2023 Haley Academy in Honor of Dr. Leon Haley Brings Together Expertise, Hands-on Learning, and Mentorship Opportunities for Ten Medical Students

Jul 10, 2023

Meet the 2023 Class of the Dr. Leon L. Haley, Jr., Bridge to the Future of Emergency Medicine Academy

The American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM) is proud to present the 2023 class of the Dr. Leon L. Haley, Jr., Bridge to the Future of Emergency Medicine Academy! Ten rising second-year, underrepresented in medicine (URiM) medical students were selected for this two-week opportunity offered by ABEM. 

Pictured left to right, seated:

  • Jillian Sargent, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine
  • Dianna Polanco, Medical College of Wisconsin
  • Alyssa Fowlds, UC Davis School of Medicine
  • Gabrielle Montes, Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine

Pictured left to right, standing:

  • Dustin Carr, Drexel University College of Medicine
  • Tatyana Dunn, Boston University Chobanian and Advesian School of Medicine
  • Bria C. Okhere, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine
  • Jethel Hernandez, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
  • Miguel Barranco-Origel, UC Davis School of Medicine
  • Shiloh Dawson, Boston University Chobanian and Advesian School of Medicine

The students were welcomed to ABEM by Wesley Haley, J.D., son of Dr. Haley.


Samuel M. Keim, M.D., M.S., ABEM President, and Yvette Calderon, M.D, M.S., Director and Chair of the ABEM Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. The panel also spoke with the students about their selection as participants in the Haley Academy and about the vital role they could play in the future of medicine. During the Haley Academy, the aspiring physicians had the opportunity to be immersed in educational and hands-on experiences in critical topics related to disparities in health care, leadership, physician wellness, public health issues, applying for residency, and more.

A sample of presentation topics were:

  • Disparities in Healthcare
  • Social Determinants of Health
  • Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: Are We Accountable?
  • Caring for LGBTQ Patients in the Emergency Department
  • Addressing Diversity in Medical Education
  • Gender and Racial Bias in Medicine
  • Building a Strong Residency Application
  • Money Management with the Association of American Medical Colleges

Advice on applying and interviewing for residency programs was provided by three ABEM directors with experience as residency program directors via individualized sessions.

Students participated in site visits to the following Emergency Medicine residency programs:

  • Henry Ford Health Sim Center/Henry Ford Health EM Residency Program, Detroit, Michigan. Dr. Haley completed residency training and then served as an attending at Henry Ford. While learning about Dr. Haley’s legacy, students participated in a simulated mass disaster triage and small group ultrasound teaching sessions at the Sim Center.
  • Central Michigan University College of Medicine, Saginaw, Michigan. At Central Michigan, students took part in grand rounds lectures, Sim Lab cases, and hands-on procedural simulations.

"The 2023 Haley Academy students truly demonstrated the extraordinary talent of the future in medicine." stated Melissa A. Barton, M.D., ABEM Director of Medical Education and a Haley Academy organizer. "Listening to each student’s lived experience helped the entire Academy learn how they could meaningfully effect change, reduce barriers to health equity, and become the next generation’s physician leaders." 

ABEM wishes to thank the many expert speakers for their inspiring and relevant presentations, and recognize Henry Ford and Central Michigan for your knowledge, insights, and hospitality!

Capstone Projects

During the academy, each student developed a unique Capstone Project on a topic related to health inequities. Their portfolio projects were presented at the closing of the Academy.

Project Topic Presenter
Behind Bars: Utilization of Prescription Medications Among Incarcerated Individuals Dustin Carr
Racial Disparities in Maternal Morbidity and Mortality: Maternal Hemorrhage Shiloh Dawson
Racial/Ethnic Disparities of Pain Management in Emergency Settings Gabrielle Montes
Substance Abuse in Native American Communities Tatyana D. Dunn
Disparities in Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment for Latinos Communities Dianna Polanco
Disparities in Diabetes Related Amputations Across Minority Populations Bria C. Okere
Displaced but not Forgotten: Strategies to Improve Mental Health Screening for Refugee Youth Jethel Hernandez
Disparities in Gender Affirming Care: Treatment with Puberty Blockers Jillian Sargent
Disparities on the Management of Diabetes in Latinx Farmworkers Miguel Barranco-Origel

ABEM is dedicated to hosting the annual Haley Academy and continuing to support and mentor alumni through mentorship and guidance. The Board looks forward to watching the students grow in their careers and communities.

About Dr. Haley

Leon L. Haley, Jr., M.D., M.H.S.A., was a member of the ABEM Board of Directors. He died July 24, 2021, as the result of a tragic accident. The Academy was formed to honor his memory. After completing residency training at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit and receiving a Master’s Degree in Health Services Administration from the University of Michigan, he joined Emory University, where he eventually served as Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and Chief of Emergency Medicine Affairs. He then joined the University of Florida at Jacksonville as the first African American to hold the position of Dean of the Medical School and soon thereafter was appointed CEO of University of Florida Health. In 2022, it was announced that a new trauma facility named in honor of Dr. Haley will be built in Jacksonville. We extend our gratitude to the Haley family for their participation in the Academy. Read more about Dr. Haley and his legacy here.

About The Dr. Leon L. Haley Academy

The Dr. Leon L. Haley, Jr., Bridge to the Future of Emergency Medicine Academy is specifically designed to provide URiM rising second-year medical students the opportunity to participate in an in-person, all-expenses-paid, two-week mentorship program at the ABEM headquarters in East Lansing, Michigan.




Media Contact

For media and news-related inquires, contact the ABEM Communications Team via email, or 517-332-4800. 

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