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Dr. Stephen Taylor, Class of 1988, Joins Pathway Healthcare in Dallas, TX
9/29/2017
Dr. Stephen Taylor, M.D. '88, M.P.H., has been appointed Chief Medical Officer for Behavioral Health for Pathway Healthcare in Dallas, TX. Dr. Taylor is a quadruple-board-certified, honors graduate of Harvard University and a graduate of Howard University College of Medicine. Dr. Taylor comes to Pathway with over 20 years of practice experience. His expertise is in specialized care for patients and their families afflicted with drug and alcohol addictions, behavioral disorders and general psychiatric disorders. Dr. Taylor will oversee Pathway’s exceptional care in treating drug and alcohol addiction and dependency.

According to Dr. Brent Boyett, Founder and Chief Medical Officer of Pathway, “from its conception, the Pathway philosophy was intent on providing the therapies for substance use disorders supported by the current best evidence. This approach includes evidence based medications combined with behavioral therapies proven to provide the best treatment outcomes. Dr. Taylor’s psychiatric expertise rounds out our clinical leadership providing to a multidisciplinary prospective to the treatment of this complex, chronic disease. It is my great honor to have the opportunity to collaborate with such a distinguished colleague.”

Dr. Taylor joins Pathway to share his knowledge and to oversee and contribute insight to the work and success of Pathway’s proprietary treatment program: MAT Plus™. This scientifically proven program is a combination of medication assisted treatment and behavioral counseling that helps those suffering from opioid, alcohol and other drugs addiction and dependency. Dr. Taylor said, “I have watched Pathway develop their outstanding behavioral health and counseling guidelines as part of their medically assisted treatment program. Their performance has been outstanding and I feel blessed to join them in their important mission of delivering quality addiction treatment to patients and families in communities in need. As all should be aware, there is an addiction and dependency problem in America that has reached crisis levels. Pathway is well suited to offer comprehensive and holistic care to those in need.”

In addition to his oversight at Pathway, Dr. Taylor will continue in his important role as the Medical Director of the Player Assistance/Anti-Drug Program of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), a position in which Dr. Taylor has now served for ten years.

Scott Olson, Pathway CEO said in announcing the appointment, “I am very proud that Dr. Taylor has agreed to join Pathway as our Chief Behavioral Officer. I think the fact that someone of his stature, with his recognized experience in helping people and families traumatized by the horrors of addiction, his intelligence and depth of knowledge, has agreed to join the Pathway family speaks to the success that we have achieved in making the Pathway clinics the most forward looking, compassionate and results oriented drug and alcohol addiction and dependency clinics in the country.”
Dr. Kenneth Wilson, Class of 1996, to Join University of Chicago Medicine
9/29/2017
Dr. Kenneth Wilson, Class of 1996, recently joined University of Chicago Medicine ahead of the launch of its expanded Trauma Care Center that will open next May.

The surgeons will join Selwyn O. Rogers, MD, MPH, who was selected as director of the U. of C. Medicine Trauma Center and Gary An, MD, a current trauma faculty member.

Dr. Wilson, a Baltimore native is an Emory University graduate who attended medical school at Howard University. He has worked for more than a decade as a trauma and acute care surgeon for both adult and pediatric patients, at Hurley Hospital in Flint, Michigan, as the director of Pediatric Trauma.

“Dr. Wilson is interested in the association between race and socioeconomic status on trauma-related health outcomes,” said U. of C. Medicine in a written release.

Last year, U. of C. Medicine broke ground on a new and expanded emergency department that will offer a Level 1 adult trauma center. The new center is expected to bring in 1,000 permanent jobs to staff the facility and 400 construction positions to build the facility.

A trauma-center designation means that the hospital has the facilities, staff, services, and equipment necessary to care for patients who suffer injury from car accidents, major burns, serious falls or gunshot wounds.

