Noted professor and researcher Goldie S. Byrd, PhD, has been named director of Wake Forest Baptist’s Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity (MACHE).
Byrd will help MACHE support Wake Forest Baptist’s learning health care system by advancing health care equity research, transforming how health and wellness are delivered to communities, fostering partnerships among researchers, community members and health systems, encouraging career development of minority faculty and students, and increasing the number of minority college and high school students who join health care careers.
“Goldie brings with her a strong and extensive background in research, leadership and collaboration with organizations across the country,” said Julie Ann Freischlag, MD, CEO of Wake Forest Baptist and dean of the School of Medicine. “We look forward to her vision helping guide us in our goal to reduce health disparities among minorities and rural populations and to improve the quality of life for those in underserved communities.”
In 2003, Byrd joined the faculty at North Carolina A&T State University, where she was the first woman to serve as chair of the Department of Biology and the first permanent female dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. She most recently served as professor of biology and interim executive director of the Center for Outreach in Alzheimer’s Aging and Community Health at N.C. A&T State University. Under Byrd’s leadership, the center received more than $5 million in National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation grants and personal and corporate gifts.
Byrd also has held faculty appointments at Duke University Medical Center, North Carolina Central University and Tennessee State University.
Her extensive research on Alzheimer’s disease has been recognized by the Alzheimer’s Association and has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals.
Byrd earned two bachelor’s degrees from N.C. A&T and her PhD in microbiology from Meharry Medical College in Nashville. She has served on numerous national and state advisory boards and is a member of the National Black College Hall of Fame.
Three investiture ceremonies were held in 2018 honoring outstanding faculty members with endowed chairs or professorships.
Martha Alexander-Miller, PhD, was presented as the Dolores G. Evans Endowed Chair in Microbiology and Immunology. The chair honors Evans, who in 1968 became the first woman to graduate with Martha Alexander-Miller, PhD and Doyle Evans, PhD ’68, a PhD from the School of Medicine. It is the first endowed chair to be established in the basic sciences at Wake Forest Baptist.
Funding for the Evans Chair was made possible by Doyle Evans, PhD ’68, in memory of his wife.
Caio Max Sao Pedro Rocha Lima, MD, was presented as the M. Robert Cooper, MD Professor in Medical Oncology. The professorship honors Cooper, a member of the School of Medicine MD ’62 who served as professor emeritus in Hematology and Oncology following a long and distinguished career at the Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Funding for the Cooper Professorship was made possible by the late Gladys Ulrich, in gratitude for care that Cooper provided to her niece, Sandra Bisanar.
John D. McConnell, MD, was presented as the Gordon Hanes Chair in Urology. Funding was made possible by gifts from the Hanes family. The Hanes family desired that the people throughout the region would have access to the very best urological care strengthened by clinical research.
These are among 61 endowed faculty positions that have been established at Wake Forest Baptist, with 36 of those funded primarily through private philanthropy. These investments advance academic medicine by providing:
- Recognition for truly exceptional faculty members
- Resources and time for research, education and patient care, and
- A method to help attract and retain outstanding research faculty
Wake Forest School of Medicine has been selected to receive the 2018 Group on Women in Medicine and Science Leadership Award by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).
This national award recognizes the school’s commitment to supporting and advocating for the professional advancement of women in medicine and science.
“This tremendous honor truly reflects the hard work of our faculty to create a working and learning environment that inspires leadership and nurtures success,” said Julie Ann Freischlag, MD, CEO of Wake Forest Baptist and dean of School of Medicine. “Being recognized is also a direct result of the efforts of our Women in Medicine and Science program, which has led active and innovative programs to support women at the Medical Center for 26 years.”
The Women in Medicine and Science program was established in 1992 and focuses on mentoring, career development, research, education and work-life integration programs that passionately support the recruitment, retention and promotion of women across the organization.
Since the AAMC award was first given in 1995, it has recognized 23 individuals and 18 programs across the country.
Wake Forest Baptist has been recognized as an LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) for the second straight year.
Wake Forest Baptist received the designation in the 11th annual Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) produced by the HRC, the nation’s largest advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer civil rights.
“We are honored to be recognized as a leader by the Human Rights Campaign and are committed to equity, inclusion and diversity for all of our patients, families and colleagues,” said David McIntosh, PhD, vice president and chief inclusion and diversity officer at Wake Forest Baptist.
The index grades health care institutions on four criteria: patient services and support; non-discrimination and staff training; employee benefits and policies; and patient and community engagement. This year, 626 health care facilities nationwide participated in the HEI survey. Wake Forest Baptist was among the 438 institutions to earn Healthcare Equality Leader status.
For the 26th consecutive year, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center was included in the “Best Hospitals” survey by U.S. News & World Report.
Seven specialties ranked for 2018-19:
- 19th Cancer
- 30th Ear, Nose and Throat
- 31st Geriatrics
- 38th Nephrology
- 41st Pulmonology
- 47th Neurology and Neurosurgery
- 49th Gynecology
Rated as High Performing:
- Diabetes and Endocrinology
This year, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is the only hospital in the Piedmont Triad to be nationally ranked and is second overall in North Carolina, and the Medical Center’s rankings in cancer and geriatrics are the highest of any hospitals in the state.
Wake Forest Baptist’s Brenner Children’s Hospital was ranked No. 47 in urology in U.S. News’ annual “Best Children’s Hospitals” survey.