medical Association

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Stop The Violence

Posted By Cynthia Bell, Monday, July 11, 2016

 Recently, there have been more videos, more hashtags, three more black men killed in police custody, and now 5 police officers have been killed.

We, the SNMA, extend our deepest condolences to the families of Delrawn Small, Alton Sterling, and Philando Castile, as well as the families of the officers slain in Dallas last night. We know that while our hearts are with them, this will never be enough to stop the pain that these tragedies have caused their loved ones. The Student National Medical Association has taken a strong stance against both the use of excessive force seen in these acts of police brutality and senseless acts of gun violence.

There has been much talk on social media about getting involved in the movement against these violent acts, members looking fora way to use this anger and frustration to make change. The SNMA outlined a plan to create a manual encouraging student advocacy while providing each and every one of you with the tools to know how to protect yourselves and your careers. We have organized a national ad-hoc committee that is working diligently to provide you with these materials as quickly as we can. In the meantime, please note that all of our approved policy statements can be found on the Health Policy and Legislative Affairs webpage for your review. For those who feel so moved, we also encourage you to get involved with the Health Policy and Legislative Affairs and the Community Service Committees here as we march towards our national programming, promoting solutions to the public health issue of violence in our country today. As the details unfold, please know that our thoughts are with all affected by these tragedies.

Be Safe SNMA,

Christen D. Johnson
National President
Student National Medical Association

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Thoughts with Orlando

Posted By Cynthia Bell, Wednesday, June 15, 2016

 The news of the events at the Orlando Pulse Night Club is a reminder of our mission.  In what President Obama has described as an act of terror and hate, we are reminded that these acts of senseless violence continue to impact minority communities.  Gun violence is more than an issue that can be left to legislators, it is truly a public health issue, cutting years off of precious lives.

In 2001, the Student National Medical Association adopted a position against gun violence in hopes of encouraging our participation, as an organization, in initiatives to begin to solve this issue. This concern remains today, even now as we continue to lose innocent people to gun violence. Doing our part to fight this health disparity, we have signed a petition in collaboration with over 100 other organizations to end the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ban on gun violence research. Further, we are dedicating October, our Month of Service, to efforts of preventing violence in the communities that we serve.

As we mourn the loss of 49 innocent people and support the 53 wounded, the Student National Medical Association extends our deepest condolences to the all of those affected by this tragedy. Our hearts and thoughts are with you.

Yours in SNMA,

Christen D. Johnson

National President

Student National Medical Association

Tags:  #SNMA 

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AMEC 2016 Survey & Reflections from SNMA's Immediate Past President

Posted By Cynthia Bell, Thursday, May 12, 2016
 Phew…we made it through another AMEC! After days of #teamnosleep and taking advantage of all the benefits of AMEC, I hope you have had the chance to recuperate and now feel rejuvenated to further advance the SNMA mission. With over 1,300 attendees at this year’s conference, I want to thank each of you for a successful event. Through fellowship, education, advocacy, and service, we certainly made an impact on Austin, TX! We were also able to launch the Membership Survey at AMEC.

Please take the next 15 minutes to provide your input here to help us better serve you as members in providing opportunities and membership benefits. If you are still pumped up from AMEC and interested in getting involved, check out the May President’s Newsletter from our National President Christen Johnson, as she provides advice on your next steps of becoming a SNMA leader.

In addition, AMEC is a time of celebration and reflection. We recognize several members and chapters who have worked tirelessly through the year to uphold our mission and those who have participated in our various programmatic initiatives, which currently target leadership development, research and community service. Below is a list of these deserving members and chapters who were recognized at AMEC.

SNMA Member Scholarships

Pre-Medical Member – Olugabukola (Bukky) Ajaghe

Basic Medical Sciences – Kindred Harris

Clinical Sciences – Milele Bynum

Pre-Medical Member of the Year – Omonivie Hope Agboghidi

SNMA Member of the Year – Amy Feng

MAPS Chapter of the Year – Temple University

SNMA Chapter of the Year – McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

National Committee(s) of the Year – Osteopathic Committee and Publications Committee

Board of Directors Officer of the Year – Cortlyn Brown

Future Leadership Project Fellows – Gabriel Felix, Fernado Ferrara, Simisola Kuye, Shannon Pringle, Jessica Thomas, Jasmine Bryant, Janaya Shelly, Erica Odukoya, Danyelle Thomas, Colleen Laurent, Charles Grant, Brandon Durant, Ashley Snelling, Amiah McCray, Salma Mumuni, Ruth St. Fort, Oluwabukola Ajagbe, Kindred Harris, Ashley Sylvera

Lastly, as I reflect on the year, I am grateful for all of your support and hard work in executing my vision for the organization. By supporting my Executive Agenda, we have made an impact on addressing the mental health issues that continue to afflict ourselves, as well as the communities we serve. In a time where social justice is still needed, we as future physicians can still contribute to the conversation to make a difference. As current medical students, we have the power of declaring our support for addressing these issues within the medical field. Continue to use that power and be the advocate for your patients by serving as their voice during these important conversations.

SNMA as an organization continues to make strides in this area as we have recently signed a petition urging the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to raise their ban on gun violence research. Join me in supporting SNMA 2016-2017 National President Christen Johnson on her endeavor in "lighting the way with SNMA” as she works to tackle several health disparities through education, advocacy, and service.

Again, thank you for your support and it was an honor to serve as your 2015-2016 National President!

Yours in SNMA,

Anthony Kulukulualani

MD Candidate 2017

Tags:  amec 2016 

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Up Close: Meet the SNMA Headquarters Staff—Jacquelyn Lendsey

Posted By Cynthia Bell, Monday, May 2, 2016
Jacquelyn Lendsey joined the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) in August 2013 as interim executive director during a time when the organization was experiencing considerable uncertainty. As a consultant replacing the previous executive director, Ms. Lendsey’s role quickly expanded to meet the complex needs of SNMA’s operations. Initially, she took stock of the organization – its finances, membership, communications, etc. – then made recommendations based on her extensive experience in the nonprofit sector. She has been successful in managing the operations of SNMA and leading several new initiatives to improve current systems.

In June 2014, Ms. Lendsey assumed the permanent role of executive director. Despite the magnitude of the work and the rapid changes at SNMA during that time, she believes her transition was seamless because of the time spent as interim director, as well as the cohesiveness of the headquarters staff. "One of the things that I think is important for someone who steps into a new organization is being able to work as a team with existing staff,” Ms. Lendsey said. "I believe the staff is great and I can’t say enough about them. It definitely made my transition very easy and very seamless.”

Her driving force at SNMA is her commitment to the mission of the organization. One of the things she enjoys most about the SNMA is its membership. With a background in education, she believes strongly in the goals of the organization and in working with student leaders. "I really like being able to share what I know about how to run an organization and have members say, ‘yeah, give me more.’” She also takes great pride in building and helping to shape people that are in the community, who will become future leaders and play critical roles in improving the status quo.

Although there are inherent challenges to running a nonprofit organization whose leadership and membership comprise students, such as high turnover and limited resources, Ms. Lendsey considers these challenges simply as parts of the job with opportunities to apply her expertise. Among many things recently, she has been busy with the roll-out of a new communications and social media platform for SNMA’s Annual Medical Education Conference (AMEC), increasing awareness and understanding of how to use the capabilities of the SNMA website, and securing funding for the continued growth of the organization.

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