The new infrastructure will support 25,000 patient visits per year, an increase of 40 percent in the number of patients the hospital can currently treat. The new facility will be 76 percent larger expanding from 16, 517 square feet to 29,017 gross square feet upon completion. The expanded emergency department will open on Jan. 8, 2018, said U. of C., and the launch of the Level 1 adult trauma services would be May 1, 2018.
Dr. Menarvia Nixon Gaddis, Class of 2010, Joins Merit Health Central in Mississippi
9/29/2017
Dr. Menarvia Nixon Gaddis, a neurosurgeon, has joined the medical staff of Merit Health Central in Mississippi. Dr. Gaddis specializes in the diagnosis and surgical treatment of disorders of the nervous system, including trauma, tumors, infections of the brain or spine, and developmental and degenerative diseases of the spine. She completed her neurological surgical residency at Louisiana State University’s Health Science Center in Shreveport, Louisiana. She received her medical degree from Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C., and has a bachelor’s degree also from Howard University. She serves as an HIV/AIDS peer educator and evaluater, and as a facilitator for the peer education training program for the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education.
In Memoriam: Dr. Clarence C. Haydel, Class of 1964
9/14/2017
Dr. Clarence Clement "C.C." Haydel Jr., a New Orleans pediatrician whose duties extended beyond his private medical practice, died Thursday, September 7th, 2017 at St. Margaret's Hospice in New Orleans. He was 80.

A lifelong New Orleanian, Dr. Haydel started his practice in the late 1960s and retired in 1999. He also taught part-time at Tulane University School of Medicine and Tulane's School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. He was a pediatric examiner for Orleans Parish public schools, and he worked with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office in cases involving sexual abuse.

In 1974, Dr. Haydel became a medical innovator. As medical director of Medical Care Center of Louisiana, he worked to expand access to quality affordable health care, including preventive medicine, to low- and moderate-income families through a nominal payment arrangement.The program worked. According to center records, there was an 86 percent increase in patients after the first year. Many of the newcomers had never before seen a doctor.

"What made him tick was just seeing his patients and knowing that his patients were in the best of health," said Christian Labat, a former patient whose three children also were Dr. Haydel's patients. "He was a real jovial kind of fellow, always with a smile and something good to say and always wanting to know how you and your family were."Dr. Haydel graduated from Xavier University Preparatory School, attended Cornell University and obtained a bachelor's degree in chemistry at Xavier. He got his medical degree at Howard University in Washington.

After completing an internship at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, he was called to active duty as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Medical Corps. Dr. Haydel served 15 months at the U.S. Naval Hospital at Camp Pendleton, Calif., where he helped develop the Navy's first adolescent-care clinic for the children of naval personnel.

He later was assigned to the USS Galveston, where he led the ship's medical department during an eight-month tour of the Mediterranean. He was discharged as a captain and returned to New Orleans in 1967 to start a residency in pediatrics before launching his practice.Dr. Haydel sat on the boards of the New Orleans Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation, the Diabetes Association of Greater New Orleans, the Children's Bureau of New Orleans and United Federal Savings & Loan Association. He was a member of Liberty Bank & Trust Co.'s advisory board and the Audubon Park Commission.

He also was a member of the National, New Orleans and Louisiana medical associations, the New Orleans Pediatric Association, the New Orleans and Louisiana State medical societies, Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, the Bunch Club, the Staggs Ltd. and Sigma Pi Phi fraternity, also known as the Boule.

Survivors include his wife, Iris Labostrie Haydel; two sons, C.C. Haydel III of Osaka, Japan, and Christopher Jude Haydel of Pasadena, Calif.; a daughter, Cheryl Lynn Haydel of Baltimore; a brother, Glenn Arnaud Haydel of New Orleans; a sister, Sybil Haydel Morial of New Orleans; and four grandchildren.A Mass is scheduled Friday at noon at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church, 3368 Esplanade Ave. The rosary and visitation will begin at 9:15 a.m.Burial will be in St. Louis Cemetery No. 3, 3421 Esplanade Ave. Gertrude Geddes Willis Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Dr. Helen B. Barnes, Class of 1958, Inducted into the University of Mississippi Medical Center's Medical Hall of Fame
8/9/2017
Dr. Helen B. Barnes, Class of 1958, has been inducted into the University of Mississippi Medical Center's Medical Hall of Fame. Dr. Barnes was inducted at the University of Mississippi Medical Center's Medical Alumni Awards Dinner on August 10, 2017. She served as Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.
Dr. Joye Carter, Class of 1983, featured on STEMcast podcast 'Defining Your Path to Forensic Pathology'
8/9/2017
Dr. Joye Carter, Class of 1983, was recently featured on the July STEMcast podcast titled 'Defining Your Path to Forensic Pathology'. The episode discusses Dr. Carter's journey as a forensic pathologist, which started at the age of 14. The importance of a pathologist's role in jury selection, and the insight she has gained from traveling for work and pleasure. 

