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UC Riverside School of Medicine Professor, Nduati Named to NMQF 40-Under-40 List

Michael N. Nduati

Michael N. Nduati

RIVERSIDE, CA- The National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF) has named Michael N. Nduati, M.D., M.B.A., M.P.H. of the UCR School of Medicine as one of the 2017 40 Under 40 Leaders in Minority Health.

Nduati, the senior associate dean for clinical affairs and CEO of UCR Health, will receive his award at the 2017 NMQF Leadership Summit on Health Disparities and Congressional Black Caucus Spring Health Braintrust Gala Dinner on April 25, 2017.

“It is a tremendous honor to receive this award and be recognized with peers who are making an extremely important positive impact on minority health,” Nduati said. “It is humbling to be identified as a role model for the next generation of minority health leaders, and I am thankful to all of my amazing mentors for pushing me to be my best and get to this point in my life and career.”

Founded in 1998, the NMQF’s goalis to assist health-care providers, professionals, administrators, researchers, policy makers, and community and faith-based organizations in delivering appropriate health care to minority communities to eliminate the disproportionate burden of premature death and preventable illness for racial and ethnic minorities and other special populations.

“Here at the NMQF, we are truly excited about this next class of honorees and recognizing them at our annual leadership summit,” NMQF President & CEO Dr. Gary Puckrein said in a press release. “The 2017 winners are doing amazing things that both better and diversify the healthcare marketplace. They serve as positive role models for our next generation of leaders in minority health.”

Nduati attended UC Riverside as an undergraduate, where he co-founded the student-run African Americans United in Science at UCR, and was a member of the UCR/UCLA Thomas Haider Program in Biomedical Sciences, earning his M.D. from UCLA. He also earned an M.B.A. from the Anderson School of Management at UCLA and an M.P.H. from the Harvard School of Public Health. In addition to his administrative position,

San Bernardino City Schools Focus on Healing and Safety in Aftermath of Monday’s Shooting

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- The San Bernardino City Unified School District is focusing all its resources on helping the community heal in the aftermath of the Monday, April 10 shooting that killed three people, including a teacher and student, at North Park Elementary School.

In addition, the District will do a complete review of our school visitation policies and procedures to identify additional strategies to keep our 50,000 students and more than 8,000 employees safe.

The District is committed to helping survivors, whose sense of safety has been shattered by this tragic incident, said Superintendent Dr. Dale Marsden.

District counselors and psychologists trained in helping children and victims cope with trauma met with families and school staff to begin the healing process for the more than 500 students who attend North Park Elementary. The school is staffed by 24 teachers, 18 support staff members, and an administrator who also need support.

“As Board president, it is with a heavy heart that our school community has had to demonstrate their resiliency once again,” said Dr. Margaret Hill. “I am tremendously proud of our employees and community partners for the way they have responded during this tragedy. I want the community to be assured we will do everything we can to make sure our students feel safe.”

Board of Education member Dr. Barbara Flores expressed her sympathy to everyone impacted by Monday’s tragedy.

“What happened yesterday at North Park Elementary School was an unimaginable event,” Flores said. “Yet, it happened. We mourn the deaths of Karen Smith, an RSP teacher, and Jonathan Martinez, her student. Our prayers and loving thoughts are with their parents, families, and friends.”

When speaking of Smith, Marsden said, “She epitomized excellence and everything a special education teacher should be.”

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson praised the response of school officials and police.

“My thoughts and prayers go out to the students, teachers, staff, and the entire community at North Park Elementary School and the San Bernardino City Unified School District. This is a tragedy, especially for young students, but school officials and law enforcement agencies acted quickly to deal with the event.”

Like Torlakson, Marsden praised the North Park Elementary staff, District Police Department, and local law enforcement agencies for their swift response to Monday’s tragedy, which he called an unfortunate and isolated incident.

He also expressed his gratitude to North Park Elementary parents and guardians for patiently waiting to be reunited with their children.

“This is a rare occurrence in our schools,” Marsden said.  “Nevertheless, we will learn from this tragedy, and we will emerge as a stronger and safer school district.”

Bottomline: Preparing for And Responding to Tragedy

Publishers Commentary by Wallace J. Allen

Some believe that we are defined not by the tragedies of life, but how we respond to them.  Tragedy is most often rendered quickly; however, its echo is multi-level and infinite to those directly and indirectly affected.  The response to tragedy is variable. It can range from numbness to heroic!

The beauty of living in San Bernardino Valley, ‘Beneath The Arrowhead’, is often challenged by the ugliness of tragedy… Steel Mill and Air Base Closing killing 20,000 jobs and uprooting families… fires destroying homes and businesses… City bankruptcy, terrorism and most recently, the school shooting!

The shooting at North Park Elementary School leaves a teacher and one of her students dead, another student wounded and a classroom of students traumatized for life based on what they directly witnessed.

The joy of the parents, who found that their children were not the shooting victims, was immediately replaced with pain, empathy and sympathy for the victims and their families.

The response from police agencies was only matched by the quick reaction of religious and community leaders, who quickly descended on the scene of the shooting, and dispersed with parents to CSUSB, and with students to Cajon High School where they were reunited with their parents.

The best medical and social resources for physical and mental recovery are available in the Inland Empire. The prospects for a family recovering from untimely and tragic death are very slim and we pray that it occurs. Our prospects of preventing or avoiding future tragedies, is even slimmer! Tragedy is going to occur. We must be prepared for it.

Our natural response is to sooth the pain, as best we can… I am suggesting that we improve our level of “best we can” to help in an emergency. Tragedies and emergencies are predictably unpredictable! We are all potential “first responders”! More critically, we are all subject to needing a “first responder”! I need for you to know how to help me just as you need me to know how to help you!

I am proposing that we, the residents, business owners, and visitors to the City of San Bernardino, take the leadership position in emergency preparedness! Our access to life in one of the most beautiful places on the planet demands that we meet the challenge to stay here! If not for the regular unexpected catastrophe, surely for the expected!  We know that we shall have an earthquake and that it will be inconvenient and unpredictable, but it will not be unexpected… So we should not be unprepared.

Becoming a certified emergency response team member is a highly-trained status that we all should aspire, but for practical reasons, cannot. But, becoming certified in CPR is attainable, and is one of the most important tools of a first responder.

I propose that we organize ourselves to reject the nation’s exposure to our tragedy as the symbol and image of our being… That we organize ourselves to demonstrate our resilience and determination to define and achieve the All-American Lifestyle that represents the beauty of “Living Beneath the Arrowhead” in beautiful San Bernardino Valley.

Our proposed campaign to learn CPR, though symbolic, is a very practical asset. CPR has value at home, work and play, in private and public places. Our campaign describes our passion and compassion for each other, as well as our arrogant love of life beneath the Arrowhead.

Will you join our campaign to learn and teach CPR?