AANEM is excited to announce Molly Fuentes, MD, MS, as the 2022 Surinderjit Singh Young Lectureship Award winner. As part of her award, Fuentes will give a plenary presentation on “Applying Equity Frameworks in Inherited Neuromuscular Disorders,” at the 2022 AANEM Annual Meeting.
The Surinderjit Singh Young Lectureship Award honors the late, long-time AANEM member Surinderjit Singh, MD. It was created after Dr. Singh’s wife, Jeena, donated $50,000 to the American Neuromuscular Foundation in her husband’s honor, thus leaving a legacy providing opportunities for young physicians in his field to shine.
“We are so fortunate to be able to offer the Surinderjit Singh Lectureship,“ said AANEM President Holli Horak, MD. “This award creates a space within the AANEM for young researchers to highlight their work and develop their careers. It aligns with AANEM’s goal of developing future leaders. Fuentes’ impressive body of research shows that she will continue to be a leader in educating and effecting change in the equitable practice of medicine,” said Horak.
Fuentes is an assistant professor in the department of rehabilitation medicine at the University of Washington. She is also an attending physician at Seattle Children’s Hospital and consultant at Alaska Native Medical Center. She completed medical school at the University of Michigan, a PM&R residency at the University of Washington, and a pediatric rehabilitation medicine fellowship at Seattle Children’s Hospital.
After her clinical training, Fuentes pursued a research fellowship and earned an MS in health services to support her research, which focuses on developing culturally responsive rehabilitation care models for Indigenous children with disabilities and improving access to pediatric rehabilitation care.
“My Program Chair, Dr. Lori Van Every, and I both felt that Dr. Fuentes’ proposal provided a complimentary aspect to this year’s plenary topic - The Status of Inherited Muscle Diseases in 2022. Her presentation will ensure that our attendees learn about multiple aspects of inherited muscle diseases, from direct patient management, to therapeutic updates, to genetic underpinnings, to our role in a society that has not always applied health care equitably,” said Horak. “Fuentes will help us understand how social factors influence health and how we can be aware of these factors and better advocate for our patients.”
Fuentes hopes her presentation will initiate efforts at the individual and systemic levels of health systems that generate action toward health equity and health justice for people with inherited NM disorders. “Over the past 2 years, there has been a lot of discussion about health equity, social determinants of health, and privilege,” she said. “I aim to provide a scaffolding for clinicians and researchers to more tangibly understand how systemic factors lead to inequity and consider strategies to achieve equity and truly family/patient-centered care.”
Fuentes’ presentation will be one of six plenary presentations chosen by Horak for the upcoming AANEM Annual Meeting in Nashville, TN.