Medical school wins national award


The Grand Rapids-based MSU College of Human Medicine works to develop “exemplary physicians and scholars” and champions inclusive medicine. Photo via

A local medical school has been honored by a national association for its “outstanding contributions to medicine” and community service.

The Grand Rapids-based Michigan State University College of Human Medicine received the Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Service from Association of American Medical Colleges, or AAMC, this month at the association’s annual Learn Serve Lead event in Seattle.

The award was given in part to recognize the medical school’s role in exposing toxic lead levels in Flint’s water system. Another effort the award honored was the college’s Pediatric Public Health Initiative, which focuses on the health of Flint’s children.

MSU’s division of public health and classes for third- and fourth-year medical students is based in Flint, at 200 East First St. The division partners with Flint hospitals, government bodies and community members on safe drinking water and children’s health efforts.

Other MSU programs mentioned as exemplary include the Rural Physician Program, Rural Community Health Program and required community service for students.

“This is a great honor for our people who do such a great job,” said Aron Sousa, senior associate dean for academic affairs, MSU College of Human Medicine. “We not only train physicians and do research, we create a scientific safety net for our communities by working with community groups and leaders.”

Two of MSU’s faculty members also received awards: Brian Mavis, associate professor and chief of the Shared Discovery Academy, received the Group on Educational Affairs Merrell Flair Award; and Wanda Lipscomb, associate dean for student affairs and senior associate dean for diversity and inclusion, received the Group on Student Affairs Exemplary Service Award. Both Mavis and Lipscomb have a presence at multiple MSU locations, including Grand Rapids.

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