Left to right front row: Mary Mike Hatcher, Penny Beaumont, Viveca Stock Back row: Travis LaGrone, Rev. Elmo Johnson, Robert Stock, Dr. John Hayes, and Dean Craig Blakely

The 2012 Friends of the Texas A&M Health Science Center (TAMHSC) School of Rural Public Health (Friends of SRPH) were introduced at a luncheon and program hosted by Dean Craig Blakely.  Friends of SRPH is a program intended to increase awareness of the faculty, staff, students, programs, and research of TAMHSC-School of Rural Public Health and is an extension of the “This is Public Health” campaign initiated by the Association of Schools of Public Health.  First Lady of Texas, Anita Perry, is again serving as the Honorary Chair of the Friends of SRPH.

A highlight of the program included a presentation by Dean Blakely of activities initiated by the 2011  Friends as ambassadors for the school, including speaking opportunities, published articles, funding support, and events in various locations throughout the state of Texas.  He also announced that Leadership Texas, one of the longest-running women’s leadership programs in the U.S., will meet in 2013 at TAMHSC-School of Rural Public Health as a result of efforts by new Friend Penny Beaumont, who currently serves a board president of the organization. The focus of the meeting will be health-related topics.

2012 Friends not pictured above include Dilawar Ajani, M.D., Etheline Desir, John Hayes, M.D., Nasruddin Rupani, and Rebecca Stocker.

— Rae Lynn Mitchell