Loma Linda University faculty are recipients of the Inland Empire Concerned African American (IECAAC) Dorothy Inghram Trailblazer award for their efforts to ensure COVID-19 vaccine equity in the local community.
Seven faculty members from across five Loma Linda University schools were awarded during a ceremony on January 17.
- Richard H. Hart, MD, DrPH, president, Loma Linda University
- Ricardo Peverini, MD, president, Faculty Medical Group
- Juan Carlos Belliard, PhD, MPH, School of Public Health
- Jacinda Abdul-Mutakabbir, PharmD, MPH, School of Pharmacy
- Michael Hogue, PharmD, FAPhA, FNAP, School of Pharmacy
- Bridgette Peteet, PhD, School of Behavioral Health
- Jennifer Veltman, MD, School of Medicine
- Kiema Jones, process improvement specialist, Faculty Medical Group
Loma Linda University Health has led COVID-19 vaccine efforts in San Bernardino County and LLU faculty organized student-based mobile vaccine clinics in vulnerable communities throughout Southern California.
“The Dorothy Inghram Trailblazer award is presented to those whose tenacity in the face of opposition allowed them to blaze new paths in areas that impact the community in a positive matter,” said Bishop Kelvin Simmons, president of IECACC. “We selected this brilliant team of Loma Linda University great minds because their efforts to ensure vaccination equity was a “Trailblazing” move for our community, with gratitude from the bottom of our hearts!”
The IECAAC was formed in 2000 by a group of 22 local pastors from churches in the Inland Empire as a first step to address systematic patterns of abuse and violence to and in the community. The organization has been in demand 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 school teacher and became the first African American Superintendent of Schools in the State of California, in 1953. Inghram was a trailblazer who endeavored to exemplify excellence in our community at a time of significant racial inequity. She lived to be 106 years old, and her passion was to mentor students and teachers in the Inland Empire, according to the IECAAC.
Jacinda Abdul-Mutakabbir, PharmD, assistant professor at Loma Linda University School of Pharmacy, said the award was immensely significant to her. “It has been an honor to work with our faith leaders to show the balance between faith and science,” she said.