William & Mary

Babineau opens Middle Passage Project Health Equity lectures

Image courtesy of EVMS

The first of three lectures that are part of the 2015 Middle Passage Project Health Equity Initiative takes place today at 4 p.m. at Millington Hall and features one of the leaders at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk.

Terri Babineau, M.D., dean of students at EVMS, will present a predominantly autobiographical lecture “A Woman Doctor’s and then Dean’s Story: ‘They Told Me I Should Stay Home.’”

Babineau said her talk will focus on how one can overcome obstacles and how often the most difficult parts of your life enable one to learn the most. She founded and is director of service-learning free clinics in Haiti, Suffolk and Norfolk – the last, she believes to be the only student-run free clinic in Virginia. She remains medical director of the Norfolk clinic.

“I came from a very conservative family who felt that even when I came along a woman’s place was in the home,” she said. “I put myself through undergraduate school at the University of Virginia working all hours in the UVA hospital as basically a bed-pan cleaner. After graduating with a nursing degree I worked in the Children’s Hospital of the Kings Daughters in the Pediatric ICU and helped to found the Pediatric Transport team.

“While in medical school I helped to finance my education by working in the Trauma Center at Norfolk General -- a crazy idea on my part. I had my first child who was due on my graduation day from medical school and my second while I was Chief Resident in family medicine residency. The third came while I was on faculty.”

Babineau will also read from a short story she wrote about mentor Dr. Tom Pellegrino. It involves brain death and some of the trials of being a female physician at the time she came of age – some of which she says remain today.

On Feb. 27, inside 227 James Blair Hall, Mekbib Gemeda, vice provost for diversity at EVMS, will address the topic “Unconscious Bias: Overcoming the Demons of Inequality.” That appearance begins at 4 p.m. and is also free and open to the public.

On March 27, 4 p.m. in Tucker Hall, Natasha Sriraman, M.D., a member of the Pediatrics Faculty at EVMS, will address “Why Stories Matter: Understanding Narrative Medicine.”