The Beyond Flexner Alliance was saddened to hear of the recent death of H. Jack Geiger, MD. Dr. Geiger was the inaugural recipient of the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation award for his lifetime of work in health, poverty and civil rights including marching with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. Geiger was a founding member of Physicians for Human Rights which won a Nobel prize in 1985, and was considered the Father of Community Health Centers in America.
A clinician, an educator, a humanitarian, a change agent, and a human rights advocate, Dr. Geiger was the embodiment of compassion with an unwavering commitment to improve the health outcomes and well-being of underserved populations in the U.S. and worldwide. Through his actions, Dr. Geiger demonstrated why medicine must address the relationship of health, poverty, and human rights.
Dr. Geiger was a dear friend and mentor to our founder, Dr. Fitzhugh Mullan and had an enormous impact on the founding of the Beyond Flexner Alliance. He attended, and spoke at, our first three conferences, and was often found spending time speaking with students one-on-one during any breaks. He was a giant and will be dearly missed by our organization.
Dr. Geiger shared his insights on social mission, BFA, and reflected on some of his life in this video with us in 2015.
Sonal Batra MD, MST, is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine and an Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Management at the George Washington University.
Social mission is a potent idea that has been present in health professions education under various labels for many years. Humanitarianism, community-oriented primary care, social responsibility, social justice, diversity, and inclusion are some of the ideas that have generated transformative movements in health care delivery and health professions education. Today the term social mission is increasingly used to embody them all. The Beyond Flexner Alliance has defined the social mission of a health professions school as the contribution of a school in its mission, programs, and the performance of its graduates, faculty, and leadership in advancing health equity and addressing the health disparities of the society in which it exists. A new Initiative from the GW Health Workforce Institute strives to deepen the conversation around social mission by providing a means to measure this important concept within health professions schools.