Public Health, Advocacy, and Community Engagement

The Public Health, Advocacy and Community Engagement scholarly concentration give students the opportunity to explore their role as a future physician in the context of a "community" in a more in-depth way than traditional medical education allows. The students will be able to identify an interest in public health, health advocacy and/or community engagement via a wide variety of case studies, seminars/webinars, and other experiential educational opportunities, led by experts in the field and community partners. Upon completion of core SC requirements, the student will develop an academic scholarly project to address an issue affecting public health, at a micro, meso or macro level in the "community". Such issues can include, but are not limited to health advocacy, health equity and justice, policy, disaster preparedness/responsiveness, food/housing issues, community identified issues, and more.

The project proposal will be developed and executed by the student and advised by a mentor. To identify an effective mentor, the student should consider experience with public health, involvement in organized medicine and/or legislative activities, involvement in community engagement projects, and/or expertise in health advocacy. The proposal will be subject to approval from the SC Area Director.

Projects can involve community-based participatory research, policy exploration and referendums, models of service delivery, etc. The final project should be refined and structured for formal presentation and publication.

Information Session Recording from January 21
Passcode: rN$^L0=0


Area Directors

Jennifer Mendez, Ph.D.

Jennifer Mendez, PhD, is an associate professor in Internal Medicine and Director of the Community Engagement Program at Wayne State University School of Medicine.  Her academic focus has been on Interprofessional Education and Marginalized Populations.

When students apply to Wayne State University School of Medicine, they state they want to make a difference in its urban mission. During their first two years, they work to learn their basic, pre-clinical sciences in medical school classrooms.  The award-winning programs that Dr. Mendez designed and implemented provide the students with early clinical experiences in the Detroit community. 

Dr. Mendez received her doctorate degree from the College of Education at Marquette University, in Milwaukee.  Growing up in Pakistan shaped her ability to connect with people from many backgrounds. "Be the difference" are words that she lives by.

Steven Daveluey, M.D.

Dr. Daveluy is an associate professor and program director at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.  He earned a bachelor in science from Michigan State University.  He completed medical school and his dermatology residency at Wayne State University.   

He holds special interests in teledermatology, noninvasive skin imaging, skin of color and complex medical dermatology, including hidradenitis suppurativa.  He serves on the AAD Performance Measure Committee and Health Information Technology Committee.  He is currently the president of the Wayne County Medical Society.   He serves on the editorial board for the JAAD and is building a growing body of publications of his own.

Latonya Riddle-Jones, M.D.

Dr. Riddle is a proud Chemical Engineering graduate of Michigan State University, Wayne State University School of Medicine (WSUSOM) and DMC/ Wayne State University School of Medicine Internal Medicine- Pediatrics Residency program. She practiced at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital for 2 years upon graduation, and served as Clinical Instructor for University of Michigan Med/Peds program while there. Here at Wayne State University, she is an Assistant Professor, Medical Director for the Corktown Health Center (a medical home for Detroit's LGBTQ community), Associate Medical Director for the Tri- County Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program, faculty mentor for FitKids360 at WSU School of Medicine (an obesity treatment program for children), and serves as a representative on the Diversity and Inclusion Committee for the Department of Internal Medicine.

Her research interests include obesity prevention and treatment, effects of the Affordable Care Act on safety-net programs, and the performance of engineering students in medical school, while her clinical interests include addressing the medical needs of the LGBTQ community, asthma, diabetes and obesity. She is a proud wife, and mother of two. She loves ambulatory medicine, and her goal is to keep patients out of the hospital by staying on top of their preventative health needs – mind, body and spirit