The purpose of the United Asian American Medical Student Association (UAAMSA) is to promote interaction amongst Asian-Americans at the University of Michigan Medical School, address the needs of the Asian-American community at the medical school, and promote awareness of the Asian-American community among the general medical school community.
With growing numbers of Asian Americans entering medical school, and the lack of an organization to provide a support network, the United Asian American Medical Student Association was founded in 1992. This was done with the hope to provide a single united voice for Asian Americans within the University of Michigan Medical School. Furthermore, our organization is devoted to expanding the knowledge of healthcare issues pertaining to Asian Americans and providing service to the greater community.
UAAMSA began in 1992 by a small, but determined group of med students. Headed by Jim Lai and Yolanda Wu, the group initially started as a social club gathering for ethnic food nights. Jim served as UAAMSA’s first president and Yolanda it’s second. Former Chair of Internal Medicine, Dr. Tadataka Yamada agreed to serve as the group’s first advisor.
In 1994, a small contingent from UAAMSA, headed by president Holly Oh represented the U of M at the very first National APAMSA meeting in NYC. This was a year of tremendous growth for UAAMSA both nationally and locally. Holly and Dr. Yamada were the true guiding forces behind UAAMSA’s expansion into community service and cultural awareness. This was also the year that gave birth to the original respite care program, creation of the minority bone marrow drive, and establishment of the Annual UAAMSA Faculty-Student reception. Eric Huang and his board further developed these innovative programs, attracting newer and larger UAAMSA membership.
The year 1995 also saw the co-sponsorship of multi-cultural programs with LANAMA and BMA. Unfortunately in 1996, UAAMSA’s first faculty advisor, Dr. Yamada left the university. He appointed current advisor Dr. H. David Humes who then appointed junior advisors Dr. Arno Kumagai and Dr. Grace Su. Along with ’96-’97 president, Grace Eng UAAMSA saw the expansion of the minority marrow drive to include participation from the undergraduate black pre-med association, the Asian-American fraternity LPE, and UAAMSA’s law school counterpart, APALSA to its first spin-off group, the Minority Marrow Donor Coalition–a group that (?now) functions independently to encourage the Ann Arbor community to register with the NMDP.
1996 was also the inception of the first APA Health Month with activities all month focused on Minority Marrow Donation awareness. Brian Chin’s presidency ’97-98 heralded the creation of the hepatitis B project, further establishing UAAMSA as one of the dominant forces of APAMSA both regionally in the Midwest and nationally.
View the UAAMSA Constitution here.
UAAMSA is a proud member of APAMSA, our national organizing body. The Asian and Pacific Islander American Medical Student Association (APAMSA) was nationally founded in 1995. The objective of this non-profit organization is to help prepare all medical students to actively address the healthcare challenges of the Asian and Pacific Islander (API) community. There are several projects APAMSA is involved with. These include the Hepatitis B education and immunization project, the Bone Marrow Donation project, and the AAPI health initiative letter writing campaign. APAMSA also has strong stances on many issues. Being an organization based on health care, the organization has spoken out against smoking and tobacco use targeting the Asian community, for responsible alcohol use, for immunization, and for health standards addressing needs of the medically underserved.
UAAMSA is sponsored by OHEI, the University of Michigan Office of Health Equity & Inclusion.
OHEI leads efforts, advises on best practices, and coordinates initiatives to enhance inclusion, increase diversity, and promote equity across the institution for our patients, staff, faculty and learners.
OHEI works with individuals who are underrepresented, underserved, marginalized, and vulnerable. In collaboration with many programs and offices on and off campus, OHEI develops programs and establish metrics and monitoring systems that allow all leaders within UMHS to be accountable for our shared commitment to inclusion, diversity and health equity in the communities we serve locally, nationally and globally.