National Medical Association Installs 109th President at Atlanta Convention

Delivering her inaugural address as the 109th president of the National Medical Association (NMA), Carolyn Barley Britton, M.D., M.S., shared her plans to focus on cancer and mental health disparities during her administration. The NMA is the nation’s premier organization for African American physicians.

Dr. Britton, a recognized expert in neurovirology and infectious/inflammatory diseases of the nervous system, is currently associate professor of Clinical Neurology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and associate attending physician at New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York, NY.

A native of Huntsville, Alabama, Britton is a graduate of Oberlin College and New York University Medical School, where she received her M.S. in Microbiology (Virology) and her M.D.

For more than 20 years, Dr. Britton has worked to support funding for AIDS clinical trials. Her work at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) influenced federal clinical research guidelines to require inclusion of women and minorities, and to expand clinical trials in the African American community. Among the first to describe the neurologic complications of AIDS, Britton is an authority on a rare viral complication, progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy.

Dr. Britton’s work in the National Medical Association includes leadership positions from the local to the national level. She has served as President of the Manhattan Medical Society; Chair, Neurology/Neurosurgery Section of the NMA and Chair of Board of Trustees.

“This year, as we build on the outstanding work of our immediate past presidents in the areas of obesity, diabetes and HIV/AIDS, we will also bring disparities in cancer and mental health to the forefront of our agenda.” said Dr. Britton. In partnership with American Cancer Society, the NMA plans to launch national efforts to reduce cancer disparities. “We will also continue to build bridges to universal health care,” declared Dr. Britton.

“Dr. Britton has built an enviable record of impact in every leadership position at the NMA,” said Dr. Nedra H. Joyner. “We look forward to her service and guidance as President; it’s an exciting time for our organization.”

More than 3,000 physicians representing 25 specialties attended the weeklong convention that featured presentations by numerous medical experts, policy makers and industry leaders. Convention participants and luminaries included former Surgeon General David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D.; Democratic Committee Chair, Howard Dean, M.D.; Acclaimed Actress, Phylicia Rashad; Former Health and Human Services Secretary, Louis Sullivan, M.D; Mayor Shirley Franklin; and football superstar, Jerome Bettis.

SOURCE National Medical Association