Laine Young-Walker, MD, associate dean for student programs at the University of Missouri School of Medicine, recently received the Image Award for Administrator of the Year from the MU chapter of the NAACP. She was honored at an award ceremony on Feb. 13.
Young-Walker was recognized for her dedication to improving and executing diversity and inclusion on the MU campus. Nominees must consistently encourage and support diversity and inclusion among students, colleagues and campus visitors. Young-Walker also serves as chief of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
“I was surprised to be nominated for this award and excited that the work to enhance diversity and inclusion at the MU School of Medicine is recognized not only in the medical school, but also on campus,” Young-Walker said. “This award would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of our staff in Student Programs. They are committed to each and every current medical student and to all the prospective students who participate in our pipeline programs.”
The MU School of Medicine has significantly increased its efforts to enhance diversity and inclusion. Young-Walker has helped implement inclusion symposiums, which allow medical school applicants to meet other students, faculty and staff who are committed to diversity and inclusion. She also led the creation of the Diversity and Inclusion Primer for prospective medical students. The program connects matriculating students with faculty and staff online for six weeks prior to orientation and one day on-site to engage in discussions on health disparities, diversity and inclusion.
These and other programs have helped the MU School of Medicine increase enrollment of students who are classified as underrepresented in medicine by the Association of American Medical Colleges to 18 percent of the class of 2018. Additionally, the school has continued and enhanced its pipeline programs, which include Medical Explorations, Excellence in Learning, Med Prep 1 and Med Prep 2.