The Ohio Academy of Family Physicians (OAFP) is pleased to announce that student member Katie Brown, M4 from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine (UCCOM), has been selected as one of nine 2021 Pisacano Scholars by the Pisacano Leadership Foundation, Inc. (PLF) Board of Directors.
Born and raised in Cincinnati, OH, Katie attended The Ohio State University (OSU) where she majored in Environmental Science with a focus on Environmental Public Health. She graduated magna cum laude with Honors Research Distinction for her original work titled “The Moderating Effect of Stress on the Relationship Between Pollution and Self-Rated Health in Minorities.”
While at OSU, Katie pursued her love of human health, the natural world, and listening to others’ stories. She helped found the OSU chapter of Ducks Unlimited, a national organization dedicated to wetland conservation, and served as Treasurer. Katie mentored a close group of Honors students to help them adjust to college, find their passion, and connect with research advisors. She also volunteered as a University Host, spending time with high school students and their parents to hear about their experiences and answer questions about life at OSU. She found her niche researching health disparities at the intersection of place, class, and race. She was awarded an Undergraduate Research Grant and an Undergraduate Research Scholarship to pursue her Honors thesis on these topics. Her work in public health solidified her passion for solving global and domestic health disparities and providing equitable care to people from all walks of life.
As a medical student, Katie continued pursuing her interest in health disparities, mentorship, and primary care. She was awarded a Leroy A. Rodgers, MD, Preceptorship to perform research on health disparities while working with a family physician. She served as co-president of the Family Medicine Interest Group (FMIG) at UCCOM, where she coordinated programming about social justice issues and organized shadowing and volunteer opportunities for her fellow medical students. She led sessions and trained volunteers for a neighborhood STEM after-school program through FMIG and helped develop another STEM pipeline program for 5th and 6th grade girls through UCCOM’s chapter of the American Medical Women’s Association. Katie continues to mentor pre-med undergraduates and underclassmen at UCCOM.
One of the most impactful experiences Katie had in medical school was the opportunity to travel to Tanzania with Village Life Outreach Project (VLOP), a Cincinnati-based nonprofit with over a decade of experience building community with and led by rural Tanzanians. While assisting in field and local clinics, she learned about some of the unique challenges facing the region, including health disparities, from patients, other students, and local physicians. She continues to volunteer with VLOP’s Electronic Medical Record Data Team and Health Committee.
Katie has always been passionate about primary care. She grew up watching her father and grandfather – both family physicians who accepted eggs and oil changes as payment – build trusting relationships with their patients that spanned generations. Like them, she reaches to her Haudenosaunee roots for strength and guidance, striving to become a healer who serves her community. She looks forward to practicing full-spectrum family medicine with a focus on underserved and global health.
The Pisacano Scholarships, valued at $26,000 each, are awarded to students attending U.S. medical schools who demonstrate a strong commitment to the specialty of family medicine. In addition, each applicant must show demonstrable leadership skills, superior academic achievement, strong communication skills, identifiable character and integrity, and a noteworthy level of community service. Since 1993, the PLF has selected 166 outstanding medical students. Approximately 3,000 applicants representing more than 140 medical schools competed for these scholarships. Katie is the first UCCOM student to be selected as a Pisacano Scholar since the start of the program in 1993.
The OAFP offers its most sincere congratulations to Katie on her achievement.
The PLF was created in 1990 by the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) in tribute to the founder and first Executive Director of the ABFM, Nicholas J. Pisacano, M.D. (1924-1990). Dr. Pisacano is acknowledged around the world as one of the leaders in the effort to recognize family medicine as a major specialty. His perseverance was finally rewarded in 1969 when the ABFM was designated as the sole agency responsible for the certification and recertification of family physicians. The ABFM continues to serve this role and is considered a leader in assuring primary care to all Americans.