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UTHSC News: Memphis’ First Lady, UT Health Science Center Nursing Alumna Encourages: “See the Good in Our City”


Memphis native and University of Tennessee Health Science Center alumna Jamila Smith-Young, DNP, MPH, CPNP-AC, was always involved in the community during her years growing up in the city’s Cherokee neighborhood.

“My parents instilled in me and my sibling to give back. Even in church, we were always involved in things community-wise with my pastor. That’s all I know — to serve and to help. I get a joy out of it,” Dr. Smith-Young said.

Married to Memphis Mayor Paul Young, whose term began January 1, she is the new First Lady of Memphis.

Her community involvement has grown through her commitment to the nursing profession, where she combined her passion for helping others with her interest in biology. In addition to a bachelor’s degree in microbiology, Dr. Smith-Young holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a Master of Public Health, a Master of Science in Nursing, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).

As a nurse practitioner at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, Dr. Smith-Young specializes in endocrinology. She is also an assistant professor and mentor in the College of Nursing at UT Health Science Center and serves as the DNP faculty simulation co-coordinator for a $1.5 million grant through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The grant is titled “Training and Education to Advance Critical Health Equity Readiness Using Simulation.”

Dr. Smith-Young has a stack of professional honors and awards, including recognition as a Healthcare Hero from the Memphis Business Journal, a CGI Power 30 honoree, and a Memphis Top 40 under 40 Urban Elite Professional – all in 2021. Her volunteer commitments are also substantial and include serving as a board member for the Memphis Museum of Science and History, the Hutchison School Parent Association, and the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners Blues City Chapter. She is also the Advanced Practice Provider Community Outreach Chair for Le Bonheur.

Read more at our UTHSC news site.