2022 Elma Vines Summer Health Academy Students

2024 Elma Vines Summer Health Academy (EVSHA)

Applications are now being accepted for the 2024 EVSHA

The Elma Vines Summer Health Academy (EVSHA) has been mentoring and providing “doctor-shadowing” opportunities for the past 22 years to College Students. We are currently open for registration for the 22nd annual EVSHA for 2024. EVSHA is a 4 to 6-week paid program which allows college students to shadow professionals in the offices of surgeons, general practitioners, pediatricians, etc. The students get the unique opportunity of shadowing the various physicians, work with office staff in addition to giving weekly presentations on their findings, creating quite the memorable experiences.

2024 Program Details:

  • Application Due Date: Extended to April 15, 2024 11:59 pm

  • Send Letter of Recommendation (Professor or Medical Professional) to: contact@vinesmedical.org – by April 15, 2024

  • Interviews: April 22nd, 2024 – April 26th, 2024

  • Notification of Acceptance: April 30th, 2024

  • Orientation: June 26, 2024 – June 28, 2024

  • Program Dates: July 1st, 2024 – August 2nd, 2024

  • EVSHA Banquet: August 8th, 2024

*Please send your (1) letter of recommendation (LOR) via email to: contact@vinesmedical.org.  This application is for college students (pre-med; 1st year completed) ONLY!  

Extended Application Deadline is April 15th, 2024


To know more visit FAQ


To know more visit Society Meetings


To know more visit Committees

About Us

On January 23, 1987, the James Wesley Vines Medical Society Inc. (JWV) was granted a charter to organize as a component society of the National Medical Association and the Golden State Medical Association in the Pomona Valley Area. The first meeting was held on February 21, 1987, at that time we elected our first president, Benjamin G. Vines MD, an internist who practiced in the Montclair area. Dr. Vines held this position until he passed away in 1989. The honor of succeeding president of our society was upheld by Dr. Rodney Parker from 1989 to 1994. Ernest Levister, MD, FACP served as President from 1994 until Dr. Lisa Perry-Gilkes reached for the baton in February 2000. Ancel J. Rogers, MD, FACS, then served as President of the J.W. Vines, Jr. Medical Society until visionary Richard T. Kotomori Jr. MD, ABPN assumed the role. In 2014 the charismatic Anthony T. Fenison, MD was elected president in an effort to connect the bridge between physicians and aspiring physicians in the Inland Empire.

In 1994 our name changed from JWV, to James Wesley Vines, Jr. M.D. Medical Society, Inc., a component of the National Medical Association. The Vines is a non-profit 501 © 6 organization representing African American physicians in the Inland Empire and High Desert.  Our Mission is to provide mentoring and educational opportunities for African American Students seeking professional careers in the Health Sciences. The Organization sponsors the Elma Vines Summer Health Academy, a Haiti Medical Missions tour, the Cal State University, San Bernardino Pan-African STEM Society (PASS), the UC Riverside student organization, African Americans United in Science (AAUS) and many more activities. Our physician members are actively involved in mentoring programs, community speakers bureaus and other key community organizations. The Vines organization also supports and advocates for critical issues such as equal opportunity education, the development and retention of African American Medical Students and improving medical education and the quality of patient care throughout the Inland Empire.

Meet our Society President


Leita Harris, M.D.

Society President

Dr. Leita Harris was born in Panama, raised in New York City and has been living in Riverside, CA since 1986. She is the oldest of 4 children and was determined at an early age to pursue her education and become a physician. She graduated from New York University, received her medical degree at Cornell University Medical College and completed her residency at LA County/USC Medical Center.

Dr. Harris has been a practicing physician and women’s health specialist for over 27 years. She currently has her own private practice, Nurturing You Women’s Health & Wellness, Inc. Her previous practices were at Riverside Medical Clinic and Kaiser Permanente. She also works as a gynecologist for UCR Student Health Services and is an Associate Clinical Professor at UCR School of Medicine. Her service activity includes the Health Education  committee on the Parkview Community Hospital African American Advisory Board, Parkview Community Hospital Foundation Board, Vines Medical Society and Foundation Board and Administrator and Board member of Eastside Reconciliation Coalition, a nonprofit organization. She is a sought out speaker on Women’s Health in the community.

She was blessed to be united with her husband, Pastor Jon S. Harris and joined with him in launching Castle Rock Christian Fellowship Baptist Church in 2001. She
continues to stand in loving partnership with her husband and pastor, faithfully serving her church family in many capacities including Church Administrator, Sunday School Teacher and Director of the “Daughters of Excellence” ministry, a mentoring ministry for young ladies ages 11-18.

She is the blessed mother and stepmother of 5, Baron, Tyler, Jon II, Brandon and Kaylee and her passion is to serve the Lord to her fullest with excellence knowing that God alone will be glorified.


Speakers Bureau

The Vines Society has historically held seminars advocating for healthy lifestyles within the community and promoting careers in health care to hopefuls.


The Foundation, in conjunction with the Vines Medical Society will match college students interested in the health professions with mentors. The mentor program offers students support and access to individuals in their field of interest.

Skill Building Workshops

The following workshops are designed to increase the skills of the students, to expose them to opportunities in the health professions, and to successfully complete their programs

  • Statement of Entrance Preparation
  • Interview techniques
  • Resume writing
  • Conducting and Publishing Research
  • Money Management


Thank you for your interest and support of the
J.W. Vines Jr Medical Society
a non profit 501 c 6 organization

Yearly dues help the Vines Society continue to provide monthly forums where community professionals and pre-health students can come together and discuss topics that affect the Inland Empire and one another’s advancement.

The Vines Medical Society has the following categories of membership:

  • Professional Membership

    all professional members in good standing who joined the association during 1986 shall also be; Members A M.D. or D.O., licensed to practice in California, who has paid annual dues established by the membership; licensed M.D. or D.O. in training or intern { post graduate } who has paid the annual dues ; Partner of the Society or other person who is not a student who has paid the annual dues.  Submit your annual tax deductible dues of $150 below or to  1550 E Washington St. #101, Colton, CA 92324.

  • Student Membership 

    Student Member, Students duly matriculated in an accredited M.D. or D.O. degree program who has paid the dues established by the membership shall be a student member. Submit your annual tax deductible dues of $20 below or to 1550 E Washington St. #101, Colton, CA 92324.

Student Engagement.  The J.W. Vines Foundation is a strong supporter for on campus organizations with a mission to educate and empower students interested in exploring careers in healthcare. These student are regular attendees of our annual events and are the first to hear about our shadowing opportunities and medical mission trips.


1550 E Washington St #101
Colton, CA 92324

Call Us –951-888-0611

Email Us – Contact@VinesMedical.org

© 2018 J.W Vines Medical Foundation

Contact JWV Society

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