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    2015 Herbert W. Nickens Award

    Ana E. Núñez, MD, Drexel University College of Medicine

    An expert in the intersection of health disparities with sex, gender, and cultural identity, Ana Núñez, MD, tirelessly and selflessly leverages her expertise to improve health equity in her community of Philadelphia and across our nation.

    “Ana Núñez knows that unless we can connect with community in the context of culture, we cannot move toward health equity,” says David Satcher, MD, PhD, director of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute and former U.S. surgeon general.

    Connecting with community is a specialty of Dr. Núñez, professor of medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine. In 2011, she founded Philadelphia Ujima, a collaborative approach with the community to improve individual and group health by focusing on fitness and nutrition, preventive care, and chronic condition management. Named after a Kwanzaa principle meaning “collective work and responsibility,” the program endeavors to grow the number of “activated patients”—people who are prepared for their doctors’ appointments, aware of their current health status, and engaged in improving their own health and in helping their neighbors do the same. The program has reached more than 17,000 Philadelphians and continues to grow.

    An expert in the role of sex and gender on health and health care, Dr. Núñez has trained generations of medical students in cultural competence, and her innovative curricula have been shared across the country for trainees at all levels, including as part of Healing Health Disparities at Harvard University, and lauded as exemplary for reducing bias in health care delivery by the Institute of Medicine. She has also served as a test-question reviewer for the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) for cultural competence and sex/gender medical education.

    Dr. Núñez serves as mentor to, adviser of, and advocate for countless underrepresented individuals in medicine, including more than 120 medical students through the Women’s Health Senior Pathway program. She has also been instrumental in several pipeline programs, including the Social Media Leadership Institute, a summer program for high school minority youth.

    Recognizing Dr. Núñez’s valuable contributions to health equity through education, scholarship, and clinical care, Drexel University College of Medicine selected her as associate dean, urban health equity, education, and research in 2012. She has completed several fellowships, including the Primary Care Health Policy Fellowship with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the AAMC, and the AAMC’s Health Services Research and Health Policy Fellowship under the guidance of Dr. Herbert Nickens. She is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Society.

    Dr. Núñez received her bachelor of science in chemistry from Wilkes University and her MD from Hahnemann University School of Medicine in Philadelphia. She completed her residency in internal medicine, serving as chief resident, at Hahnemann University Hospital.