Jamaican-Born Doctor, Garfield Clunie, to Lead National Medical Association in United States

Dr. Garfield A.D. Clunie, an expert in women’s health and health equity, is the new head of the largest and oldest organization of African American physicians in the United States, the National Medical Association. Dr. Clunie has been with the organization for over 15 years, serving on its Board in a number of roles, including as Region 1 Chair and Trustee, Chair of the Board of Trustees, Chair of the Committee on Administrative and Financial Affairs, and National Treasurer. He has also been a member of various councils and committees.

Dr. Clunie was born at Saint Ann’s Bay Hospital and left Jamaica with his family when he was four years old. He shared that his parents always instilled in him and his siblings the “Jamaican values of respect for self and others and the value of an education.” He added that he has never met a Jamaican that did not have great pride in their country, and his pride in Jamaica helped him to focus on being the best at whatever he decided to do. He has built his medical career on providing service to vulnerable populations, advocating for the elimination of health disparities, and promoting health equity for everyone.

Dr. Clunie received a BS degree in biochemistry from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and went on to earn his medical degree from Wake Forest University’s Bowman Gray School of Medicine. After completing a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at NYU Downtown Hospital, he was awarded a prestigious fellowship in maternal-fetal medicine (MEM) at Tufts-New England Medical Center. He served as the co-president of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA), the oldest and largest organization of minority medical students, while he was a medical student, and as a Region 4 director, he also coordinated and executed program initiatives in the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Alabama, as well as in the Caribbean.

Dr. Clunie currently works in the Mount Sinai Health System supervising MEM fellows, residents in OB/GYN, and medical students at Mount Sinai Hospital’s out-patient high-risk pregnancy clinic and ultrasound unit. He is also the site director of MEM at Mount Sinai Downtown Union Square. Dr. Clunie is board-certified in OB/GYN and MEM and is an assistant professor of OB/GYN and reproductive science at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. In September of 2022, Dr. Clunie will join the faculty at New York University’s Langone Health facility as an associate professor of OB/GYN and the inaugural vice-chair for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the department.

Dr. Clunie said he joined the SNMA as a student “because it was an organization of Black doctors helping Black doctors and the Black patients. Where else could I seek support and nurturing but from an organization of Black physicians, and I received just that. I decided to pursue leadership in the Association which led me to where I am now. The NMA’s all about giving back and helping the underserved and people of color. I love this Association and will always be an active member.” He said he was honored to lead the NMA and to be in a position to help shape policy and work toward eliminating disparities in health care.

Dr. Clunie is a member of the NAACP, the National Action Network, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the Global Jamaica Diaspora Council’s Jamaica Diaspora Northeast Health Sector, and the Jamaica Diaspora Health Taskforce Action Network.

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