Hospitals, Tennessee universities commit to provide opportunities for Black med students

Methodist partners with universities to help guide med students

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare is making a commitment with universities in Tennessee to help shape the health care workers of tomorrow. Leaders within the health care system recently announced a new partnership that they hope will benefit African American communities.

“We know that there is a shortage of physicians all over the country. We know that there is a shortage of nurses all over the country,” said Michael Ugwueke, MLH’s President and CEO.

It is why the health care system is joining forces with the University of Memphis and Meharry Medical College.

The goal is to help guide students in their pursuit of careers in medicine, particularly Black students who they hope will one day be able to serve West Tennessee’s largely African American communities.

“There will be opportunities for African American kids in Memphis that aspire to go to medical school to be a part of a pipeline project that identifies them early on,” explained Ugwuake.

University of Memphis President M. David Rudd is looking forward to the partnership. Rudd said in a statement:

“The UofM is very excited for the opportunity to partner with such tremendous education and industry leaders in healthcare,” said UofM President M. David Rudd. “This will enhance our relationship with Methodist Le Bonheur, a highly respected organization in our community that has worked with and supported the UofM for years. It will begin a new and promising relationship with Meharry Medical College, an institution we view as one of the very best nationally in training students to effectively identify health disparities and treat patients, especially those in underserved communities. It should help us attract students interested in an accelerated pathway to medical school and training in Memphis and, hopefully, create the opportunity for an eventual fully functional satellite campus of Meharry Medical College in Memphis.”

Ugwueke also believes that having medical professionals serving in their own communities can help address health disparities.

“What is better than to have people that you know taking care of you,” he said. “The trust is extremely important.”

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