Dr. Carter is a board certified forensic pathologist and the first African-American to be appointed a Chief Medical Examiner in the history of the United States. She has worked as the deputy Chief Medical Examiner of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner Department, Chief Medical Examiner of the District of Columbia, and Chief Medical Examiner of Harris County (Houston), Texas. She is also the first African-American and female to be appointed as the Chief Forensic Pathologist to the Coroner of Indianapolis, Indiana.

Listen to the podcast
Dr. Pamela Coleman, Class of '81, Recognized as Pinnacle Professional of the Year by Who's Who
8/9/2017
Dr. Pamela W. Coleman, Class of '81, has been recognized by Continental Who's Who as a Pinnacle Professional of the Year in the medical field. Dr. Coleman is Interim Chief of and an Associate Professor of Urology at Howard University Hospital (HUH) in Washington, D.C. She earned her Bachelors of Science in chemistry, with a minor in math, from Georgetown University and then completed her medical degree at Howard University College of Medicine in 1981. She completed her post-doctoral training, including her general surgery internship and urology residency, at Montefiore Medical Center in New York before returning to Washington, D.C. She has been in practice for more than 30 years, since 1986, and has worked in her current role at HUH for the past seven years.

"Over the course of its 145-year history of providing the finest primary, secondary and tertiary health care services, Howard University Hospital, a level one trauma center, has become one of the most comprehensive healthcare facilities in the Washington, D.C.. metropolitan area," the hospital's website states.

Dr. Coleman is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and Female Pelvic Medicine & Re-constructive Surgery. She is a member of the International Association of Healthcare Professionals (Leading Physicians of the World), the National Medical Association, the American Urogynecologic Society, and the Society of Women in Urology. She is also licensed to practice medicine in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and New York.

In addition to patient care, Dr. Coleman provides urologic instruction to numerous medical students as the Urology Clerkship Director at Howard University College of Medicine. She also trains resident physicians in the Departments of Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Family Medicine at Howard University Hospital, and residents in Family Medicine at Georgetown University and Providence Hospital.

Dr. Coleman is also an avid researcher. She has published research articles in multiple peer-reviewed journals, and has contributed abstracts and presentations at a number of professional association meetings. Her research interests include renal cell carcinoma, renal malakoplakia, vulvar angiomyofibroblastoma, as well as health disparities in prostate cancer.

When not working, teaching, or conducting research, Dr. Coleman volunteers her time to the Men Take Ten Prostate Cancer Education Program and walks for various causes including breast cancer and children's cancers. She also enjoys exercising and participating in triathlons. She recently completed her 12th Ironman and is now qualified for Ironman in Kona, Hawaii this Fall of 2017.

"I attribute my success to my mother, who was a pioneer in the field," Dr. Coleman said.
Dr. Coleman dedicates this recognition to her mother, A. Marie Coleman, who worked hard in her career at NASA. Also to her twin sister, Tamara, her brother, Carlton, and her father, Warren. Coleman notes that she would also like to thank, "my heavenly Father for this monumental opportunity and recognition."
Dr. Melvin Maclin, Class of '94, Named 2017 Top Doctor in St. Louis, MO
8/9/2017
Respected Plastic Surgeon, Melvin M. Maclin II, MD '94, at Parkcrest Plastic Surgery, and affiliated with Missouri Baptist Medical Center and Des Peres Hospital, has been named a 2017 Top Doctor in St. Louis, Missouri. Top Doctor Awards is dedicated to selecting and honoring those healthcare practitioners who have demonstrated clinical excellence while delivering the highest standards of patient care.

