The John L. Townsend M.D. Scholarship

Dr. John Lionel Townsend was the Chairman of the Howard University Department of Medicine from 1973-1987. An endocrinologist by training, he also maintained a private medical practice in Washington, DC. Dr. Townsend embodied the esprit de corps of the medical service, demanding students' complete commitment and dedication to the mastery of clinical and differntial diagnoses. 

Dr. Townsend was the national President of the Association of Academic Minority Physicians, served on the board of regents of the National Library of Medicine, and was a member of the National Medical Association and the American College of Physicians. 

A native of Oklahoma City, he was a graduate of the University of Oklahoma medical school, and had received a chemistry degree from Fisk University. He came to Washington in 1959, serving an internship at D.C. General Hospital and a residency in internal medicine at the old Freedmen's Hospital, where he was chief resident in 1964 and 1965. He also held an endocrinology fellowship at Georgetown University before returning to the University of Oklahoma in 1968. He served on the Oklahoma faculty and was health services director there before returning to Washington, DC in 1973.

Sadly, Dr. Townsend died before his time in December 1990 at the age of 58, depriving many future students of his compassionate wisdom.























"As I think back on my training years at Howard University, there were many guiding mentors and devoted teachers. The one that rises to the top of my list is Dr. John Townsend"

S. Samuel Gelbart, Class of 1978



"Dr. Townsend was a dedicated teacher and a superior physician who clearly loved Howard and his family. He was also extremely intelligent and one of the best diagnosticians I have ever seen."

- Dr. Juanita H. Archer, Class of 1965


Honoring His Memory

To honor the memory of Dr. John L. Townsend, HUMAA has started a campaign to raise funds for an endowed scholarship. We have been joined in this effort by Dr. S. Samuel Gelbart, Class of 1978, who has graciously donated an initial $20,000 to kick off the campaign. Another $20,000 is needed to fully endow the scholarship however. Please join us in reaching our $40,000 goal. 

In Gratitude

Thank you to all those who have donated to this campaign to date:

S. Samuel Gelbart, MD '78
Roger G. Smith, MD '77
Patricia C. Sandiford, MD '75
Paul Webster, MD '86
Larry Denk, MD '87
Stephen Rush, MD '83
Anne Micheaux Akwari, MD '76
Novelette Thompson, MD '86
Kenny M. Frontin, MD '87
Clifford Hinkes, MD '78
Edwin Chapman, MD '73
Mary Berg, MD '86
Gail Nalls, MD '80
Mrs. Barbara Lord Watkins
Kevin Ford, MD '87
Lovell Mayle, MD '82
Mack McCain, MD '81
Betty Fletcher, MD '79
Debra H. Ford, MD '86
Shirley S. Donelson, M.D. '84
Glenda R. Smith, MD '87
Philippe E. Gadegbeku, MD '87
Joyce R. Drayton, MD '88
Keith C. Norris, MD '80, FACP
Mary L. Scott, MD '82
Irene Jackson Townsend, MD '73
John S. Edgcomb, MD '79
Sheila L. Butler, MD '87
O. Anthony Ogundipe, MD '87
Paul W. Diggs, MD '88
Lawrence L. Bohannon, M.D. '78
Kurt G. Vernon, M.D. '90
Valerie Callender, M.D. '86

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