Student Doctor Jennings embodies the spirit of osteopathic medicine in her dedication to equalizing access to healthcare in the United State and beyond. Her interest in addressing healthcare disparities began on her first mission in her undergraduate studies.
Chandra received her Master in Public Health degree from Tulane University prior to attending VCOM. During the time leading up to her masters she had work experience with several social service organizations serving various communities through health education, disaster recovery and general public health; most notably, her post-Katrina work with grant writing and project management.
Jennings’ leadership roles at Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine- Carolinas Campus, where she is currently enrolled, blossomed through the Student National Medical Association (SNMA). Her participation in the implementation of the S.E.E. program, formerly known as the VCOM SNMA DO Young Scholars Program, helped to bring education and mentorship to the surrounding communities and aimed to motivate students to envision themselves as doctors.
“Most of the young women we worked with did not have medical role models or role models of color who understood the physical and social barriers to pursing higher education . . . we became the link between what they had achieved and what was still very much possible in their futures” said Jennings.
Student Doctor Jennings involvement in the SNMA does not end there. She served as the VCOM Carolinas chapter president, as well as the regional treasurer, which has now led her to current role as the National Community Service co-chair. Petra J. Warren, MD Chair of Underserved Care at VCOM – Carolinas describes Jennings as “a gifted leader”. Dr. Warren said “her experience in public health helps her to understand the needs of not just a particular person, but those of groups as well.”
Her continued community involvement at VCOM led her to spearhead the LGBT+U lecture series and the VCOM SNMA Upstate Fatherhood Coalition Health Education project. Through these programs, Jennings has helped to establish VCOM within the community, reaffirming its mission to train service-oriented primary care physicians and enhancing the underserved community’s access to care and education.
For her outstanding leadership in bringing care and education to underserved communities, the American Osteopathic Foundation is proud to award Chandra Jennings, OMS III, MPH, the 2016 William G. Anderson, DO, Minority Scholarship.