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My Portfolio > Article Archive > WISER and Gateway Medical Society featured in Tribune Review

WISER and Gateway Medical Society featured in Tribune Review
WISER and Gateway Medical Society featured in Tribune Review

Below is an article featuring WISER and it's work with the Gateway Medical Society:

Dressed in black medical scrubs, purple latex gloves and blue disposable caps, a team rushed to respond to signs of trauma: labored breathing, an elevated heart rate and high blood pressure.
A dozen team members worked together and swiftly to stabilize a shirtless figure on an operating table.

Odell Minniefield inserted a needle in the right side of the chest to let air escape, while a heart monitor beeped quickly. DeVaughn McNary squeezed a bag-valve mask over the mouth of the lifeless figure, providing air.

"You guys just saved this poor guy's life," said Kevin Miracle, a simulation services manager at the Peter M. Winter Institute for Simulation Education & Research at the University of Pittsburgh in Oakland.
The adult "victim" of a car accident on Nov. 30 was really an interactive mannequin, and the response team consisted of eighth-grade boys: DeVaughn, 14, of Esplen, and Hazelwood resident Odell, 14, who attend Stevens K-8 School in Elliott and Sterrett 6-8 School in Point Breeze, respectively.
The boys participate in Journey to Medicine, a medical mentorship and sponsorship program founded two years ago to increase the number of black males in medicine.

There are 27 seventh- and eighth-grade boys, mostly from Pittsburgh Public Schools, in Journey to Medicine. In January, 15 sixth-grade boys will be added.

The Gateway Medical Society, which consists of black doctors and is a Pittsburgh component of the Silver Spring, Md.-based National Medical Association, founded Journey to Medicine to provide role models to young, black males and to close the gap in racial disparities in health care.
"Not only do we try to encourage and engage (the students), but we're also trying to make sure they have all the tools and training they need to get into medical schools," said Dr. Anita Edwards, a partner in Century III Medical Associates in West Mifflin and program director of Journey to Medicine.

Of the 300 million people in the United States in 2010, 12.7 percent were black, according to the Census Bureau. According to data physicians reported to the American Medical Association in Chicago, 37,833 doctors were black, constituting 3.8 percent of the nation's 985,375 physicians. Black male doctors accounted for 2 percent of the overall total, according to the association.

"So we are trying to directly address the problem of diminished presence," said Dr. William Simmons, an anesthesiologist at UPMC Shadyside and Gateway's vice president.
The Journey students meet at least twice a month for workshops ranging from emergency medicine to cardiology and to work in simulations with interactive mannequins. The students receive tutoring in math, science and English.
Schoolmates and honor roll students DeVaughn and Aladiyn Wilson, 14, a Crafton resident, are second-year Journey members who want to become obstetricians, they said.

The most interesting part of their Journey participation has been obtaining certification in CPR and interacting with practicing physicians, they said.

"I like it so far. It's helping me become a doctor and making me know more about science and stuff," Aladiyn said.
Journey's members have attended a one-week Science Camp at King PreK-8 School on the North Side.
"But we want the program to be fun. We don't want the kids to think of it as more school," said Morris E. Turner Jr., Gateway's youth mentorship program coordinator.
Investing Now, a University of Pittsburgh School of Engineering college preparatory program for students from groups that are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and math, will tutor Journey ninth-graders in science and math next year.

"You know, it's not a quick fix, but we're hoping over time we'll be able to help our community grow by providing care giving from African-Americans, which will help with the disparity in health care, which is how we get to closing the gap," Edwards said.

Most of the funding for Journey has come from the Heinz Endowments, which provided a $75,000 grant for the first two years of the program, said Dr. Jan Madison, a pulmonologist at Pittsburgh Pulmonary Associates in Jefferson Hills and Journey's fundraising chairwoman. Heinz recently awarded another two-year grant for $150,000.
The Heinz grants were given in collaboration with Heinz's African-American Men and Boys Task Force, said Doug Root, spokesman for the endowments.

Other Journey to Medicine supporters include the University of Pittsburgh, Highmark BlueCross BlueShield and the Allegheny County Medical Society.

Article by: Tory N. Parrish is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review staff writer