- Associated Press - Monday, August 14, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A new associate dean at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine is looking to expand the school’s promotional efforts.

Dr. Wendi Wills El-Amin, 46, is aiming to help future doctors avoid unconscious bias and expand the program so parts of it reach students in the elementary and middle-school grades, The State Journal-Register reported .

“This job will give me the opportunity to be a collaborator, a change agent,” Wills El-Amin said.

Wills El-Amin began her role as associate dean for equity, diversity and inclusion on Aug. 1. She succeeded Dr. Wesley Robinson McNeese, 69, who helped launched SIU’s office of diversity, multicultural and minority affairs in 2001.

Wills El-Amin will also oversee the Physician Pipeline Preparatory Program, which McNeese founded in 2009. The after-school program enrolls local high school students interested in potential careers in medicine.

She said the program would benefit young students and show them that a career in medicine is a possibility. The program provides mentors and exposure to the medical field.

Wills El-Amin previously was an academic strategist in SIU’s department of medical education and treated patients through the department of family medicine. She’s also the chairwoman of the women’s health section for the National Medical Association, an organization of African American doctors.

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Information from: The State Journal-Register, https://www.sj-r.com


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