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Spring Semester 2013 Media Highlights

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Dr. Sonja Harris-Haywood Appointed Director of The New NEOMED-CSU Medical School Partnership

Award-Winning Family-Medicine Educator, Physician and Researcher To Lead Joint Venture that Will Produce Primary Care Physicians

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Dr. Sonja Harris-Haywood, an award-winning family-medicine educator, physician and researcher specializing in health disparities and cultural competency, has been appointed director of the Northeast Ohio Medical University and Cleveland State University Partnership for Urban Health.

The new medical school partnership was created to produce primary care physicians specifically trained to address underserved urban communities. At least half of the medical school training will take place on the Cleveland State campus, including clinical work in Cleveland-area community health centers.

In this key leadership role, Dr. Harris-Haywood will oversee all aspects of the trailblazing joint venture between NEOMED and CSU, which also will work to diversify the health-care workforce by identifying minority candidates for medical school.

“Dr. Sonja Harris-Haywood’s proven expertise in family medicine and health disparities fit perfectly with the mission of the NEOMED-CSU Partnership for Urban Health,” said Ronald Berkman, president of Cleveland State University. “A rigorous search led us to Dr. Harris-Haywood, and we are thrilled to have her join the NEOMED-CSU team.”

Dr. Harris-Haywood comes to the NEOMED-CSU Partnership for Urban Health from Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, where she spent the past nine years as an assistant professor of family medicine as well as a medical staff physician and preceptor.

Previously, Dr. Harris-Haywood taught family medicine at New Jersey Medical School and the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. Her extensive clinical experience also includes a position as an emergency-room physician at University Hospitals, as well as positions at community health centers in Washington, D.C., and in New Jersey.

Dr. Harris-Haywood is a member of the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Cleveland Medical Association, among other organizations.
With an emphasis on health disparities and cultural competency, Dr. Harris-Haywood has conducted research funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute. Her work has been published in Archives of Internal Medicine, Medical Care, Journal of the National Medical Association and other peer-reviewed publications.

In 2010, Dr. Harris-Haywood won the Edgar Jackson Jr. M.D. Faculty Mentor Award from University Hospitals Case Medical Center Minority House Staff and the Family Medicine Mentorship Award from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine’s Department of Family Medicine. Her other honors include a Minority Faculty Development Award from University Hospitals.

Dr. Harris-Haywood holds an M.S. in clinical investigation from Case Western Reserve University. She earned her M.D. at New Jersey Medical School and a B.S. in chemistry from Seton Hall University.

The NEOMED-CSU Partnership for Urban Health encourages economically disadvantaged youth from the Cleveland area to complete undergraduate coursework at CSU, enroll in the College of Medicine at NEOMED to earn a Doctor of Medicine degree and return after residency to serve medically underserved areas in Northeast Ohio. It is recognized as the lead program for the Sullivan Alliance to Transform the Health Professions, a national organization devoted to improving health-care education and increasing diversity in health professions.

The NEOMED-CSU Partnership also has been selected to participate in the Urban Universities for HEALTH Learning Collaborative, a national academic initiative that aims to investigate approaches to improve the health of urban communities by developing their health-care workforce. A grant totaling more than $400,000 over a four-year period recently was awarded to NEOMED and CSU in support of their partnership by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health, administered through a collective effort between the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities and the Association of American Medical Colleges.

With headquarters currently in the Union Building on CSU’s campus, the NEOMED-CSU Partnership eventually will be housed in CSU’s new Center for Health Innovation, scheduled to open in 2015.

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