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Portrait of Sonja Boone

January 27, 2010

SIU Med School Sets Black History Month Activities

Black History Month will be celebrated with two public programs in February at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield.  Several service activities and movie screenings also are planned by SIU medical students.

Dr. Sonja Boone will present “21st Century Medicine:  A Case for Health Care Diversity and Cultural Competency” at 6 p.m. Monday, February 8, in SIU’s South Auditorium, 801 N. Rutledge St. (second floor).  Boone is director of physician health and health care disparities for the American Medical Association.  She is a founding member of the American Leadership Council on Diversity, part of the American Hospital Association.  Previously she was director of diversity and medical director of physician recruitment at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

The program and reception that follows are hosted by SIU’s chapter of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA).  SNMA is composed of medical and premedical students focused on the needs of minority students across the nation.  Kevin Johnson, second-year medical student, is this year’s chair for Black History Month. 
The SNMA group also is organizing several events for medical students, including serving breakfast at the Washington Street Mission from 8 - 9 a.m. Sunday, January 31, and preparing and serving dinner to the homeless at the Springfield Overflow Shelter one evening in February.  Local high school students who are participating in the Physician Pipeline Preparatory Program have been invited to join them in serving the dinner.

Movies with an African-American theme will be shown at 11:30 a.m. February 4, 11, 18 and 25 in SIU’s South Auditorium, 801 N. Rutledge St. (second floor).  The movies are free and open to the public.

An Ethnic Heritage Day, celebrating African-American cultures, will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 16, in the Pearson Museum, 801 N. Rutledge St. (second floor).  The program will feature a presentation by LaVon Wilson, a church leader and retired music teacher, who will speak about “Life in Springfield through the Eyes of a Different Hue.”  There will also be a tasting of African-American foods.  The School regularly hosts an Ethnic Heritage Day, featuring different cultures and organized by its Office of Diversity, Multicultural and Minority Affairs.

For more information for either program, contact Dr. Wesley Robinson-McNeese, Diversity, Multicultural and Minority Affairs, at 217-545-7334 weekdays.

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