Silas Norman Jr., M.D. a longtime member of the Wayne State University School of Medicine faculty and a driving force for diversity, fairness and compassion for the underserved was honored at the Wayne State University's 2011 commencement ceremony.
Silas Norman Jr., M.D., associate dean of Admissions, Diversity and Inclusion, received the School of Medicine’s Distinguished Service Award at the Fox Theater on May 24.
Valerie Parisi, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., dean of the School of Medicine, noted that Dr. Norman exemplifies a notable quote by Albert Einstein: “Only a life lived for others is worth living.”“He has served the school with distinction for more than 25 years,” she said. “He has overseen one of the most diverse student bodies in the United States.”
In accepting the award from Dean Parisi and Maryjean Schenk, M.D., M.P.H., M.S., vice dean of Medical Education, Dr. Norman said, “To be honored for the service that we give is a distinct privilege and an honor.”
Dr. Norman, a 1976 graduate of the Wayne State University School of Medicine, received its Trailblazer Award in 2010. The award honors outstanding alumni and faculty who have made substantial contributions and demonstrated courage, initiative, innovation, risk-taking and leadership.
A medical suite at the State Prison of Southern Michigan in Jackson is named after Dr. Norman, who served as the facility’s medical director. His commitment to social and humanistic medicine also led him to serve as chief medical officer for the Michigan Department of Corrections and medical director for the Wayne County Jails.
He has served as a consultant to the Detroit Health Care for the Homeless project and to the Detroit Health Department, working to see that thousands of uninsured and underserved people received much-needed health care.
In 2000, Dr. Norman received the Alumni Achievement Award from the United Negro College Fund. That same year the Wayne State University Organization of Black Alumni selected him for its Alumni Achievement Award.
The Michigan Department of Community Health presented him with the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials Vision Award in 2000.
In addition to his service to medicine and the school, Dean Parisi also noted that Dr. Norman serves as a dedicated deacon at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church, and has “a voice that rolls like thunder” as a member of the Brazeal Dennard Chorale.
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Photo caption: Silas Norman Jr. receives the award from Dean Valerie Parisi, left, and Maryjean Schenk, vice dean of Medical Education.