Building a Dream Team to Change Medical Education in Southern Nevada
Meet Luther Brewster, PhD, Senior Executive Dean for Community Health Innovation
Dr. Luther Brewster grew up in New York City where he witnessed first-hand the wasting of talent and lack of access to quality medical care in tough neighborhoods like the Bronx. Today, as a member of Roseman University College of Medicine’s Dream Team, assembled by Dean Joe Greer, MD, to shape new thinking at this emerging school of medicine, Dr. Brewster, who brings to Las Vegas his personal and rich story of growing up in a proud and loving family where he had the opportunity to rise above, is ideally suited for his position as Senior Executive Dean for Community Health Innovation.
Dr. Brewster’s GENESIS program is the culmination of more than 14 years of work from throughout his career at various institutions. It embraces a three-tiered approach to medical education that includes a curriculum that teaches students about the social, economic, and cultural elements of the community they serve; a delivery model that makes accommodation for the patient’s circumstances, bringing medical care and attention to where patients live – including home visits; and a humble attitude that puts doctors on equal footing with the patients and communities they serve.
“In Las Vegas, many native-born residents leave the city for other opportunities, unlike other major metro areas where college grads often return to their hometowns to launch careers,” said Dr. Brewster. “We have a rare and special opportunity with Roseman to capture the imagination and attention of young people who are vested in their community and want to stay here to practice medicine in their hometown. Here, we are building an infrastructure of diversity with local students in mind to ensure they can stay in a place that has grown with them, not away from them.”
According to Dr. Brewster, Roseman offers a roadmap to do it more rapidly, efficiently, and more effectively. “GENESIS, by virtue of its name is not just about new beginning for Las Vegas. It’s about patients, faculty, students creating a new beginning within themselves. Oftentimes, doctors and medical professionals become cynical and sarcastic over time, losing the idealism with which they started their careers. The GENESIS program helps to ensure medical professionals can keep focused on optimism and hope – the very reasons they entered the medical field in the first place.”
Dr. Brewster is already working to create a Roseman Genesis zone in underserved areas of the city of Las Vegas, bringing the program to 100 households in 100 days that starts with better WiFi for connectivity and a healthcare delivery model that includes pairing nurse practitioners with outreach workers to make home visits. Over time, the ultimate goal is to reach 10,000 patients, creating a more comprehensive approach to treating individuals in underserved areas of the community.
“GENESIS is about teaching people how to prosper – not to be better at being poor,” said Dr. Brewster. “We want folks to learn about opportunities, how they get more education, get a better job, receive better healthcare and ultimately enjoy a better quality of life.”
Dr. Brewster, along with wife, Dr. Cheryl Brewster, who is also part of the Roseman Dream Team, and the couple’s 11-year-old son, now proudly make Las Vegas their home. He received his Doctor of Philosophy degree in health promotion and behavior at the University of Georgia and performed post-doctoral training at Queen Mary University of London.