Former U. S. Representative Kweisi Mfume starts a new position today as the executive leader of the National Medical Association (NMA), the nation’s oldest and largest organization representing the interests of over 30,000 physicians of African descent and their patients. He has been charged by the NMA to tackle the issue of health disparities and promote health policy priorities.
Mr. Mfume brings his political and public policy background to the NMA, as well as nine years of experience leading the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). At the NAACP, he established the National Office of Health Advocacy to educate and advocate on behalf of access and affordability in health care. Prior to his tenure there, he held a congressional seat representing Maryland’s 7th Congressional District for five terms. And he served on the Baltimore City Council for seven years.
“I have dedicated my life to ending the economic and social barriers that continue to confront people of color all across our nation,” Mr. Mfume said. “The National Medical Association has been the conscience of the medical profession by making sure that African Americans and the underserved have a voice in their health and health care.” He continued, “We have a long way to go to truly eliminate health disparities, but now is the time to work with political, medical, and community leaders to make that vision real.”
Wilma J. Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., Chair, NMA Board of Trustees, further commented, “His commitment to the most vulnerable in our communities makes him a natural fit to continue the NMA’s legacy of advocacy and service.”
A native of Baltimore, Mr. Mfume received his B.S. from Morgan State University and his Master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University. He is the recipient of the NAACP Image Award and the 2005 Telly Award for the Television documentary “Ticket to Freedom.” His former bestselling autobiography is entitled “No Free Ride.”