Atlanta, GA . November 13, 2016. ASTMH meeting in Atlanta . Photo by Michael A. Schwarz

Atlanta, GA . November 13, 2016. ASTMH meeting in Atlanta . Photo by Michael A. Schwarz

Terrie Taylor, D.O., won the Ben Kean Award at this year’s gathering of the American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

The Ben Kean Medal is awarded every three years to a clinician or educator whose dedication to clinical tropical medicine and impact on the training of students, fellows and/or practitioners of tropical medicine is in keeping with the tradition established by Dr. Kean. Ben Kean was a renowned Clinical Professor of Tropical Medicine and Professor of Public Health at Cornell. The medal is awarded every third year. The medal was first awarded in 1994 to Mrs. Ben Kean (Collette), and the first Society member recipient was Franklin A. Neva in 1995.

Read the MSU Today story here.

The nomination from Lauren Cohee

Atlanta, GA . November 13, 2016. ASTMH meeting in Atlanta . Photo by Michael A. Schwarz

Atlanta, GA . November 13, 2016. ASTMH meeting in Atlanta . Photo by Michael A. Schwarz

I am honored to submit this letter for the nomination to nominate Professor Terrie Taylor, D.O. for the Ben Kean Medal on behalf of the hundreds of trainees who have learned from her clinical acumen and her sage advice and for whom she has become our ‘African mother’. For thirty years Dr. Taylor has spent half of each year in Malawi elucidating the pathophysiology and management of cerebral malaria and training multiple generations of students, residents, and fellows interested in Tropical Medicine.

Dr. Taylor’s science speaks for itself. According to Professor Justin McCormick, Dean of Research Michigan State University, Dr. Taylor “is without doubt, the lead clinical investigator in the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Michigan State University.  What is not obvious is how Terrie has been a mentor to numerous other faculty at MSU and other institutions.  MSU’s extensive medical research programs in Africa, specifically, Malawi, Uganda, and Zambia are all the results of Terrie’s initial research project.” Among her past trainees are current Assistant, Associate, and full Professors at several American universities and Department Heads and Senior Lecturers at the University of Malawi College of Medicine.

Because her research is imbedded in the clinical practice of providing care to children with cerebral malaria, Dr. Taylor is constantly functioning as a clinical educator. Trainees who come to work with Dr. Taylor on the ward come from a broad range of disciplines. Each brings their own skill set but learns the fundamentals of Tropical Medicine and severe malaria from Dr. Taylor.

In addition to educating this group of trainees who already have focused interest in malaria, Professor Taylor facilitates clinical rotations for Michigan State University medical students seeking Global Health experience. The word “facilitates” does not do justice to the role Dr. Taylor plays in the experiences of these students. To prepare them, she teaches a tropical medicine elective course that is mandatory prior to enrolling in any international experience that will occur in a tropical environment. For students who choose to rotate in Malawi, she welcomes the students into her home to live with her and work at the Central Hospital. She manages them through their personal, work, and “first African experience” challenges playing both the sage advisor and the caring den mother. We estimate that over 700 Michigan State students have rotated with Dr. Taylor. This role has extended to countless other students, trainees, residents, and fellows from a wide range of institutions who seek her out for the brilliance of her field work and come to appreciate deeply the wisdom of her guidance.

Professor Taylor has always been and continues to be an exceedingly accomplished mentor and a superb role model for young people interested in global health. She is interested in people, their histories, dilemmas, and future opportunities. Karl Seydel, Assistant Professor at Michigan State University, said Dr. Taylor’s “unique talent in mentoring is her ability to see the long term consequences of short term decisions. She first determines where the mentee ‘wants to be’ in 5 or 10 years and then is able to craft plans/open doors to lead to that eventual goal.”  Despite her hectic schedule, Dr. Taylor makes time for her role as a mentor often sharing her favorite time, Friday evening sunset on her khonde (porch) for these conversations. Dan Milner, Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School, said, “I can honestly say that I would not be where I am today without the initial and continued help I have received from Professor Taylor. I have regarded her for many years as my ‘African mother’ and she has truly exceeded her role as mentor, scientist, colleague, and friend. I can think of no one to whom I would send a young person seeking advice in global health first than Dr. Taylor.”

“Dr. Taylor stands out from many other educators in her position due to her humility, kindness, and never-faltering drive to do what is right for her patients and the team of people caring for them,” wrote Assistant Professor Erin Fedak, who rotated with Dr. Taylor as both a medical student and resident. She always has a positive comment or, if possible, a Malawian proverb to apply to any situation, for example ‘One must come out of one’s house to begin learning’. On behalf of many others, I hope that the committee will select Dr. Taylor as the next recipient of the Ben Kean Medal.

The presentation by Steve Higgs

Atlanta, GA . November 13, 2016. ASTMH meeting in Atlanta . Photo by Michael A. Schwarz

Atlanta, GA . November 13, 2016. ASTMH meeting in Atlanta . Photo by Michael A. Schwarz

It is my honor to present the Ben Kean Medal to Dr. Terrie Taylor. The medal is awarded every three years to a clinician or educator whose dedication is in keeping with the tradition established by Dr. Kean, renowned Clinical Professor of Tropical Medicine and Professor of Public Health at Cornell University.

For thirty years Dr. Taylor has spent half of each year in Malawi elucidating the pathophysiology and management of cerebral malaria and training multiple generations of students, residents, and fellows interested in Tropical Medicine.

Trainees interested in malaria come from all over the world and all disciplines to work on the ward with Dr. Taylor and learn the fundamentals of Tropical Medicine and severe malaria.

In addition to educating this group of trainees who already have focused interest in malaria, Professor Taylor facilitates clinical rotations for Michigan State University medical students. The word “facilitates” does not do justice to the role Dr. Taylor plays in their experiences. She welcomes the students into her home to live with her and work at the Central Hospital. She manages them through their personal, work, and “first African experience” challenges playing both the advisor and the caring den mother. Over 700 Michigan State students have rotated with Dr. Taylor. This role has extended to countless other students, trainees, residents, and fellows from a wide range of institutions who seek her out for the brilliance of her field work and come to appreciate deeply the wisdom of her guidance.

Professor Taylor is an exceedingly accomplished mentor and a superb role model. She is interested in people, their histories, dilemmas, and future opportunities. Despite her hectic clinical and research schedule, Dr. Taylor makes time for her role as a mentor often sharing her favorite time, Friday evening sunset on her khonde (porch) for these conversations. Quoting a colleague who rotated with Dr. Taylor as both a medical student and a resident, “Dr. Taylor stands out from many other educators in her position due to her humility, kindness, and never-faltering drive to do what is right for her patients and the team of people caring for them”

She always has a positive comment or, if possible, a Malawian proverb to apply to any situation, for example ‘One must come out of one’s house to begin learning’. On behalf of the hundreds of trainees who have learned from her clinical acumen and her sage advice, I am honored to present the Ben Kean Medal to Dr. Terrie Taylor