May 25, 2021
EWNJ Congratulates President Emeritus Michellene Davis, Esq. on Being Named President & CEO of the National Medical Fellowships
In commemoration of its 75th Anniversary, National Medical Fellowships (NMF) announced the appointment of Executive Women of New Jersey (EWNJ) President Emeritus Michellene Davis, Esq. as its new President and CEO. Davis is a nationally recognized and award-winning leader in health equity innovation and policy. She served as President of EWNJ in 2017 and 2018, and during her tenure, she significantly expanded the organization’s corporate gender equity work and increased the number of scholarships that it provided through its Graduate Merit Award Program, which offers tuition assistance to women who are non-traditional graduate students.
“Michellene Davis is a trailblazing leader whose work in the equity space has led to meaningful change. As President of EWNJ, she mentored and opened doors for other women including me. She helped to grow the organization and raise the profile of its work to increase gender and racial equity in the workplace, which contributed to policy action around the gender pay gap,” stated Anna María Tejada, Esq., President of EWNJ. “On behalf of the board of EWNJ, we salute Michellene Davis on assuming this important leadership role at a moment when it could not be more necessary.”
Founded in 1946, NMF is one of the nation’s first diversity organizations. Its vision is to support underrepresented aspiring physicians and healthcare professionals by providing scholarships, grants, mentorship, and training. Since inception, NMF has provided over $40 million in scholarships and grants to increase the pipeline for medical students of color to enter the healthcare workforce. Costs related to medical education can exceed $300,000, a significant majority of which is often borrowed by students and their families, presenting a significant barrier for most underrepresented students of color.
In addition to supporting significant healthcare industry growth in New Jersey, Michellene also advanced racial equity approaches in aiding vulnerable populations through evidence-based, equity-informed policy and procedural transformations. Davis will lead the organization as a thought leader, strategist, and advocate for eliminating healthcare disparities and advancing health equity by attaining better, more equitable healthcare outcomes and diversified healthcare workspaces all over the country.
“I am honored to lead this incredible and vital organization that has had a quiet and profound impact on growing the numbers of underrepresented clinicians in healthcare,” said Davis. “Through their scholarship and grant programs and services, NMF has directly sought to reduce healthcare disparities by creating new generations of clinicians and healthcare leaders who are dedicated to realizing health equity. At a time when a global pandemic has magnified the impact of historical, structural, and systemic inequities as well as the world’s reliance on essential workers who are often the most vulnerable, the mission of NMF is more poignant than ever. NMF is dedicated to increasing access to care with doctors and healthcare professionals that look like the communities they serve.”
Only 6% of U.S. physicians are from underrepresented populations of color, not for lack of talent but lack of resources and access. Davis will lead NMF in its effort to accelerate its fund raising activities to provide more significant scholarship and other educational assistance to underrepresented medical students. She will also advance and strengthen its new partnerships with the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation, Johnson & Johnson, and Merck & Co. Leveraging her substantial policy and executive management experience, she will expand the organization’s work providing medical students from underserved communities training for leadership roles not only in clinical care, but also in public policy, health services research, and healthcare administration.