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  • Press Release

    AAMC Honors Health Care Champions with Inaugural ACE Awards

    Media Contacts

    Christina Spoehr, Sr. Media Relations Specialist

    Today the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) will honor five champions of academic medicine with the inaugural AAMC ACE Award for Advocacy, Collaboration and Education. The five awardees collaborate with the nation’s medical schools, teaching hospitals, and academic health systems to improve the health of patients, families, and communities everywhere.

    “The AAMC is proud to recognize these five awardees and the truly outstanding work they have done to address long-standing, harmful health inequities by diversifying and strengthening the health care workforce,” said Danielle Turnipseed, JD, MHSA, MPP, AAMC chief public policy officer. “In their own way, each of the people we are recognizing have tremendous impact on the key issues the AAMC works diligently on for the health of all people. We look forward to continuing to work with these individuals to improve the health and well-being of communities nationwide.”

    The ACE Awards will be presented at a reception at the AAMC’s headquarters in celebration of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s (CBCF) 52nd Annual Legislative Conference (ALC).

    During the conference, the AAMC will also host a session titled “Preparing the Physician Workforce Today, Bracing for Tomorrow.” Experts will discuss strategies to train and diversify the health care workforce in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to end race conscious admissions. The CBCF conference is held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and onsite registration is available.

    Learn more about this year’s ACE Award honorees:  

    Congressional Champions
    Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Ala.) is one of the first women elected to Congress from Alabama in her own right and the first Black woman to ever serve in the Alabama Congressional delegation. Rep. Sewell is a fierce advocate for expanding Medicare support for graduate medical education, which would improve access to health care for all, especially those in rural and other medically underserved areas. For the past three congresses, she has been the lead sponsor of the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act (H.R. 2389), bipartisan legislation that would combat the nation’s doctor shortage, strengthen and diversify the physician workforce, and improve access to health care so everyone can receive the care they need when they need it.  

    Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) is the founder and chair of the Caucus on the Commission on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys and has been instrumental in the caucus’ collaboration with the AAMC Action Collaborative for Black Men in Medicine. Her leadership has shined a light on policies, strategies, and actions to address the scarcity of Black male physicians and Black men and boys on the pathway to becoming physicians. As a teacher and founder of the nationally acclaimed 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project, Rep. Wilson understands the importance of reaching young men early in their academic lives. 

    Academic Medicine Leader 
    Lee Jones, MD, is dean for medical education and professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine and is an advocate for strengthening the diversity of the medical student body and the physician workforce. Prior to joining Georgetown University, he served as associate dean for students and health sciences clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California (UC) San Francisco School of Medicine. Jones received his medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and completed his residency at UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. He currently serves as chair of the AAMC Board of Directors.  

    Community Partner 
    Lynne Holden, MD, is committed to advancing physicians who are underrepresented in medicine (URiM). She is the co-founder and president emeritus of Mentoring in Medicine, Inc., an organization that assists URiM students or those from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds to become health and science professionals. Holden is a professor in the department of emergency medicine and senior associate dean for diversity and inclusion at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. She has also used her national leadership to increase diversity in medicine with the AAMC’s Pathway Program Committee. 

    Kylar Wiltz is an M4 medical student at the Howard University College of Medicine and is pursuing a joint MD/MBA degree. He established the first Multicultural Affairs Committee under the Student Council and sponsored three major events in coordination with multicultural organizations. Additionally, Wiltz served as member/representative on the student planning committee for Operation Diversity in Plastics. Wiltz has worked with the AAMC Action Collaborative for Black Men in Medicine and has served on multiple panels focusing on the need to increase the number of Black men in medicine. His dedication to grassroots organizing and community leadership makes him an inspiring example of the future of medicine. 

    The AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) is a nonprofit association dedicated to improving the health of people everywhere through medical education, health care, medical research, and community collaborations. Its members are all 158 U.S. medical schools accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education; 13 accredited Canadian medical schools; approximately 400 academic health systems and teaching hospitals, including Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and more than 70 academic societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC leads and serves America’s medical schools, academic health systems and teaching hospitals, and the millions of individuals across academic medicine, including more than 193,000 full-time faculty members, 96,000 medical students, 153,000 resident physicians, and 60,000 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the biomedical sciences. Following a 2022 merger, the Alliance of Academic Health Centers and the Alliance of Academic Health Centers International broadened participation in the AAMC by U.S. and international academic health centers.