The COVID-19 pandemic has shined an even brighter light on the need to invest in eliminating health care disparities and addressing social determinants of health. Tom and Sandra Madejski want to help bring people together to find innovative solutions to improve public health in communities across the country, and they have created a new fund in honor of their mentors, David and Donna Marie Meza, to do just that.
The creation of the David and Donna Marie Meza Health Equity Fund has been formulating for many years for the Madejskis. As a resident at SUNY Health Science Center in Syracuse, New York, Dr. Madejski volunteered at a free clinic for the uninsured and homeless. He recalls the frustration of not being able to modify some of the risk and other societal factors that have a direct impact on the health of individuals. This motivated him to serve as a catalyst for change – which is the basis of the Meza Health Equity Fund.
“I want to inspire action,” says Dr. Madejski. “I see the struggles every day in my patients and community members with so many remediable problems. We try to help in our practice, but we need to reach out further and create a better and healthier society.”
The AMA Foundation has a long-standing Community Health Program that is dedicated to supporting vulnerable populations and improving health equity. This new fund will support initiatives that demonstrate a commitment to addressing health disparities and promoting health equity in diverse, economically disadvantaged environments through both the Foundation’s Community Health Program and the AMA’s Center for Health Equity.
In 2018, the Medical Society of the State of NY (MSSNY) sponsored a resolution passed by the AMA’s House of Delegates that resulted in the creation of the Center for Health Equity. As an AMA delegate of MSSNY, Frank Dowling, MD is honored to be one of the Meza Health Equity Fund’s lead donors. “I’m pleased and proud to have the opportunity to donate to the Meza Health Equity Fund,” expressed Dr. Dowling. “This fund provides more resourcesfor the AMA, through the Center for Health Equity and the AMA Foundation, to support community-based pilot projects and programs that seek to eliminate the inequities that cause these unacceptable disparities in health and health care outcomes.”
Dr. David Meza delivered more than ten thousand babies over his career and served as a leader at the Medical Society of the State of New York as well as the Empire State Medical, Scientific and Educational Foundation. The Meza Health Equity Fund honors the life and career of David and his wife Donna Marie, and thanks them for the outstanding mentorship that was afforded to both Tom and Sandra.