News Release
 

May 2, 2011

CONTACT: Jessica Mikulski
215-349-8369
jessica.mikulski@uphs.upenn.edu

Penn Medicine - University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and University of Pennsylvania Health System


This release is available online at
http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/news/News_Releases/2011/05/hypertension-african-american-men/

Medical Student Will Address Hypertension in African American Men Through Innovative Barbershop Program

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine Student Receives Schweitzer Fellowship

Philadelphia - (Nicholas) Kenji Taylor, a first-year year student at the School of Medicine, has been named one of 15 Philadelphia Schweitzer Fellows for 2011-2012. Schweitzer Fellows partner with community-based organizations to develop and implement yearlong, mentored service projects that sustainably address the social determinants of health—all on top of their regular graduate school responsibilities.

Taylor will address hypertension in African American males by coordinating, expanding, and providing blood pressure screenings in African American barbershops of West Philadelphia through the “Cut Hypertension Program.”  A pilot of the “Cut Hypertension Program” was conducted last year through the Penn Med chapter of the Student National Medical Association, initially spearheaded by a now second-year medical student, Sheriff Akinleye. Taylor aims to identify hypertensive African American males, educate them on the dangers associated with high blood pressure, provide preventive lifestyle coaching, and facilitate connections with local primary care providers. Karen Hamilton, PhD, assistant dean for the Office for Diversity and Community Outreach in Undergraduate Medical Education at Penn, will continue to provide faculty support and mentorship for the program.

Upon completion of his initial year, Taylor will become a Schweitzer Fellow for Life and join a vibrant network of over 2,000 Schweitzer alumni who are skilled in, and committed to, addressing the health needs of underserved people throughout their careers as professionals.

“I’m thrilled to find such tremendous support to address health disparities in our West Philadelphia community, and equally excited to join a larger cohort of professionals who are passionate about service to the community,” Taylor said.

Since the Greater Philadelphia Schweitzer Fellows Program’s founding in 2006, Schweitzer Fellows have delivered more than 7,000 hours of direct service to vulnerable people in the Philadelphia area.

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Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $4.3 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 17 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $392 million awarded in the 2013 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania -- recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Penn Presbyterian Medical Center; Chester County Hospital; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2013, Penn Medicine provided $814 million to benefit our community.