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UCSF Medical Student Honored with U.S. Public Health Service Award

 |  By Kelly S. Kao, MPP
Medical Student Receives Service award
Carolyn Kraus (right), receives U.S. Public Health Service Award. Photo by Mark Wooding

Medical Student Receives Service award

On May 8, UCSF medical student Carolyn Kraus received the 2019 U.S. Public Health Service Excellence in Public Health Award in recognition of her commitment to advocacy, education, and service for marginalized and underserved populations.

The U.S. Public Health Service gives this national award annually to visionary medical students who are advancing initiatives to improve social justice.

Kraus, a fourth year medical student, has a sustained history of leadership and involvement in underserved communities, with a focus on Native American and LGBTQ health. Prior to matriculating to medical school, she worked at the UCSF Women’s HIV Program as a program manager and served as a board member at large for the Native American AIDS project.

Currently a fourth-year medical student in the Program in Medical Education for the Urban Underserved (PRIME-US), Kraus matriculated into the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program (JMP) in 2014. As part of her Master of Science research with that program, she worked with the California Consortium for Urban Indian Health to study a program that promotes adolescent resilience through inter-generational cultural practices. Kraus presented her research at the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine in 2017.
In nominating Kraus for this award, John Balmes, MD, Director of the JMP Program noted, “Carolyn has a steadfast commitment to lifting up dialogue and co-creating community solutions to some of the greatest challenges in American Indian and Alaska Native Health. She has worked to educate both the UC Berkeley and UCSF campus communities regarding health disparities faced by Native Americans.”
During her time at UCSF, Kraus has continued her dedication to public health advocacy and developed a pre-health and social justice curriculum for the Summer Urban Health and Leadership Academy at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. Kraus is currently a member of a research team undergoing a needs assessment of medication assisted treatment for American Indian and Alaska Native people living in California. She also serves as co-leader of the Native American Health Alliance at UCSF. Kraus was previously co-coordinator of the LGBT Suitcase Clinic and worked to addresses unique and unmet health care needs of transgender patients living in the San Francisco bay area.
“Ms. Kraus is poised to become a visionary, innovative physician leader who will transform healthcare in ways that best support resilience and healing, especially for marginalized and under resourced Native American and LGBTQI communities,” said Leigh Kimberg, MD, Program Director for the PRIME-US program.