TCOM celebrates the beginning of Black History Month

Dr. April EnardTCOM alumni, Dr. April Enard
Dr. April Enard, TCOM Class of 2011

By Steven Bartolotta

February is Black History Month and the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (TCOM) is proud to honor the pioneering efforts of many African American men and women who have paved the way for many in the medical and osteopathic community.

Today, we see the profound impact being made by African American osteopathic physicians, from TCOM alumni and faculty to the next generation of medical professionals.

“I’m so happy that we are taking the time and effort to bring recognition and celebration around Black History Month,” said TCOM Dean Dr. Frank Filipetto. “Osteopathic medicine has had many trailblazers throughout its history, and I hope our entire faculty, staff and students will join me in recognizing the importance and celebrating their accomplishments.”

Following are a few of their stories:

April Enard, DO

Dr. April Enard, TCOM Class of 2011, has made it her mission to give back to her community, and also to change the face of medicine. In 2016, she began the “Dr. April Enard Minorities in Medicine Scholarship” for students from her high school alma mater, West Orange Stark. 

Using her own resources, Dr. Enard has awarded 20 scholarships to help students who otherwise might not consider a career in medicine.

After completing her undergraduate education at Louisiana State University, Dr. Enard enrolled in the Medical Science program and earned her master’s in Clinical Research Management at HSC. From there, she began her osteopathic journey at TCOM. Following her graduation, she completed her residency in Conroe, Texas, and has been in Sweetwater practicing family medicine and obstetrics since 2014.   

Dr. Enard is passionate about her practice and her patients, while also feeling a sense of obligation to give back to her hometown. The scholarship money gives those students, who otherwise might not even consider medicine as a career, perhaps their first reason to look at the medical profession, all because of one role model in Sweetwater. 

TCOM alumni, Dr. Jessica EdwardsJessica Edwards, DO

She followed her father’s footsteps into medical school and graduated from TCOM in 2014. Dr. Jessica Edwards, with her father, Dr. Dralves Edwards, together represent TCOM’s first African American parent-child legacy.  

Dr. Edwards is practicing family medicine in New Braunfels, Texas, and earned her Master of Science degree from the HSC’s School of Biomedical Sciences in 2010.  She is board certified in Family Medicine and OMT by the American Osteopathic Board of Family Physicians. 

She completed her Family Medicine residency at Care Point Health in Jersey City, New Jersey. In 2016, she was honored with the American Osteopathic Foundation/American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians Outstanding Resident in Family Medicine Award. 

She was selected to the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine’s (AACOM) prestigious Osteopathic Health Policy Fellowship. She received the National Medicine Association Post Graduate Top Healthcare Professional Under 40 Award in 2019.  In 2020, she was a keynote speaker at the TOMA Midwinter Conference. She is the Founder and CEO of Zara Medical Aesthetics and is currently practicing Family Medicine. 

LaKiesha Crawford, MD

Dr. LaKiesha Crawford has been with TCOM since 2019 in the Department of Medical Education. A Tennessee native, she attended Meharry Medical College and completed her Anesthesia residency at Johns Hopkins Medical Center and Oregon Health and Sciences. 

She also completed a fellowship in Regional Anesthesia and Acute Pain Medicine at Vanderbilt Medical Center, followed by an Interventional and Chronic Pain Management Fellowship at Wake Forest Medical Center. Dr. Crawford is board certified in both Anesthesia and Pain Management.

Dr. Crawford and her husband have two children, and she enjoys medical missions, golfing and Bible study.  

TCOM Black History Month events

To celebrate Black History Month, the TCOM Office of Medical Student Success will host a Black History Month event on February 24 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in MET 125 that will feature keynote speaker Dr. Jaabran Pasha and a five-member panel consisting of four current students and one alumnus. Between the keynote presentation and the student-alumni panel, this event will feature discussion on implicit bias in medicine, the experience of being a Black medical professional and key figures in Black history.

Throughout the month, the TCOM Office of Medical Student Success will also sponsor student events, including a 5:30-7:30 p.m. showing of “Soul” in MET 124 on February 9th and a February 11th 12-1 p.m. presentation of the handbook “Mind the Gap: A Handbook of Clinical Signs in Black and Brown Skin” in MET 109-111.

Food will be provided at all the events.

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