By Pamela Murphy, AACOM Senior Vice President of Government Relations
Over the past three years, ED to MED has developed steadily from its humble grassroots beginnings into a growing force of advocacy on behalf of future health care professionals. We are becoming a familiar face on Capitol Hill, in no small part from the efforts of our incredibly motivated and passionate advocates like you. Over the last year, together with our national partner organizations, our graduate and health professions student advocates have stood tall to defend the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program and Grad PLUS loans.
Whether it was by raising voices on social media, visiting congressional offices, or taking action through the Campus Ambassador program, 2018 was a banner year for activism on behalf of the future of health care.
Every year, we are inspired by what ED to MED advocates accomplish. This year, ED to MED would like to recognize the extraordinary advocacy efforts by one of its star members. We are honored to recognize Mustafa Basree as the 2019 ED to MED Outstanding Advocate of the Year!
Mustafa is a second-year osteopathic medical student at University of Pikeville-Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine (UP-KYCOM). He and his family arrived in the United States ten years ago on asylum from the Iraq War. Since that time, he has attended schools in Boston, Chicago, and Columbus, and ultimately enrolled in medical school in Eastern Kentucky, which shaped his career goals of promoting the health and well-being of underserved communities through improving access to high-quality, affordable medicine.
As an ED to MED advocate, Mustafa takes a personal role in the advancement of medical and health professions student issues. Throughout 2018, Mustafa was a leading voice in ED to MED advocacy actions, displaying passion and devotion to helping raise the profile of our cause.
He is active on his home campus of UP-KYCOM as a Campus Ambassador and has organized advocates there in order to spread the ED to MED message to more colleagues. He consistently uses social media to advocate on behalf of his fellow osteopathic medical students and frequently amplifies the messages of others, helping to give each voice more reach. This past fall, he co-hosted a recruitment event that spread our message and built our base of support.
Mustafa also lent his unique journey to medicine as a vehicle for inspiration and activism by authoring an ED to MED guest blog post. His story gave important context as to why programs like PSLF and Grad PLUS are so critical for helping make medical education possible for compassionate, dedicated students who otherwise may not be able to afford it.
Also, Mustafa was a leading voice during ED to MED’s 2018 COM Day on Capitol Hill. Along with many other ED to MED students, educators, and activists, he met with Members of Congress and brought the needs of the future health care workforce directly to lawmakers. Not only did he raise our profile in person, but leading up to the event, Mustafa was an outspoken online advocate during the ED to MED Advocacy Challenge, repeatedly taking part in ED to MED challenges to elevate our issues on social media.
I’m challenging my friends and @KYCOMatUPike community at large to join @ed2med and stand up for the future #healthcare workforce by helping #SaveGradPLUS and #SavePLSF: https://t.co/Mr0ZIK3Ch9 #COMDAY18 #E2MChallenge
— Mustafa M. Basree (@mustafabasree) September 13, 2018
@SenSherrodBrown, @robportman, and @RepBeatty, PSLF and Grad PLUS make my career in #healthcare possible. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to care for patients in our community. That’s why we need you to help #SavePSLF and #SaveGradPLUS. #E2MChallenge @ed2med pic.twitter.com/70PhmcYn4D
— Mustafa M. Basree (@mustafabasree) September 20, 2018
Jenna and I are on our way to DC to advocate on behalf of @Kentucky_DOs , @KYCOMatUPike, and @kycom_soma to #SaveGradPLUS and #SavePSLF!!! We’re taking on capital hill tomorrow. It’s gonna be monumental!! @SOMAPolitics @ed2med @AACOMGR pic.twitter.com/IhIGKFU8sk
— Mustafa M. Basree (@mustafabasree) September 26, 2018
— Mustafa M. Basree (@mustafabasree) September 27, 2018
Beyond the efforts Mustafa made for ED to MED in 2018, he is also very active in student government. He serves as President of the Student Government Association at his medical school, and as a member of the Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents. He is also a member of Omega Beta Iota: The National Osteopathic Political Action Honor Society, which requires its inductees to display a deep commitment to political activity and demonstrate excellence in health care politics.
In addition, Mustafa also served as a panelist in this year’s ED to MED Town Hall during Educating Leaders 2019, the AACOM Annual Conference.
Mustafa has been an invaluable advocate for ED to MED and we are honored to award him the 2019 ED to MED Outstanding Advocate of the Year. He has done a great service to medical and health professions education by standing up for the future health care workforce and elevating the issues that matter most to the osteopathic medical education community. His efforts are an inspiration to us and to the many students that make up ED to MED, and are an example of the power of turning passion into action.
Want to be the 2020 ED to MED Outstanding Advocate of the Year? Get started on your advocacy journey today by joining ED to MED.