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MAFP Honors Ebiere Okah, MD, with the 2020 Family Medicine Resident of the Year Award

Tuesday, February 18, 2020   (0 Comments)
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Ebiere Okah, MD Minneapolis, February 18, 2020 – The Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians (MAFP) has named Ebiere Okah, MD, as the 2020 Family Medicine Resident of the Year. This award is presented annually to a third-year family medicine resident for outstanding contributions to the specialty through community involvement, leadership and educational activities.

Okah, a resident at the University of Minnesota North Memorial Family Medicine Residency, has been described by her nominators as a passionate, dedicated and fierce role model. She is a leader and advocate for health equity.

In 2019, Okah, along with her faculty mentor Andrea Westby, MD, FAAFP, brought a resolution to the MAFP House of Delegates to denounce the use of race-based medicine and support the development of resources to assist physicians in evaluating their use of race in research and clinical practice. The resolution was adopted at the state level and then brought to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) Congress of Delegates, where Okah testified in support of the resolution. It was referred to the AAFP Board of Directors and a commitment was made to do more research on its practice.

“Dr. Okah has shown excellent leadership and initiative in challenging the way race is used clinically and in research. She has become a local expert about the use of race in medicine and furthered her knowledge by completing a research program at the Robert Graham Center. She is a powerful example of what family doctors can do with dedicated advocacy and passion,” said Westby.

Okah currently co-chairs the MAFP Health Equity Task Force and received a research award from the MAFP Foundation to study the association between a color-blind racial ideology and the use of race in medical decision-making. She will be co-leading a session on race and medicine at the 2020 MAFP Spring Refresher conference.

During residency, Okah completed a health equity leadership and mentoring program at the University of Minnesota Medical School and was a visiting scholar at the Robert Graham Center in Washington, DC, studying the use of race as a risk factor for hypertension.

In addition to Okah’s work in policy and research, she has been active in community outreach and mentorship. She has volunteered as a coordinator for Community Health Advocacy Talks (CHAT), an outreach of the University of Minnesota North Memorial Family Medicine Residency; and mentored youth through Big Brothers Big Sisters Twin Cities and The Ladder, a health career mentorship program in North Minneapolis.

One of Okah’s co-residents had this to say: “Dr. Okah is a compassionate leader and teacher, meeting people where they are (residents, faculty and patients alike) and always starts with common ground. She is an amazing role model for what a brilliant, compassionate, thoughtful and equitable physician can be.”

Okah will graduate residency in June and begin a research fellowship at the University of North Carolina.

 

About the Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians: The Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians (MAFP) is the largest medical specialty organization in Minnesota, representing more than 3,100 family physicians, family medicine residents and medical students. The MAFP promotes the specialty of family medicine in Minnesota and supports family physicians as they provide high quality, comprehensive and continuous medical care for patients of all ages.

About the MAFP Academy Awards: Each year, the MAFP recognizes its members for their hard work and dedication to family medicine via its own Academy Awards. Family physicians from across Minnesota are nominated—by patients, community members, educators, learners and colleagues—for a variety of awards. The MAFP Board of Directors selects recipients after reviewing nomination letters and credentials. Awards will be formally presented at the MAFP Spring Refresher, to be held March 28 & 29, 2020, at The Depot Minneapolis.

Media contact: Emie Buege, 651-338-1545, emie.buege@gmail.com


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