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Winkleby to be honored with inaugural White prize

- By Susan Ipaktchian

Marilyn Winkleby

Marilyn Winkleby

Marilyn Winkleby, PhD, MPH, professor of medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, has been named the inaugural recipient of the Dr. Augustus A. White III and Family Faculty Professionalism Award.

Winkleby’s accomplishments will be recognized at a reception April 15 at the Stanford Faculty Club. The award honors a faculty member who has worked to help reduce health disparities or to enhance the effectiveness of minorities in the university community through research, education, mentoring or service. It is named for White, MD, PhD, who is marking the 50th anniversary of becoming the first African-American graduate of Stanford’s medical school. He later became chair of orthopedic surgery at Harvard, and has been a pioneer and role model for underrepresented minorities in academic medicine.

Winkleby said she is honored to receive the award, adding her belief that one of the most effective responses to poverty is education coupled with activism. “We live in a world that is divided, one that has failed to provide equal opportunities for all. There are 44 million Americans, who now live in poverty — 15 million of these are children. How we respond to those in poverty says a great deal about who we are as a nation,” she said.

Much of Winkleby’s research has focused on understanding the disparities that affect the health of ethnic minority and low-income populations, and devising community-based interventions to address those inequities. She also serves as the faculty director of the medical school’s Office of Community Health and the community engagement program for Spectrum, the organization that administers the school’s CTSA grant.

One of Winkleby’s signature contributions to diversity was the co-founding of the Stanford Medical Youth Science Program, a five-week summer residential program for low-income and under-represented minority high school students interested in biomedical careers. Now in it’s 24th year, SMYSP has an impressive track record: Of the 524 students who graduated from the program, 100 percent have graduated from high school, 86 percent have graduated from four-year colleges (of which 43 percent have attended medical or graduate school) and 42 percent are becoming or have become health professionals.

“The SMYSP serves as an exemplar for how academic institutions can impact the diversity of the pipeline to research and innovation,” wrote Dean Philip Pizzo, MD, and Hannah Valantine, MD, senior associate dean for diversity and leadership, in nominating Winkleby.

The award is administered by the school's Office of Diversity and Leadership.

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