Pediatrician Fernando Mendoza was recognized for his contributions to diversity and health-care equality.
June 4, 2015 - By Kim Smuga-Otto
Over his medical career, Fernando Mendoza, MD, a professor of pediatrics, has created programs that open doors for minorities to pursue careers in medicine and that train doctors to advocate for equal access to medical care.
For his efforts, he has been recognized with the 2015 Dr. Augustus A. White III and Family Faculty Professionalism Award.
The award, presented by the medical school’s Office of Faculty Development and Diversity, recognizes individuals who help to reduce health disparities and empower underrepresented minorities to pursue careers in medicine. White, MD, the award’s namesake, was the School of Medicine’s first African-American graduate and served as its student body president. Throughout his career, he has been an advocate for equality in health care. White attended the award ceremony June 2 at Stanford Hospital.
Mendoza joined the faculty of the School of Medicine in 1981 as an assistant professor of pediatrics. In 1983, he was appointed associate dean for minority advising and programs. The following year he founded a summer program to encourage and guide minority medical students in pursuing careers in academia.
“At a time when summer programs for minority students really meant remedial programs, in 1984 Dr. Mendoza championed and established a summer program that promoted research, leadership and transition into medical school,” Ronald Garcia, PhD, assistant dean for minority affairs at the medical school, wrote in his letter nominating Mendoza, who also is a pediatrician at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford. The program, now known as the Leadership in Health Disparities Program and open to any entering medical student, has evolved to focus on addressing health inequities in the United States.
He has been a leader and voice for diversity at Stanford and the nation.
Mendoza worked in the early 1990s to secure a federal Health Service and Administration grant to establish the medical school’s Center of Excellence in Diversity in Medical Education, which trains doctors to be leaders in promoting health-care equality through service, advocacy and scholarship.
Mendoza has given presentations on immigrant-health issues before Congress and around the state and nation. He co-founded the medical school’s Diversity Cabinet, an administrative group that in 2012 hosted a retreat that laid the groundwork for the school’s diversity statement and its strategic plan for diversity. Throughout Mendoza’s career, Garcia writes, “he has been a leader and voice for diversity at Stanford and the nation.”
Also honored at the event were the 2015 Hispanic Center of Excellence/Office of Faculty Development and Diversity faculty fellows: Samuel Cheshier, MD; Nielsen Fernandez-Becker, MD; Tina Hernandez-Boussard, PhD; Julianne Mendoza, MD; Kim Rhoads, MD; and Reena Thomas, MD, PhD.
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