West Virginia University School of Medicine graduate Patrice Harris, M.D., was recently elected as chair of the American Medical Association’s (AMA) Board of Trustees. Dr. Harris is the first African-American woman to hold this office.

“Dr. Harris defines what it means to be a trailblazer and role model for those in healthcare leadership positions,” Clay Marsh, M.D., vice president and executive dean of health sciences, said. “As a West Virginian, she is also the shining example of a strong advocate for public health policy, for fellow physicians and for the patient.”

A native of Bluefield, W.Va., Harris formerly served as director of health services for Atlanta/Fulton County, Ga. and as medical director for the Fulton County Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities. She currently maintains a private psychiatry practice in the area and consults with both public and private organizations on health services delivery and emerging trends in practice and health policy.

Harris is a 1992 graduate of the School of Medicine and also holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in counseling psychology from WVU.

AMA trustees are elected by physicians and medical students representing more than 190 state and specialty medical societies. The full news release can be found here.

For news and information on the WVU School of Medicine, follow us on twitter @WVUMedSchool, like us on Facebook or visit medicine.hsc.wvu.edu.

-WVU-