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Medical students receive national accolades

Medical students receive national accolades

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Alexa Shepherd received the Anne C. Carter Leadership Award from the American Medical Women's Association.

Three OUWB students — Jeanne Wigant, Carla Villarreal, and Lexi Shepherd  — received recognition this spring

honoring their substantial service, accomplishments and leadership.

Jeanne Wigant, who graduates May 12, received the United States Excellence in Public Health Award from the United States Public Health Service recognizing her commitment to providing healthcare to southeast Michigan’s homeless.

Wigant’s volunteer work screening patients at The HOPE Warming Center in Pontiac confirmed to her that family medicine is her calling. She went on to advocate for HWC to improve communications between the homeless population and area emergency rooms. Wigant also received an OUWB Office of Community Outreach mini-grant to improve infectious disease programming for HWC’s guests, an OUWB Exemplary Physicianship commendation; and a 2016 Hometown Health Hero award from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. 

Named a 2016 scholar of the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation’s Family Medicine Leads Emerging Leader Institute, Wigant undertook “Truckloads of Toiletries” to collect basic hygiene essentials needed in shelters and served as vice president of OUWB Medical Student Government and chapter president of the American Medical Student Association (AMSA).


Two students recognized for their leadership

Carla Villreal (center) attended the Latino Medical Society Association's Midwest Regional conference in Ann Arbor with other members of the OUWB student LMSA e-board. (From left to right: Dena Nasir, Eduardo Lamas, Carla Villarreal and Mark Saatzer).

Carla Villarreal, class of 2019, recently earned a leadership role with the Latino Medical Student Association. Elected vice president and community affairs chair of the LMSA’s Midwest Regional Executive Board, Villarreal’s responsibilities include communicating with regional chapter delegates regarding chapters’ community events and programs, and facilitating the LMSA Midwest Annual Service Day.

The Chicago native’s experience with the Latino community at OUWB and nearby communities, including Pontiac, where she mentored Hispanic youth, compelled Villarreal to take on the community affairs chair position after she was nominated at the LMSA Midwest Regional Conference.

The American Medical Women’s Association selected 2017 graduate Alexa “Lexi” Shepherd as the Anne C. Carter Leadership Award recipient at its national conference in April. Shepherd is the second OUWB student to receive the award that recognizes outstanding student leadership in AMWA.  

As a future obstetrician-gynecologist, Shepherd says that AMWA’s goals of empowering women and improving healthcare became a model for her to develop her leadership skills. Shepherd also served as the group’s national student treasurer for two years.

Jeanne Wigant earned the United States Excellence in Public Health Award from the U.S. Public Health Service.

“She has been a remarkable role model, mentor, and AMWA spokesperson for the students at OUWB. Lexi has shown initiative and leadership within AMWA since the very start of her medical school career,” says Angela Nuzzarello, associate dean, Student Affairs.