Published November 28, 2022
By Bill Bruton
Three members of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences faculty have been honored with SUNY Diversity in Medicine Mentoring Awards.
The honorees are James N. Jarvis, MD, clinical professor of pediatrics; David A. Milling, MD ’93, senior associate dean for medical education and associate professor of medicine; and Geovanny Perez, MD, clinical associate professor of pediatrics and chief of the Division of Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine.
The award recognizes that mentorship is critical to SUNY’s mission of advancing diversity.
As mentors, they play key roles in supporting students who are underrepresented in medicine.
“I’m delighted to be given the opportunity to continue mentoring students from underrepresented groups,” Jarvis says.
Jarvis was on the faculty at the University of Oklahoma from 1997-2011 before coming to the Jacobs School in 2012.
“In Oklahoma, I was surrounded by indigenous students every summer. I especially hope this award will allow me to guide Haudenosaunee students from New York and Canada, and provide them with opportunities to see how much work there is to be done to address health inequities throughout our state,” says Jarvis, who is of Akwesasne Mohawk ancestry.
“It is extremely meaningful to receive this honor. It serves as recognition for many years of mentoring premedical, post-baccalaureate and medical students,” says Milling, who is also executive director of the Offices of Medical Education. “I am extremely lucky to work with so many talented students from underrepresented backgrounds that really just needed the exposure to resources and opportunities to realize their true potential.”
Milling joined the Jacobs School faculty in 1993 as a clinical instructor and has served in a variety of leadership roles at the school.
“The awards show that we have talented individuals in our school who have been vested in understanding and relating to students and their concerns,” Milling adds. “The Jacobs School has made a commitment to grow a diverse faculty and to continue to improve our learning environment to not only recruit, but retain, talented faculty, staff and students from diverse backgrounds.”
“Receiving this award is truly an honor. One of the most rewarding aspects of my career is my time with medical students, residents and fellows,” Perez says. “From my perspective, mentoring is not only about discussing issues pertinent to the medical/academic field, but also about life choices and life-work balance, the impact on other people, etc. There is nothing more gratifying than seeing a mentee succeed in life.”
“Having a diverse workforce is critical in any field, particularly in health care, where we have to interact with people every day,” Perez adds. “Despite the increased interest in diversity and cultural competence over the last few years, we still have significant work to do. I genuinely believe that ‘in order to become something, you must see it first,’ which is why I think this award is a great tool to address disparities and cultural competence.”
Perez came to the Jacobs School in 2019 after previously serving in a variety of posts at the Children’s National Medical Center.
“Congratulations to Drs. Jarvis, Milling and Perez on this distinguished award. This shows their commitment to mentoring those underrepresented in medicine and supporting their success,” says Allison Brashear, MD, MBA, UB’s vice president for health sciences and dean of the Jacobs School.