2020 Winn Awards celebrate achievements in diversity and inclusion throughout the School of Medicine

By William Alexander

The Duke University School of Medicine has announced the 2020 recipients of the Michelle P. Winn Inclusive Excellence Award. Each year this award celebrates exceptional achievements in diversity and inclusion among our faculty, staff, trainees, and students. This year’s recipients improved inclusivity, equity, and belonging throughout the School through mentoring, advocacy, education, patient care, and other efforts, both within our walls and in our community.

For this year’s awards, four individual recipients and one team recipient were chosen from the more than 5,500 staff members, 2,200 faculty members,1,500 students and 1,000 residents and fellows who make up the School of Medicine.

This year’s recipients are:

  • Kimberley Evans, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine (faculty award)
  • Tamara Saint-Surin, MD, Department of Medicine (resident award)
  • Priscilla Graham, Human Resources Director, Department of Neurosurgery (staff award)
  • Nathaniel Neptune, MBA, MS3 (student award)
  • Cultural Determinants of Health & Health Disparities Faculty and Facilitators (team award)

In addition, the nominees for this year’s award include Andrew Spector, MD (Neurology), Kevin Saunders, PhD (Duke Human Vaccine Institute), Oana Craciunescu, PhD (Radiation Oncology), Deanna Adkins, MD (Pediatrics), Latoya Patterson, MD (Obstetrics and Gynecology), Luke Gatta, MD (Obstetrics and Gynecology), Kimberly Dorman (Medicine), and Jane Black (Obstetrics and Gynecology).

Faculty Award

Dr. Kimberley Evans, MD, is associate professor of medicine (Nephrology) and chair of the Department of Medicine’s Minority Recruitment and Retention Committee. Her award celebrates her leadership efforts, commitment to enhancing diversity and inclusion, and role as a role model and mentor.

“Dr. Evans has made a real difference both to the numbers and the experience of individuals from under-represented groups in the Department of Medicine,” wrote Laura Svetkey, MD, MHS, vice chair for faculty development and diversity in the Department of Medicine.

Svetkey noted that Evans has provided ongoing career development seminars, mentorship, informal coaching, sponsorship and advocacy for faculty, trainees, and medical students from under-represented groups.

Resident Award

Dr. Tamara Saint-Surin, MD, won the Winn Award for residents this year for championing civility across the residency training program and bringing additional training to housestaff at the Durham VA Medical Center. She served as the program’s national representative to the Student National Medical Association, and she sought leadership roles in bringing diversity to the residency program through recruitment.

“Tamara is a leader who is passionate and driven to create a more diverse and inclusive environment at Duke and beyond. She has spearheaded multiple initiatives that have led to programmatic changes to accomplish this goal,” wrote Nancy Yang, MD, a 2020 graduate of the residency program, and now a fellow in Gastroenterology.

Staff Award

In addition to her other duties as human resources director for the Department of Neurosurgery, Priscilla Graham is on the School of Medicine Inclusion Council and has worked tirelessly to establish the Department’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee and to make sure the committee included all members of the Department. She utilized her love for organization and event planning to help plan one of Neurosurgery’s most inclusive holiday parties. She has been passionate about educating the committee and those around her about diversity and inclusion.

Student Award

Nathaniel Neptune, a fourth-year student at the School of Medicine and Fuqua School of Business, took time from his busy schedule to help create a new Clinical Immersion Elective course to allow students to help provide care to patients in a community clinic. He was also elected as an Executive Board Member for Duke's Student National Medical Association for the past three years and has served as a Health Professions Recruitment and Exposure Co-Director to provide formal mentorship to underrepresented high schoolers in the local Durham area.

Team Award

The faculty and facilitators of the School of Medicine’s Cultural Determinants of Health Disparities received the Winn 2020 Team Award. The award acknowledges and celebrates their work on the country’s first required interprofessional curriculum tasked with exploring health disparities and the impact of sociocultural influences on a broad spectrum of health outcomes observed in Durham, North Carolina, and beyond. This course began for first-year medical students in the fall of 2017, and is now in its fourth year. In 2019, the course was expanded to include first-year doctor of physical therapy students as well as second-year medical students. CDHD content enhances student education by promoting discourse about current and future patients, providers, and peers. Students share views and opinions while gaining insights into how to promote health equity and culturally appropriate medical care.

About the Winn Inclusive Excellence Award

Michelle WinnThe Office of Diversity & Inclusion established the Michelle Winn Inclusive Excellence Award award in 2016 to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to diversity and inclusion within the Duke School of Medicine community. The award is named for Michelle Winn, MD, (left), associate professor of Nephrology in the Department of Medicine, who passed away in July 2014. Dr. Winn was respected and beloved by her colleagues and deeply committed to diversity and inclusion and to the careers of younger physicians and scientists who orbited around her. This award is given annually to a Duke Health community member who has exemplified excellence, innovation, and leadership through helping create a more diverse and inclusive environment.