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Jefferson Physician and Researcher Named Next President of the National Medical Association

08/03/15

(PHILADELPHIA) -- Edith Mitchell, M.D., Professor of Medical Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University, will be appointed as President of the National Medical Association (NMA) at the NMA’s 113th Annual Convention and Scientific Assembly in Detroit, Michigan on Tuesday August 4th.

“I am deeply honored to have been appointed as president-elect of this prestigious organization,” said Dr. Mitchell, who is also the Program Leader of Gastrointestinal Oncology and Associate Director for Diversity Programs at Thomas Jefferson University. “There is still much work to be done with regards to disparities in medical treatment. I believe that we can all work together and make great strides to address barriers in helping underserved populations get better care and lead to better health care in our nation.”

The NMA is the nation’s oldest professional society for African American physicians, and with more than 30,000 members, also the largest. The organization is a major leader in promoting equality and eliminating disparities in healthcare. One of its mission statements is to support and increase the representation and contributions of people of African descent by helping shape policy, through educational programs, and community outreach.

Over the course of decades in clinical practice, Dr. Mitchell has lived the ideals of the NMA by focusing her work on groups whose medical needs have not been met by medical system in the United States. She has demonstrated the impact that the medical profession can have through outreach to communities who may not have access to conventional medical advice. In 2008, Dr. Mitchell received the Tree of Life award from the Wellness of You organization, a Philadelphia nonprofit providing health education and resources to the community, in recognition of her extraordinary efforts in health management in the local and global community. She was recognized for her commitment to diversity, research, and education in 2009 by the American Cancer Society's Cancer Control Award.

She is a researcher of renown and distinction, with over 100 publications in journals, book chapters and abstracts. She has received numerous grants in support of her work and served on several National Cancer Institute Review Panels. As a practicing medical oncologist, her research interests have included many cancer types such as breast, colorectal, pancreatic and other gastrointestinal malignancies. Her work has focused on developing new therapies as well as working toward better and more effective strategies and regimens using existing techniques.

Of note, Dr. Mitchell is a retired Brigadier General in the U.S. Air Force, and was the first female physician to attain this rank. She served as senior medical Air National Guard advisor to the command surgeon and was the medical liaison between the active Air Force and the Air National Guard.

In her role as President of the NMA, Dr. Mitchell will be recognized as an impressive role model for other African American physicians and researchers, especially women.

On a personal note, Dr. Mitchell enjoys gardening, quilting and listening to jazz and rock music while spending time with her husband of 45 years, her two daughters and two grandchildren.

About Jefferson — Health is all we do.

Our newly formed organization, Jefferson, encompasses Jefferson Health and Thomas Jefferson University, representing our clinical and academic entities.  Together, the people of Jefferson, 19,000 strong, provide the highest-quality, compassionate clinical care for patients, educate the health professionals of tomorrow, and discover new treatments and therapies that will define the future of health care.

Jefferson Health comprises five hospitals, 13 outpatient and urgent care centers, as well as physician practices and everywhere we deliver care throughout the city and suburbs across Philadelphia, Montgomery and Bucks Counties in Pa., and Camden County in New Jersey.  Together, these facilities serve more than 78,000 inpatients, 238,000 emergency patients and 1.7 million outpatient visits annually.  Thomas Jefferson University Hospital is the largest freestanding academic medical center in Philadelphia.  Abington Hospital is the largest community teaching hospital in Montgomery or Bucks counties.  Other hospitals include Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience in Center City Philadelphia; Methodist Hospital in South Philadelphia; and Abington-Lansdale Hospital in Hatfield Township. 

Thomas Jefferson University enrolls more than 3,900 future physicians, scientists, nurses and healthcare professionals in the Sidney Kimmel Medical College (SKMC); Jefferson Schools of Health Professions, Nursing, Pharmacy, Population Health; and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and is home of the National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center

For more information and a complete listing of Jefferson services and locations, visit www.jefferson.edu.