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Distributed May 20, 2004
Contact Wendy Lawton

Community service
FleetBoston program rewards Med School alumni for social responsibility

FleetBoston has accepted nine Brown University Medical School alumni into its Community Fellows Program, an education loan repayment program for civic-minded physicians.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — As part of a unique partnership between Brown University and FleetBoston, nine Brown Medical School graduates will receive a total of $100,000 to help repay their education loans – and continue their community service work.

Consistent with the Medical School’s mission of training socially responsible physicians, the Community Fellows Program each year rewards graduates who regularly volunteer, treat underserved populations, advocate for better health policy or otherwise “serve the greater good of our communities.”

Established three years ago with support from the FleetBoston Financial Foundation, the program aims to promote community service careers in health care. Each year, five to 10 graduates each receive up to $20,000 toward loan repayment.

Past recipients have treated the poor in places ranging from the mountains of Mexico to housing projects in the Bronx. Others have researched cancer rates among African-Americans, fought the closure of a public health clinic serving Latinos, and advocated for policies to eliminate health disparities for all minorities.

In cities stretching from Providence to San Francisco, this year’s Community Fellows work in hospitals, clinics and even a prison. The new fellows are:

  • Scott Allen (M.D. ‘91) Allen is a primary care physician to adult inmates for the State Department of Corrections in Cranston, R.I. He is responsible for the oversight and treatment evaluation of patients with hepatitis C. He is a clinical assistant professor for Brown Medical School at The Miriam Hospital and precepts the family practice rotation and clinics at the Department of Corrections. He serves on the boards of directors of Project AIDS Khmer, the Meeting Street School and About Families. Allen was named a Community Fellow in 2002.
  • Sonya Dominguez (M.D. ‘02) Dominguez is a resident in St. Vincent’s Family Practice Residency Program in Jacksonville, Fla. St. Vincent’s mission is to serve the vulnerable and poor. She is active with community clinics at a local homeless shelter and the Mobile Outreach Health Ministry, a doctor’s office on wheels that provides free care to the poor. She is a Special Olympics volunteer and brought Reach Out and Read, a national pediatric literacy program, to St. Vincent’s.
  • Jini H. Han (M.D. ‘97) Han is an attending physician in the Department of Internal Medicine at John Stroger Hospital of Cook County (formerly Cook County Hospital) in Chicago, where she serves mostly uninsured, poor minority patients. She is also an internal medicine instructor at Rush Medical College. Han is a member of the Asian Health Coalition of Illinois, a community-based organization that provides advocacy, resources and education on health issues. She is a co-founder of the Asian Health Research Interest Group of Chicago and is actively involved with the American Cancer Society’s Medical Ambassadors Program and the Working Group for Health Issues.
  • Ellen D. Herbst (M.D. ‘02) Herbst is a resident at the Shuman-Liles Clinic in Oakland, Calif., where she provides medical management and supportive psychiatric services to low-income residents of Alameda County. She leads post-traumatic stress disorder education and psychotherapy groups for Vietnamese refugees and combat veterans and is involved in a research study investigating therapeutic and pharmacological techniques for treating the disorder. She also works with Physicians for Human Rights.
  • Shuba Kamath (M.D. ‘00) Kamath is a general academic fellow in the Division of General Pediatrics at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, which serves predominantly low-income minority families, many of whom are recent immigrants. Her research targets childhood obesity in East Harlem. She incorporated community advocacy experiences, such as health education outreach at a local high school, into training for Mount Sinai residents.
  • Sara J. Newmann (M.D. ‘99) Newmann is completing her combined residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Brigham and Women’s and Massachusetts General hospitals. This summer, she begins work as an ob-gyn with the Chelsea and Revere Health Centers in the Boston area, caring for a largely poor female population that includes Latinas and African-Americans. Newmann has committed much of her time to serving immigrants in community health centers. She is a member of the Global Health Committee of the Massachusetts Medical Society and a health educator for the Indian Medical Association of New England.
  • Dawn M. Richardson (M.D. ‘88) Richardson has worked as an emergency physician in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts for the last 14 years, as well as serving as captain in the Air National Guard. She is an attending staff physician in the Emergency Department at Roger Williams Medical Center in Providence. She has a long history of community involvement, with a focus on domestic violence victims. Richardson is on the board of directors of Women’s Center of Rhode Island and the medical advisory board of the Rhode Island Department of Motor Vehicles. She has served as medical director for Fall River Fire and Rescue and Emergency Medical Services of New England.
  • Jin S. Suh (M.D. ‘92) Suh works at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York where he is the director of clinical research at The Center for Comprehensive Care, an associate attending physician in the Infectious Disease Division, and an associate program director for the Internal Medicine Residency Training Program. Under his direction, the Center for Comprehensive Care has initiated community outreach programs for HIV prevention, services for women and children, and a syringe access program. He is also an advocate for health care access for HIV prisoners and works with Doctors of the World’s human rights clinic project.
  • Shannon M. Thyne (M.D. ‘95) Thyne is an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Pediatrics at San Francisco General Hospital/University of California. She is medical director of the Children’s Health Center, which serves young people facing poverty and violence in the family and community. She also coordinates the Kempe Clinic, providing primary care for high-risk children and co-directs the local chapter of the national pediatric literacy program Reach Out and Read. She sits on the board of directors of the Child Abuse Prevention Center and the Yes We Can Urban Asthma Partnership and acts as medical consultant for the City of San Francisco’s Child Protective Services.


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