The School of Medicine takes FLIGHT

The School of Medicine takes FLIGHT

The University of Louisville School of Medicine is committed to the success and promotion of our faculty and learners. To serve our constituents more fully, the School of Medicine has launched the Faculty Leadership for Inclusion and Growth in Health by Transformation, or FLIGHT program.

The FLIGHT program is a yearlong development program that seeks to build an infrastructure that reinforces the promotion, tenure and long-term success of our current and future faculty. Its goal is to increase the numbers of underrepresented minorities in medicine (URiM) among our faculty ranks by taking an extra step in development, support, and community building. Those that qualify for the FLIGHT program include junior faculty, senior residents, fellows, postdocs and all but dissertation (ABD) doctoral students.

“Within a few months of being in my role at the School of Medicine, I identified the need to establish a program that would especially support our unit in retaining strong faculty that are URiM,” said Chris Seals, PhD, assistant professor and assistant dean for faculty affairs and advancement. “The bottom line is that our students do better when they learn from those who look like them and who can relate to them; this program will help to ensure that our students are taught by the best faculty from all backgrounds.”

Flight members will participate in an 8-month curriculum focused on communication, emotional intelligence, motivation, leadership, and personal wellness. In addition, members will be paired with multiple mentors to help along the journey as a young professional in the academic medical field.

“I’m delighted to see the FLIGHT program leave the ground,” said Ron Paul, MD, professor and vice dean for faculty affairs and advancement. “Investing in the FLIGHT program and our URiM faculty and post-docs shows a strong commitment to create a stronger sense of belonging and inclusivity at the School of Medicine. Retaining our current faculty and post-docs, while recruiting for new faculty, aid in making the School of Medicine such a great place to work.”

On October 25, 2022, the program took flight by welcoming its inaugural cohort of 14 members, including:

  • Dr. Landry Konan, Trainee in Anatomical Sciences
  • Dr. Jeffrey Kim, Faculty member in Comparative Medicine Research Unit
  • Dr. Noel Verjan-Garcia, Postdoctoral Fellow in the Brown Cancer Center
  • Dr. Monica Chamorro, Faculty member in Family Medicine
  • Dr. Mohammad Malik, Postdoctoral Fellow in the Envirome institute
  • Dr. LaTisha Frazier, Trainee in OBGYN
  • Dr. Abou Bakr Salama, Postdoctoral Fellow in Cardiology
  • Dr. Jessica Kline, Faculty in OBGYN
  • Jane Bartonjo, ABD Doctoral student in Anatomical Sciences
  • Dr. Daniel Medina Aguinaga, Postdoctoral Fellow in Anatomical Sciences
  • Dr. Danova Lopez Fajerstein, Trainee in Infectious Disease
  • Dr. Kesley Cage, Trainee in the Department of Surgery
  • Dr. Andrew Villasenor, Trainee in Internal Medicine
  • Dr. Malaviak Prasad, Faculty in Pediatric Nephrology