New partnership helps promote diversity in health care

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MACON — Mercer University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) is partnering with The Dr. Earl Stewart Jr., Family Foundation and the American College of Physicians (ACP) to secure a slot for a Mercer student in the Summer 2024 cohort of The Ryan Mire, M.D., Summer Internship Program. Under the new partnership, The Stewart Family Foundation will pay half of the internship cost, with the CLAS Dean’s Office funding the other half.

“When I personally learned of the opportunity to expose a deserving undergraduate student from an underrepresented group to the functions of organized medicine with The American College of Physicians, I immediately thought of ways in which our Foundation could sponsor a deserving matriculant in Mercer’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for the summer internship,” said Earl Stewart Jr., M.D., The Dr. Earl Stewart Jr., Family Foundation, founding president and CEO. “Diversifying the medical profession is important to us, and we are so elated this is coming to fruition.”

The ACP Summer Internship Program aims to help enhance diversity within U.S. health care by providing experience that inspires students to consider the variety of career opportunities that influence health, medicine and public policy.

Earl Stewart Jr., M.D., The Dr. Earl Stewart Jr., Family Foundation, founding president and CEO

“The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is pleased to partner with one of its own alumni, Dr. Earl Stewart, and the ACP to promote opportunities for minority students interested in pursuing a medical career,” said Dr. John Thomas Scott, interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “Dr. Stewart exemplifies the Mercer spirit of giving back to the University and to his profession. This partnership will provide the opportunity for Mercer students to observe some of the nation’s finest doctors at some of the nation’s finest medical facilities.”

Ansley A. Booker, director of Mercer’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives, said she is ecstatic to be a part of this partnership. “It represents not only the compassion and dedication of our distinguished alumni like Dr. Earl Stewart Jr., but also the importance of creating pipelines and pathways for our undergraduate CLAS students, especially those that are underrepresented in medicine (URIM) by race,” she said. “Initiatives such as these create opportunities to increase representation and educational access for some of our best and brightest future healthcare practitioners.”

ACP’s chief strategy officer, Adrienne White-Faines, expressed the organization’s delight in the partnership. “Together we will inspire another diverse representation of young minds to affirm their commitment to pursue careers in medicine and health care, ultimately working to advance health equity solutions for populations across the globe.”

The ACP is seeking students who have completed their third year and are currently enrolled in a four-year undergraduate college or university. The organization will begin accepting applications for 2024 Ryan Mire, M.D., Summer Internship Program in February.

About The Dr. Earl Stewart, Jr. Family Foundation
The mission of the Dr. Earl Stewart, Jr. Family Foundation is to create and award educational scholarship grants to African-American youth who meet all individual scholarship criteria, financially support cultural, historical, performing and visual arts, and faith-based organizations and institutions of Christian worship in the African-American community and those that seek to strengthen and further the heritage and history of the American-American community. The organization also endeavors to financially support other philanthropic and charitable non-profit corporations recognized under section 501(c) (3).

About The Ryan Mire, MD, Summer Internship Program
Launched in the summer of 2022, the Ryan Mire, MD Summer Internship Program was designed with a dual purpose in mind. First, to diversify the healthcare workforce by opening doors for underrepresented communities. Second, to inspire college students by educating them about the wide array of fulfilling and impactful careers available in healthcare. With four interns in the inaugural cohort, and 10 in the second year in 2023, the American College of Physicians is laying the groundwork for a legacy of education, empowerment and equity.