PCOM Students Named to SNMA BoardJuly 23, 2018
The Student National Medical Association (SNMA) has named Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) students Janet Nwaukoni (DO ’20) and Chetachi E. Odelugo (DO ’20) to its Board
of Directors. Ms. Nwaukoni will serve as co-chair of the International Affairs National
Committee, while Ms. Odelugo will serve as co-chair of the Osteopathic Schools National
Committee. The appointments came at the SNMA’s Annual Medical Education Conference
(AMEC) this spring.
In her role, Ms. Nwaukoni will educate members on international health disparities
and crises; inform members of international health opportunities; emphasize the need
for cultural competency for successful health interventions; and oversee medical mission
trip programming, site selection and mission statements.
She has participated in medical mission trips to more than 15 countries, but says
her passion for international medicine was solidified after traveling with the New
York University Langone Medical Center to Accra, Ghana. There, she assisted in creating
a cohort of women with the APO-1 lipoprotein, a gene related to Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.
At PCOM, she has served as co-president of PCOM’s SNMA chapter and sits on the College’s
Diversity Council, working to increase diversity and community involvement at the
student level. She hopes to start a nonprofit aimed at inner-city communities that
would fund international service trips to help increase awareness of international
“By taking on this role, I’m empowered to redefine international volunteerism, emphasizing
the importance of service not only globally, but locally,” said Ms. Nwaukoni.
In Ms. Odelugo’s new role, she will work to formally integrate the osteopathic focus
into SNMA operations. She will also help address the concerns and needs of osteopathic
members across the nation while educating medical and undergraduate students about
osteopathic medicine. During the 2017-2018 academic year, Ms. Odelugo served as vice
president of PCOM’s SNMA chapter and as the SNMA Region Eight Academic Affairs co-chair.
In addition, she serves on the Board of Directors for the Mid-Atlantic Region of the
American Lung Association.
“I’m excited to take on this leadership role and help further integrate the osteopathic
philosophy into a largely allopathic organization,” said Ms. Odelugo. “My hope is
that we can establish SNMA chapters at osteopathic schools that don’t yet have them,
get more premedical students to participate in workshops focused on osteopathic medicine,
and develop exciting new programs for next year’s AMEC in Philly and for our National
Founded in 1964 by medical students from Howard University College of Medicine and
Meharry Medical College, the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) is the nation’s
oldest and largest independent student-run organization focused on the needs and concerns
of medical students of color. Organized with chapters across the nation, the SNMA
membership includes over 7,000 medical students, pre-medical students and physicians.
SNMA is dedicated to increasing the number of African-American, Latino and other students
of color entering and completing medical school and to assisting in the eradication
of racial and ethnic health disparities. SNMA community service and mentoring programs
provide science appreciation, health care education, mentoring and academic enrichment
to elementary, junior high school, high school and college students interested in
pursuing health-related careers.
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About Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Founded in 1899, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) has trained thousands
of highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists
who practice a “whole person” approach to care—treating people, not just symptoms.
PCOM operates three campuses (PCOM, PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia) and offers doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, educational psychology, osteopathic
medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy and school psychology, and graduate degrees in
applied behavior analysis, applied positive psychology, biomedical sciences, forensic
medicine, medical laboratory science, mental health counseling, non profit leadership
and population health management, organizational development and leadership, physician
assistant studies, school psychology, and public health management and administration.
PCOM students learn the importance of health promotion, research, education and service
to the community. Through its community-based Healthcare Centers, PCOM provides care
to medically underserved populations. For more information, visit pcom.edu or call 215-871-6100.
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