Meharry Convocation recognizes distinguished physicians and scientists

Dr. James L. Potts (center) receives the The Axel C. Hansen award from Dr. Marquetta Faulkner, Dean, Meharry School of Medicine (left) and Dr. James E.K. Hildreth, President of Meharry Medical College (right). photo: Meharry Medical College

Dr. James L. Potts (center) receives the The Axel C. Hansen award from Dr. Marquetta Faulkner, Dean, Meharry School of Medicine (left) and Dr. James E.K. Hildreth, President of Meharry Medical College (right). photo: Meharry Medical College

On Monday, Oct. 10, 2016, Meharry Medical College, the nation’s largest private, independent historically black academic health center, celebrated its 141st annual Convocation to welcome a new academic year for future physicians, dentists, researchers and health policy experts. The Convocation was presided over by James E.K. Hildreth, Ph.D., M.D., who had joined Meharry as its 12th President and Chief Executive Officer in July, 2015. Dr. Henry A. Moses, long-time professor of biochemistry and executive director of the Meharry Alumni Association, Inc., was honored during the Convocation with the announcement of an endowed chair in his name.

At the event Eliseo J. Rerez-Stable, M.D., Director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, served as the keynote speaker. Dr. Pérez-Stable oversees NIMHD’s $280 million budget to conduct and support research, training, research capacity and infrastructure development, public education, and information dissemination programs to improve minority health and reduce health disparities. NIMHD is the lead organization at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for planning, reviewing, coordinating, and evaluating minority health and health disparities research activities conducted by NIH.

During Convocation, three distinguished alumni received recognition for their continuous support of Meharry and its mission to serve the underserved.

Alumni and former Meharry professor James L. Potts, M.D., FACC, was honored with The Axel C. Hansen, M.D. ’44 Distinguished Physician Award for his leadership and commitment of Meharry’s mission through his exemplary practice of medicine.

He is a recipient of numerous awards and honors, has authored numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals and performed numerous studies, participated in clinical trials, and has been a frequent lecturer for community and faith-based organizations.

Barbara Sias Chinn, D.D.S. ’73, Retired Colonel, United States Army, was honored with the Fred C. Fielder Distinguished Dentist Award for her leadership and personal commitment of Meharry’s mission through her exemplary practice of dentistry. In 1973, Dr. Chinn became the first African American female dentist in the United States Army Dental Corps. Her community involvement has included mentoring and financially supporting struggling students through dental school; and providing free dental services to Hurricane Katrina victims and others.

Eric L. Moore, Ph.D. ’92, received the Harold D. West Distinguished Biomedical Scientist Award, for his significant and meaningful progress in the highest ethical principles of biomedical conduct. Dr. Moore is director of research and technology at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC), where he oversees 400 government employees and contractors and 200 buildings worth $1.8 billion, applying scientific expertise to detect, decontaminate and protect warfighters against chemical and biological warfare agents.

Dr. Henry A. Moses (left) and Dr. James E.K. Hildreth, President of Meharry Medical Coll-ege (right) during annoucement of endow-ed chair. photo courtesy Meharry Medical Coll-ege

Dr. Henry A. Moses (left) and Dr. James E.K. Hildreth, President of Meharry Medical Coll-ege (right) during annoucement of endow-ed chair. photo courtesy Meharry Medical Coll-ege

Dr. Henry A. Moses honored with endowed chair

Dr. Henry A. Moses, long-time professor of biochemistry and executive director of the Meharry Alumni Association, Inc., was honored with the announcement of an endowed chair in his name.

“It is…extremely diffi-cult to imagine how anyone could better exemplify the Meharry motto of ‘Worship of God Through Service to Mankind,’” Meharry president Dr. James E. K. Hildreth said. “As long as there is a Meharry, there will be a Henry A. Moses professor associated with it,” Dr. Hildreth said.

Dr. Moses has been with Meharry since 1964, teaching thousands of students at Meharry and Fisk University. He recently provided Meharry with one of two $1,000,000 gifts toward scholarships.

“Students, keep on doing what Meharry has done for years,” said Dr. Moses. “For donors…you have given much, but we need much more,” he said. “Please, everyone in here, make Meharry your priority.”