In the State of the Social Mission Alliance Webinar, hosted on January 19, 2023, we heard from multiple members of the SMA team on current, past, and future endeavors for advancing social mission in health professions education.
Director Toyese Oyeyemi described the decision to change the Alliance’s name from Beyond Flexner Alliance to Social Mission Alliance, and introduced the agenda for the meeting.
Meg Ziemann, a research scientist at the Fitzhugh Mullan Institute for Health Workforce Equity and co-chair of the SMA Research Advisory Committee, talked about social mission research and it’s place in SMA. She spoke of her paper, published with Clese Erikson, Advancing Social Mission Research: A Call to Action, which addresses the data needs and need for creating a diverse social mission research community. The current SMA Research Advisory Committee is made of 15 people, ranging from students to deans, and others are welcome to join. Those who wish to get involved in the Research Advisory Committee should get in touch with Meg, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next, team member Jamar Slocum, and Assistant Professor of Medicine at George Washington University, discussed what led to the formation of SMA: the Beyond Flexner Conference. SMA has held six past conferences, five in-person and one virtual. There will be an upcoming conference in the spring of 2024, with the co-host and date to be announced soon.
Jamar Slocum passed the mic to Robert Rock, a family physician, the director of SMA’s Health Justice Fellowship, and lead of the Advocacy Advisory Council. The Advocacy Advisory Council was brought together to lead SMA for how to best leverage the expertise and professional relationships to advance advocacy in the area of social mission. Those who wish to get involved should contact Robert using email@example.com, and put “Advocacy Advisory Council” in the subject line.
“We want folks not to just understand the definition of social mission, but to feel it, too.”Robert Rock
Next up, Ed Salsburg, a lead research scientist and leader of the Health Workforce Diversity Initiative, spoke about an upcoming US Supreme Court decision on affirmative action, which has the potential to effect the diversity of the future health workforce. In response, Ed is putting together an ad hoc committee to help inform SMA’s role and response to the upcoming decision, discuss what schools can do to prepare, and what alternatives there are for schools to ensure a diverse student body, that is acceptable by the Supreme Court. Those who wish to get involved in this committee should contact Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, Toyese gave closing remarks and an invitation to reach out to Social Mission Alliance to grow the community of people working towards health equity.
“I’d like to extend a major thank you to each of you for attending and to each of my colleagues for sharing. I once again want to make sure that I invite members of this network, our broader network, and those who may not be on this call, but may be connected to you and your own networks to please continue the conversation with us and reach out.”Toyese Oyeyemi, Director of Social Mission Alliance