Anthony Fleg, MD, MPH, an associate professor with the UNM School of Medicine’s Department of Family & Community Medicine, is known as the guy who encourages everyone to move, whether it’s by taking a walk or going for a run through Running Medicine.
He’ll now get to merge his experience as a physician and instructor with his new role as the director of Community Wellness within the Health Sciences Center’s Office for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.
“Dr. Anthony Fleg brings a unique perspective and dedication to wellness, movement and improving health for underserved populations,” says Valerie Romero-Leggott, MD, Vice Chancellor for Diversity & Inclusion.
Fleg’s face is familiar face to students, as he’s also director of the School of Medicine’s preceptorship program, which allows him to get students out of the classroom and into real-life lessons in community health. He’s excited to share those experiences with students who might not otherwise have opportunities to learn about the medical field.
“I’m excited to focus on diversity work,” he says. “I think UNM has given me freedom, encouragement and support.”
His new role will touch all areas of the HSC, including the College of Nursing, the College of Pharmacy and the College of Population Health, in addition the School of Medicine, Romero-Leggott says.
Fleg is also a founder and the director of the Native Health Initiative, which was created in 2005 as a partnership between health professions students and indigenous communities to address health inequities, according to its website.
He’s looking forward to continuing his work in empowering youth and reaching out to all corners of the state to groom prospective students in the medical field. The pipeline program exposes and trains young people to career opportunities in health care so that they can return to serve their communities.
“I’m so excited about working with Dr. Fleg and all the community members and youth leaders he brings, and learning from them,” Romero-Leggott says, adding that she’s impressed with the community he’s built through Running Medicine.
“Whether you’re walking or jogging, everyone is encouraging, supporting and elevating each other, and it was such a wonderful feeling,” she says of her experience with the group. “I just loved that.”
Fleg is looking forward to formally merging his passions for medicine and serving the community, and incorporating the importance of the latter into the curriculum. “I’m trying to get community engagement as part of what medical students learn at UNM,” he says.