Valley pediatrician honored for advocacy work

SAN ANTONIO (June 13, 2012) — A Brownsville-based pediatrician associated with the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio has been chosen for the 2012 American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Local Heroes Award.

Martha Griffin, M.D., is chief of pediatrics at the Brownsville Community Health Center and an adjunct assistant professor of pediatrics at the Regional Academic Health Center (RAHC), a campus of the UT Health Science Center in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.

She created and directs Community for Children: At the Border and Beyond, a four-week elective rotation for medical students and residents in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, in collaboration with local community-based organizations and other partners. The curriculum’s objectives include children’s rights; social determinants of health; clinical care in resource-poor regions; the impact of poverty, violence and immigration; cultural competency; advocacy and professional development.

The award recognizes pediatricians who are leaders through community action and advocacy for children in their local communities.

Dr. Minnette Son, M.D., a professor of pediatric critical care in the School of Medicine, nominated Dr. Griffin for her role as director of Community for Children, her leadership establishing the first medical-legal partnerships in Texas, Medical-Legal Assistance for Families, San Antonio and Medico-Legal Partnership Rio Grande Valley and other initiatives. Dr. Griffin serves as medical director for the Valley partnership, working with lawyers in the clinic to help indigent families whose legal problems negatively impact their health.

“Marsha has made a lifetime commitment to serving the indigent and underserved,” Dr. Son said. “She is a real hero: selfless in her actions, passionate about her convictions, and fearless in doing what it takes to make her community a better place.”

Dr. Griffin will be honored at the Community Pediatrics Awards Luncheon on October 21, 2012, at the AAP National Conference in New Orleans.

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