Brown Family Fund for Black Physician Recruitment
MSSC has been active in addressing health disparities facing African Americans. For example, MSSC helped form the Maternal Infant Health Coalition. MSSC’s Health ICT program has worked on food deserts and the prevention and management of chronic diseases among African Americans. Project Access helps uninsured residents receive specialty care.
One additional way MSSC hopes to improve care and reduce disparities is to increase the number of African American physicians. Research shows that Black patients, particularly Black men, tend to have better health outcomes when they are seen by Black physicians.
MSSC’s primary focus is attracting and retaining more Black medical students and residents. This includes forming mentorships with current MSSC physicians. MSSC physicians also speak to USD 259 classes about their profession and what it takes to become a doctor.
MSSC also partnered with the Family Medicine Interest Group at KU School of Medicine-Wichita to hold Doc for a Day: Youth Diversity Summit. Middle and high school students learned some of the skills and responsibilities of doctors and other health care workers.
In July 2023, this initiative received a national Profile of Excellence award from the American Association of Medical Society Executives, a membership organization of executives from county, state, national and international medical societies.
This initiative is named after the Brown family in honor of its three generations of physicians. G.G. Brown, MD, was one of the earliest Black physicians in Wichita. He joined MSSC soon after opening his Wichita medical practice in 1908. His son, Val Brown, Sr., MD, began practicing in Wichita in 1948, the same year he joined MSSC. He was the first Black physician to have privileges at Wesley Medical Center. Val Brown, Jr., MD, who joined MSSC in 1982, was one of the first two African Americans to graduate from KU School of Medicine-Wichita. All three of the Browns served on the local board of health.