Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center resident Tiffani Bell, M.D., has been awarded the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Minority Fellowship from the American Psychiatric Association (APA/SAMHSA).
For 40 years, the APA/SAMHSA Minority Fellowship program has aimed to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in mental health and substance abuse care.
The goal of the program is to provide educational enrichment to psychiatrists-in-training and to stimulate interest in providing quality and effective services in areas of psychiatry where minority groups are underrepresented. These areas may include research, teaching, addiction psychiatry, forensic psychiatry and child psychiatry.
“We are very excited about Dr. Bell’s distinction as an APA/SAMHSA Minority Fellow,” said Ronny Bell, Ph.D., director of the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity at Wake Forest Baptist. “There are numerous health disparities related to mental health, and it’s important to have passionate, well-trained clinicians and researchers to understand and alleviate these disparities," added Bell, who is not related to the fellowship recipient.
APA/SAMHSA Fellows are selected based on their commitment to serve ethnic minority populations, their awareness of the importance of culture in mental health, their interest in the interrelationship between mental health/illness and transcultural factors and their leadership abilities.
“I am delighted that Dr. Bell is a recipient of this prestigious award. She is our second resident to be so honored, and I believe this reflects national recognition of the excellence of our training program, the talent of our trainees, and our institution’s commitment to addressing the health care issues of minorities,” said Stephen Kramer, M.D., interim chair of the adult psychiatry and behavioral medicine department.
Bell graduated from Norfolk State University where she received a full academic scholarship from The Dozoretz National Institute for Mathematics and Applied Sciences program. She received her medical degree from Virginia Commonwealth University Medical College of Virginia.
Bell is interested in obesity prevention, addressing eating disorders in women and children, and minimizing the stigma of psychiatric care in minority populations. She is planning to complete an additional fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry and research the link between self-esteem, depression and body weight in minority populations. Her primary mentor is Elizabeth Arnold, Ph.D., associate professor, psychiatry and behavioral medicine.
The Minority Fellowship program was designed to involve residents in the work of the American Psychiatric Association. Fellows participate in the APA’s annual meeting and serve on one of the APA’s councils.
APA/SAMHSA Fellows receive monthly stipends and serve for one year. If they remain in training, they may apply for an additional year.