Zapata a Superhero of Medicine

Jasmine Zapata, MD, MPH, was nominated for the Wisconsin Medical Society Foundation’s Superhero of Medicine award for her work to reduce disparities and help inspire a more diverse health care workforce. She received her award on Thursday, Aug. 20

In planning for this event Dr. Zapata modestly made it clear that she believes the people on the frontlines fighting the coronavirus are today’s true Superheroes of Medicine. This is of course true, but this crisis has also brought attention to the public health crisis of racism.

Janine Stephens wrote in 2018 “Dr. Zapata is a dynamic author, physician, youth empowerment specialist and community leader. She launched a branch of The Ladder, a national mentorship program geared towards reaching a diverse population of students interested in the health field. She founded the Madam Dreamers Academy, a virtual mentorship program that supports more than 1,000 minority young women on the path to medicine across the nation. She is also the founder of Beyond Beautiful International Girls’ Empowerment Movement.” When asked who Dr. Zapata’s nemesis was – because all superheroes have a nemesis! – Renee Moe of United Way of Dane County named racism and bias in health care and society. Now more than ever the Foundation is proud to recognize a Superhero fighting these enemies.

Superheroes also have allies, and Dr. Zapata will recognize one of her own heroes in tonight’s program, Ms. Jackie Hunt of F.O.S.T.E.R. Marje Murray, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Medical Society Foundation said, “Just talking to Dr. Zapata makes people want to do and be better. Her work to both inspire and enable young women from underrepresented minorities to think about careers in medicine will truly change the face(s) of health care. We know that this alone will help fight the virus that is racism.” Dr. Zapata so inspired the Foundation that another collaboration will be announced in October.