BLUEFIELD, W.Va. (WVVA) – It was a busy day for Dr. Patrice Harris. The distinguished graduated of Bluefield High School (BHS) came back to her hometown to join the honorees selected to become members of the BHS Hall of Fame.
A perfect 10, that’s what BHS recognizes Dr. Patrice Harris as. The Bluefield native and now the 174h leader of the American Medical Association (AMA) and the first African American woman to hold the national office title was honored by her Alma mater.
“My cousin getting inaugurated to the hall of fame that’s a good thing. It’s a great feeling you can do whatever you want to do,” said Donald Hunt, Dr. Harris’ family member.
Dr. Harris graduated from BHS in 1978, and she says it’s exciting to be an inspiration, and a hall of famer.
“Well I tell you, it’s still shocking that people still want my autograph, so that’s the biggest change,” said Dr. Harris.
Speaking at BHS, Dr. Harris said there are three concepts that everyone must follow in order to have a better life.
The first is intellectual honesty, the second is context, and the third is evidence, science and data.
The psychiatrist who now resides in Atlanta, didn’t forget her roots. Dr. Harris reflected on her life growing up in the Mountain State.
“I tell them about the Sunday dinners at ‘Big Momma’s’ house. I tell them about BHS football, being a majorette, and cheerleader. I talk about our community, and how connected it was and how safe it was and riding our bikes, and being home before the street lights came on,” said Dr. Harris.
As President of the AMA, Dr. Harris is currently working on ways to fight the opioid epidemic, while also making sure to encourage youth.
“The point is you have to live your dream, not anyone else’s. So whatever you want to be, get education and training beyond high school and be the best of whatever you want to be,” said Dr. Harris.
Just as she said during her inaugural address this summer, Dr. Harris is indeed her ancestors’ wildest dreams.
Dr. Harris will be making her way to Seattle, WA Friday for the Washington State Medical Association Convention.