The NAACP’s Roanoke branch recently honored David Trinkle, associate dean for community and culture at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine (VTCSOM), for his contributions to health care and diversity in the Roanoke Valley. The NAACP recognized individuals with citizen awards in eight categories at its 22nd annual awards banquet on May 6.

“I’m thrilled and honored to be recognized by such an important and impactful organization,” Trinkle said. “Some of my most meaningful endeavors are those that enable me to work with seniors and other marginalized populations in our community.”

As a geriatric psychiatrist, Trinkle is passionate about providing accessible and quality care to seniors with memory loss, brain injury, or depression while helping families navigate these often-devastating illnesses.

A long-time community activist who served three terms on Roanoke City Council, Trinkle helps oversee community engagement with the medical school. His work includes outreach to local K-12 school systems and overseeing community art shows, mini medical schools, and other special events. He was an integral part of the recent InclusiveVTCSOM diversity initiative and spearheads the school’s Engage program that connects medical students with community organizations for service learning opportunities.

Trinkle recently has been a member of the Hidden in Plain Site committee, helping to guide the development of an interactive virtual reality tour that will tell the stories of Roanoke’s traditionally Black communities. VTCSOM partnered with the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC and Carilion Clinic to support the project, which will help shed light on the Black medical history of Roanoke.

“It is critically important that health care providers understand their community and the background of patients where they work,” Trinkle said. “We are excited to incorporate this project into our curriculum for new medical school students so they can gain valuable perspectives on the racial history of Roanoke.”

The NAACP was founded in 1909 to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.

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