RWJF Harold Amos Program Celebrates 30th Anniversary

Oct 3, 2013, 12:00 PM

At its annual meeting and reunion this week in Atlanta, one of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) long-running and highly successful programs is celebrating a milestone: its 30th anniversary.

The Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program, formerly known as the Minority Medical Faculty Development Program, works to foster diversity among U.S. medical school faculty. In 2011 it expanded its scope to do the same among dental school faculty.

Risa Lavisso-Mourey at Harold Amos meeting. RWJF President and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey

The program opened its doors in 1983 to its first cohort of eight physicians. That was the beginning of a three-decade commitment to preparing and mentoring individuals underrepresented in academic medicine and science to help them become leaders in those fields.

Today, 200 esteemed alumni later, the program has graduates who are full professors, chairs of departments, leaders of institutes within the National Institutes of Health, and scholars who are known nationally and internationally for their enormously valuable contributions to the fields of biomedical research, clinical investigation, and health services research.

The scholars’ dedication to their work is “inspiring—not only to me and to everyone at the Foundation, but also to the succeeding classes of physicians and dentists [they are] mentoring,” said RWJF President and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA. Their “unflagging commitment to fostering the development of young medical and dental students keeps this program strong. It creates a next generation of outstanding young physicians and dentists with the skills, the confidence, and the sense of mission to excel and to inspire others in turn.”

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Human Capital Blog. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors.