Anne R. Simpson, MD, CMD, was recently honored by the New Mexico Office of African American Affairs (OAAA) for her work within the community, including her role in helping to create the newly formed group, the African America/Black Healthcare Professionals Alliance. The group seeks to address the social determinates of health through the provision of mentorship and advocacy to all students, African American/Black students in particular, and by building social and political capital in support of better health outcomes for African Americans/Blacks in New Mexico. Simpson is the Executive Director for the UNM Health Sciences Center, Center of Excellence for African American Health, and the Rust Professor and Director for the UNM School of Medicine Institute for Ethics.

“Each year the OAAA is committed to identifying and selecting individuals statewide who have demonstrated a genuine concern to assist others. Our awardees have shown a commitment to changing the delivery system of health care services in New Mexico to ensure the needs of minorities are being met,” said Harold Bailey, PhD, OAAA executive director. “Dr. Simpson personally mentors students, and serves as a conduit to advanced educational opportunities for many promising minority students.”

“Everything is so specialized and fragmented today that, many times, we’ve lost a sense of community. Yet traditionally, communities have been a great source of strength in all areas of life. In creating the Healthcare Professionals Alliance, we are seeking to recreate that source of support, by bringing people together to help mentor students interested in healthcare and to increase access to healthcare systems by people of all ages,” said Simpson. “We want to be able to both attract and retain minority healthcare professionals coming to New Mexico.”

Simpson’s medical practice centers on long-term care, homecare, hospice, and palliative medicine, with an added focus on elder abuse and mistreatment. She serves as Executive Director for the UNM Center of Excellence on African American Health, which is a partnership between the University of New Mexico and the Office of African American Affairs. Under Gov Richardson, she was appointed to the sub-committee for Elder Protection and Abuse Prevention. Simpson is a former board member for Uniting New Mexicans against Elder Abuse.

She is also board vice- president for New Mexico Medical Review Association, chairs the board for New Mexico Voices for Children, and is a member of the board for Pegasus Legal Services for Children. -