April 12, 2019

Congratulations to SOM's 2019 Spirit of Community award winners and finalists


Auntie Na's House Health Clinic won this year's "Spirit of Community" award in the project category.

Winners of the 2019 Spirit of Community Awards were announced April 11 in Wayne State University's Student Center Ballroom. A reception with hors d'oeuvres and desserts followed the awards ceremony. Auntie Na's, a School of Medicine student organization, won the project category.

Auntie Na win
Members and supporters of the Auntie Na student organization pose after winning a Spirit of Community award.

Yellowstone Street, at Elmhurst Avenue on Detroit's west side, is the site of Auntie Na's House, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that includes a new student-run health clinic aimed at women's health and wellness. The rehabilitation of the two-story home was made possible by a $150,000 grant from the Kresge Foundation, and supported by the leadership and expertise of Associate Professor of Medicine and Director of Subinternship and Ambulatory Programs Joel Appel, D.O., who serves as the clinic preceptor, and School of Medicine Director of Community Engagement and Associate Professor of Internal Medicine Jennifer Mendez, Ph.D.

The Auntie Na's Student Organization at the School of Medicine is new, officially forming in 2018 after second-year students who volunteered at Auntie Na's House in the 2017-2018 academic year for their Year 1 required service-learning project wanted to keep going, and do more. The organization has an executive board and about a dozen active members, over three branches of outreach -- youth enrichment, gardening and nutrition, and clinical care, with two student coordinators at each branch.

Wayne State encourages all faculty, staff and students to participate in meaningful, sustainable and mutually beneficial relationships with our community. These awards honor members of the university who best exemplify the spirit of Wayne State University's deep commitment to community engagement.

Finalists in each category:

Kavya Davuluri, Irvin D. Reid Honors College
Cedric Mutebi, School of Medicine (Med-Direct student)
David Pitawanakwat, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


Steven Kahn, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Jennifer Mendez, Ph.D., School of Medicine
Rahul Mitra, College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts


Voncile Brown-Miller, Karmanos Cancer Institute
Donna MacDonald, Institute of Gerontology
Shelly Seguin, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


Auntie Na's House Health Clinic, School of Medicine (WINNER)
First Aid First, School of Medicine
Medella, Emergency Response Drone, School of Medicine

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