Dr. Rahn Kennedy Bailey, associate professor and chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Meharry Medical College, has been selected as the new president of the National Medical Association (NMA).

Bailey, who will become the 113th president of the organization, which represents more 50,000 African-American doctors, will be installed July 31 during the NMA’s annual convention in New Orleans.

Currently the speaker for the House of Delegates, the NMA’s governing body, Bailey also has served as chairman of the NMA’s psychiatry section and chaired the Katrina Response Effort of the NMA, leading teams of physicians in treating the mental health needs of those displaced by the hurricane. In January 2010, Bailey traveled to Haiti with the National Medical Association to provide medical care for the basic needs of Haitian residents after the devastating earthquake there.

Bailey has said his agenda will focus on eliminating health disparities and raising awareness on the need for mental health care for black Americans, as well as support for the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act.

“Health care policy is changing rapidly and, for more than 100 years, the National Medical Association has been at the forefront of the effort to provide quality health care for medically underserved populations,” Bailey said in a statement. “I look forward to expanding my commitment to the NMA as we continue to make a difference in meeting the health care needs of all Americans.”

Additionally, Bailey said, the NMA and Meharry, which is dedicated to serving medically underserved populations, will be intricately involved during his presidential year because the organizations have parallel goals.

“Both organizations want health care to be affordable, available and of high quality for everyone.”

To learn more about the NMA and Meharry Medical College, the nation’s largest private, independent historically black academic health center, visit www.NMAnet.org and www.mmc.edu.

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