ATLANTA, May 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Morehouse School of Medicine today announced the creation of an endowed academic chair devoted to issues related to sexuality and religion. The Marta S. Weeks and David E. Richards Endowed Chair in Sexuality and Religion will develop innovative health and pastoral services as well as teaching, research and public leadership related to issues that bridge the topics of sexuality, religion and medicine.
"Through this unique chair, Morehouse School of Medicine will provide national and international leadership addressing the challenges of sexuality and sexual health in the worlds of medicine and religion," said David Satcher, M.D. Ph.D., 16th Surgeon General of the United States and founder of Morehouse School of Medicine's Satcher Health Leadership Institute and its Center of Excellence for Sexual Health.
The Marta S. Weeks and David E. Richards Endowed Chair in Sexuality and Religion is a major accomplishment of more than a decade of work by Satcher, who in 2001 released the Surgeon General's Call to Action to Promote Sexual Health and Responsible Sexual Behavior. That document outlined a framework of initiatives to strengthen the national dialogue on sexual health. It recognized that sexuality and religion are deeply connected in the United States and that public health would benefit from coordinated efforts of leaders in public health and religion as well as other major constituencies with deeply held beliefs relating to sexuality.
"While the chair will address sexual health issues in all communities, it will place a particular emphasis on underserved populations which is integral to Morehouse School of Medicine's mission," added Satcher. "The continuing disparities in access to quality health care services for minorities, poor people, and other disadvantaged groups results in a weakened public health infrastructure, which ultimately affects everyone."
The endowed chair will focus its efforts on:
- Teaching sexuality and sexual health topics to current theological and medical students;
- Training the next generation of religious and healthcare leaders to meet the sexual health challenges of both disciplines;
- Bringing together leaders of constituency organizations that have diverse viewpoints for consultations and consensus-building;
- Research directed toward documenting and suggesting ways to overcome disparities in sexual health with a special focus on underserved communities.
For more information on Morehouse School of Medicine and the institution's latest endowed chair in sexuality and religion, please visit www.msm.edu.
About Morehouse School of Medicine
Morehouse School of Medicine is one the nation's most widely recognized community-based medical schools, established to recruit and train minority and other students from disadvantaged backgrounds as physicians, biomedical scientists and public health practitioners. The institution's mission places special emphasis on primary care training; development of model community-based health services and the conduct of research and translation of discovery to benefit vulnerable populations and ultimately eliminate health inequities.
The School offers doctoral programs in medicine and biomedical research; and master of science degree programs in public health and clinical investigation. It also sponsors graduate training (residency) programs in family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, psychiatry, public health and preventive medicine, and general surgery.
Morehouse School of Medicine annually ranks as one of the top U.S. medical schools in the percentage of graduates practicing primary care specialties. The School ranks # 1 in the first-ever study of all U.S. medical schools in the area of social mission. Such recognition underscores the vital role that MSM plays in the nation's health care system.
Morehouse School of Medicine is accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. It is also a member of the Atlanta University Center Consortium, the world's oldest and largest association of historically black colleges and universities. For more information about Morehouse School of Medicine, visit us online at www.msm.edu.
SOURCE Morehouse School of Medicine