Nikki Henry Named Regional Coordinator For National Medical Student Network

Trinidad, Tobago native is student at Duke University School of Medicine

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   
Thursday, February 02, 2012

Contact:
Leslie Champlin
Senior Public Relations Strategist
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237 Ext. 5224
lchampli@aafp.org

LEAWOOD, Kan. — Nikki Henry, a third-year student at Duke University School of Medicine, has been named a regional coordinator for the American Academy of Family Physicians National Family Medicine Interest Group Network. As coordinator, Henry will serve as a consultant and resource for the FMIGs on medical school campuses in the eight states — Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee — that comprise Region 5 of the network.

The AAFP established the National FMIG Network to strengthen the on-campus organizations that focus on promoting family medicine as a career. Composed of campus faculty and student FMIG leaders, appointed regional coordinators, and an elected national coordinator, the network fosters communication among FMIGs across the country.

As an FMIG regional coordinator, Henry will serve as a role model for fellow students at a time when demand for family physicians is growing. The Affordable Care Act will implement significant changes in the way health care is delivered. The reformed system will emphasize primary medical care provided in a patient-centered medical home — an approach that incorporates physician-led teams of professionals who work with the patient to prevent health problems, coordinate care and avoid preventable complications of chronic conditions. That new focus increases the need for family physicians and their primary care physician colleagues.

“Family Medicine Interest Groups are one of the best ways that medical students learn about the breadth, depth and rewards of family medicine,” said Glen Stream, MD, MBI, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians. “Regional coordinators are key to introducing students not only to family medicine, but also to the opportunities out there for both service and leadership in their communities and their profession.”

Throughout her academic career, Henry has been active in leadership and service organizations. Now serving as co-president of the Duke University FMIG, Henry was community service co-chair and secretary of the Duke Geriatrics Interest Group and is a member of the Student National Medical Association. Her involvement reflects her commitment to family medicine and the specialty’s focus on providing comprehensive, whole-person health care throughout the entire lifespan.

“I always knew I wanted to be in a profession that improves the lives of others,” she said. “I believe in family medicine as the embodiment of every aspect of humanism in medicine. Perhaps a common refrain for students who gravitate toward family medicine is that, after experiencing the core clinical rotations, they want to practice it all.”

Family medicine, she added, will enable her to deliver babies, care for children and the elderly, and meet adults’ health needs. Henry has acted on that philosophy with her involvement in community service to elderly, underserved and homebound patients. She has volunteered with Project Compassion, which serves homebound patients and families who could not afford to pay for household help, and with the Duke Hospital “No One Dies Alone” program for inpatients nearing the end of their lives.

Henry also has been active in research throughout her academic career. She participated in a longitudinal aging study as an undergraduate, and she currently is working on a project funded by the Eva J. Sabler Award to improve depression and psychosocial wellbeing in the elderly. Henry recently completed research in cervical cancer, which was presented at the North Carolina Academy of Family Physicians annual winter meeting.

Henry is a national of Trinidad and Tobago. She graduated cum laude from George Washington University with a degree in geology in 2007.

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Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 115,900 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.

Approximately one in four of all office visits are made to family physicians. That is nearly 214 million office visits each year — nearly 74 million more than the next largest medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.


To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.FamilyDoctor.org(www.familydoctor.org).