UTHSC Student Named to Key Liaison Position For American Academy of Family Physicians

Kenetra Hix to Build Interest in Family Medicine Among Minority Medical Students

Thursday, February 02, 2012


LEAWOOD, Kan. — Kentera Hix, a second year medical student at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, has been named the American Academy of Family Physicians student liaison to the Student National Medical Association.

As liaison, Hix's goal is to promote family medicine by helping local FMIGs collaborate with SNMA chapters through the ten SNMA regional conferences with the hope that FMIG will provide family medicine specific programming for medical and pre-medical SNMA members. She also will work to create opportunities for FMIGs and SNMA groups to collaborate on local health events. She has been a member of both the University of Tennessee FMIG and the SNMA since 2009.

Hix’s interest in family medicine grows from her commitment to comprehensive care for all ages and to ensuring that underserved communities have access to both medical care and the services that support good health. Family medicine, she said, is the specialty that most focuses on these issues.

“I’m interested in the social determinants of health and connecting that with medicine,” said Hix. “What are the real factors that prevent minorities from being healthier? A great deal of money can be saved when we address issues such as family finances, family dysfunction, exercise opportunities in the community, food deserts. When we address those things, we can have an impact on health disparities.”

She also is committed to helping build the number of minority medical students. “I want to help better promote minority interest in medicine and in family medicine,” she said.

Throughout her academic career, Hix has been involved in community health and outreach to underserved communities. As a research assistant at the University of Tennessee Preventive Medicine Department, she interviewed elderly patients about mental, physical and social wellbeing. She worked with mothers about nutritional and environmental factors that affect babies’ cognitive development as a research assistant with the “Conditions Affecting Neurocognitive Development and Learning in Early Childhood” project. As part of “Memphis Healthy Churches”, she visited congregations to evaluate their health care concerns to help initiate health ministries to meet members needs.

In addition, Hix volunteers with the Christ Community Center, Memphis, and with the SMNA community health fairs to provide health care services. As a missionary with the Christian Medical and Dental Association this year, she helped physicians evaluate physical, mental and spiritual needs of the people of San Salvador, El Salvador. She also has volunteered at Carlis Hospice, Knoxville.

Hix’s interest in community and minority health prompted her to become a National Health Service Corps scholar. In addition, she was named a Presidential Scholar at Tennessee State University, where she completed her Bachelor of Science degree in biology. She earned her Master of Public Health degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in 2009.

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Founded in 1947, the American Academy of Family Physicians represents 134,600 physicians and medical students nationwide, and it is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.

Family physicians conduct approximately one in five of the total medical office visits in the United States per year – more than any other specialty. Family physicians provide comprehensive, evidence-based, and cost-effective care dedicated to improving the health of patients, families and communities. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing and personal patient-physician relationship where the family physician serves as the hub of each patient’s integrated care team. More Americans depend on family physicians than on any other medical specialty.

To learn more about the AAFP and family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. Follow us on Twitter,(twitter.com) and like us on Facebook. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.familydoctor.org(familydoctor.org).