This national award is given to five outstanding students entering their third year of medical school who have shown leadership efforts to eliminate inequities in medical education and health care and demonstrated leadership in addressing the educational, societal, and health care needs of minorities.
Since matriculating at UCSF-UC Berkeley, Bernadette founded the Freedom School for Intersectional Medicine and Health Justice, an interdisciplinary bi-weekly community gathering for students, faculty and community members to discuss how to re-envision medicine and public health to be more inclusive to under-served ethnic and racial minorities and communities. Bernadette also founded the Freedom Community Clinic, a community-based clinic offering holistic treatments in the East Bay. Over 1,500 under-served people of color have utilized the Freedom Community Clinic’s services since its founding in 2019.
Bernadette’s mentor, Dr. Monica Hahn, MD MPH MS, Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Director of Inquiry and Evaluation for PRIME-US stated in nominating Bernadette for this award, “Bernadette is an extraordinary person and a dedicated, innovative leader. She is extremely deserving of this recognition for her extensive social justice advocacy and commitment to furthering racial health equity.”
Bernadette has also been honored with the Yamashita Prize for Outstanding Emerging Change Activist in California, Journal of Public Health Management Top Students Who Rocked Public Health, a Dalai Lama Fellowship, and National Minority Quality Forum 40 Under 40 Leaders in Minority Health. Bernadette was also recently named to the 2020 Young Global Changer list by the World Policy Forum. You can also listen to Bernadette each month as the co-host of Woke WOC Docs, a podcast that tells the narratives of women of color in medicine.
The AAMC Nickens Scholarships were established in honor of Dr. Herbert W. Nickens, the founding vice president of the AAMC Division of Community and Minority Programs, now Diversity Policy and Programs.