San Antonio (May 25, 2004) – Martha Medrano, M.D., M.P.H., assistant dean for continuing medical education and director of the School of Medicine’s Hispanic Center of Excellence at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, has received the 2004 Medical School Distinguished Alumnus Award.
“We are honored to present this award to Dr. Medrano, who stands out among her peers,” said Wei-Ann Bay, M.D., president of the Health Science Center’s Medical School Alumni Association. “She has truly taken the opportunity to give back to the School of Medicine. She shares her enthusiasm and love of medicine with her students and has been an incredible force in promoting health and education in the Hispanic community.”
Dr. Medrano, who graduated from the Health Science Center’s School of Medicine in 1981, received her award at the school’s commencement on Saturday, May 22.
One outstanding alumnus is selected each year to receive the award by the school’s alumni association. Candidates are selected based on their impact on, and accomplishments in, the profession of medicine, and the extent to which they have impacted their community through leadership and activities. Nominees are also judged on their efforts to promote the school and its students and their actions or involvement in reflecting the mission of the alumni association and the School of Medicine.
Dr. Medrano is also a medical staff member at the Southwest Neuropsychiatric Institute and works in psychiatry services at the Audie L. Murphy Division, South Texas Veterans Health Care System. She is a medical staff member of the University Health System and an Advisory Council Member for the National Institutes of Health in the Office on Research on Women’s Health.
The recruitment, retention and promotion of Hispanic medical students and faculty is the focus of Dr. Medrano’s work at the Medical Hispanic Center of Excellence. She is working to include cultural competence in the medical school curriculum, increase Hispanic health information resources at the Dolph Briscoe Library and to expand the center’s medical student summer research program.
As a co-investigator of the major nationwide initiative, Redes En Acción, she is working to create a national and regional infrastructure for collaboration among grassroots leaders, local communities, researchers and public health professionals to stimulate cancer control research, training and awareness for Hispanics/Latinos. Redes En Acción recently released a report stating that inadequate access to cancer screening and care is the number one cancer issue for the nation’s 38 million Hispanics/Latinos. The report also includes a series of research recommendations for cancer prevention and control education, training and outreach.
She is also the principal investigator of the U.S. Mexico Border Center of Excellence Consortium that is developing a strategic plan for increasing the health care delivery and research workforce along the United States and Mexico border.
Some of her other projects include studying the relationship between childhood trauma and drug injection behaviors, and training health professionals and staff in appropriate techniques when providing medical interpretation. She is the principal investigator of the Eisenhower Professional Development Program that is implementing an educational intervention with middle and high school teachers to integrate simple medical equipment into science classes.
In 2003, Dr. Medrano received a Recognition Award from The United States Border Health Initiative and the Latina Women in Action Award from the La Prensa Foundation. She also received the National Advisory Board Recognition Award from the National Hispanic Medical Association and the United Latin American Medical Student Association Appreciation Award.
Although she has written and has been cited in many articles, she has most recently been included as a physician leader in the September 2003 issue of San Antonio Medicine and was cited in the April 2003 issue of Latina. In the September 2002 issue of San Antonio Medicine, she wrote an article titled, “Minority Women in Medicine.”
She is an active member of the Bexar County Medical Society, the Hispanic American Biomedical Association and the Hispanic Faculty Association. She is also an active member in the National Hispanic Medical Association, the National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse and the National Hispanic Medical Association Board of Advisers. She was a founding member and former president of the Hispanic Faculty Association at the Health Science Center.
An El Paso native, she earned a bachelor of science in biology degree from The University of Texas at El Paso in 1977. In 1997, she earned a master’s of public health from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. She completed her residencies and a fellowship at the Health Science Center in the departments of psychiatry and pediatrics.