Loma Linda University faculty honored for COVID-19 vaccination initiative
Several faculty members from Loma Linda University (LLU), a Seventh-day Adventist school in Loma Linda, California, USA, have received the Dorothy Inghram Trailblazer Inland Empire Concerned African American Churches (IECAAC) Award. They recently received the award for their efforts to ensure COVID-19 vaccine equity in the local community. A special awards ceremony honored a group of faculty members from five LLU schools on January 17, 2022.
The winners include Richard H. Hart, president of LLU; Ricardo Peverini, President of the Medical Group of the Faculty; and Juan Carlos Belliard of the School of Public Health. They also include Jacinda Abdul-Mutakabbir and Michael Hogue, both from the School of Pharmacy; Bridgette Peteet, School of Behavioral Health; and Jennifer Veltman, from the School of Medicine. Kiema Jones, process improvement specialist from the Faculty Medical Group, also received an award.
Loma Linda University Health led COVID-19 vaccination efforts in San Bernardino County, and LLU faculty conducted student-based mobile vaccination clinics in vulnerable Southern California communities.
“The Dorothy Inghram Trailblazer Award is given to those whose tenacity in the face of opposition has enabled them to blaze new trails in areas that have a positive impact on the community,” said Bishop Kelvin Simmons, President of the IECACC. “We selected this brilliant team of great minds from Loma Linda University because their efforts to ensure equity in immunization were a ‘pioneering’ initiative for our community, with heartfelt gratitude!”
IECAAC was established in 2000 by a group of 22 local pastors from churches in the Inland Empire as a first step in addressing systematic patterns of abuse and violence in the community. The organization has been requested by many groups as the voice of the African American community. Local politicians continue to seek an audience with the organization for presentations and support.
Dorothy Inghram was a teacher and school principal, and she became the first African-American superintendent of a school district in California in 1953. Inghram was a trailblazer who exemplified excellence in the community at a time of significant inequality racial. She lived to be 106 and her passion was mentoring students and teachers in the Inland Empire, according to the IECAAC.
Abdul-Mutakabbir, assistant professor at the LLU School of Pharmacy, said the award was extremely important to her. “It has been an honor to work with our religious leaders to show the balance between faith and science,” she said.