Dr. Maclin II is a native of Chicago, and highly experienced surgeon. He received his undergraduate degree with highest honors from Howard University in Washington, D.C. where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He graduated top in his class in medical school from Howard University College of Medicine, and was likewise elected to Alpha Omega Alpha, the National Medical Honor Society. He then fully completed his training in general surgery at Howard University Hospital with two years of research at the National Institutes of Health. He finished his many years of surgical training at Washington University School of Medicine’s Barnes-Jewish Hospital in Plastics and Reconstructive Surgery.

Dr. Maclin is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions for his excellence, including being named “Teacher of the Year” twice during his tenure.  After joining a Parkcrest Plastic Surgery in St. Louis, he has been recognized as one of St. Louis’ prestigious Top Doctors in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery since 2008.  As a dedicated breast reconstruction surgeon Dr. Maclin continues to publish and contribute to peer reviewed journals to extend his experience to others. Dr. Maclin is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and provides a comprehensive range of plastic, reconstructive and cosmetic surgical solutions. Expert procedures undertaken by him include breast augmentation and reduction, body contouring, brow lifts and face lifts, and the application of Botox. He is also renowned as a specialist in plastic hand surgery.

In addition to his surgical expertise, Dr. Maclin is the father of 2 sons, founder of Innovative Medical Software, a former international competitor as a second degree black-belt in Taekwondo and is currently working on his brown belt in Aikido. As one of the few ARP certified Ringside Physician in Missouri he is very active in the St. Louis MMA community where he works to ensure the safety of the fighter before, during and after events.  He is also past Vice President, and a current Medical Director for Gateway to Hope, a charitable organization dedicated to providing complete and comprehensive care to women with breast cancer without insurance. His dedication and commitment makes Dr. Melvin M. Maclin II a very worthy winner of a 2017 Top Doctor Award.
Dr. James R. Williams, M.D. '80 Named Medical Director at Kennedy Health, NJ
7/18/2017
James R. Williams, M.D. '80, has been named Medical Director of the newly opened Center for Advanced Wound Care & Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy at Kennedy in Cherry Hill, NJ. Chronic wounds affect 6.7 million people in the U.S. and the incidence is rising fueled by an aging population and increasing rates of diseases and conditions, such as diabetes, obesity and the late effects of radiation therapy.

In his new role, Dr. Williams will provide clinical leadership and care, along with Kennedy's team of wound care specialists at the center, which offers leading-edge treatments for non-healing wounds, including: hyperbaric oxygen therapy, negative pressure therapies, bioengineered tissues, and biosynthetics. Once a patient's chronic wound is healed, they are returned to their primary care physician to continue non-wound-related care.

Dr. Williams joins Kennedy's new Center for Advanced Wound Care & Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy at Kennedy - Cherry Hill from the Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) in Camden. Dr. Williams is Board Certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, and completed both his Residency (Internal Medicine) and Fellowship (Infectious Diseases) at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. He resides with his family in Swedesboro.
Dr. Katherine Overton, Class of 1980, Joins Family HealthCare Network
6/7/2017
Family HealthCare Network of California added Dr. Katherine Overton, Class of 1980, to its provider team. Patients at FHCN’s Hanford Health Center will have access to OB/GYN services from Dr. Overton. Dr. Overton earned her Bachelor of Arts in biology from the University of California, San Diego and her medical degree from the Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C.
St. Thomas Department of Health Names Dr. Tai Hunte-Ceasar, Class of 2005, New Medical Director
6/7/2017
Dr. Tai Hunte-Ceasar, Class of 2005, has been named the new medical director at the St. Thomas Department of Health.

After medical school, Dr. Hunte-Ceasar completed an internal medicine residency program and a fellowship in infectious diseases at Jackson Memorial Hospital at the University of Miami (UM). During residency, Hunte-Ceasar joined the Jay Weiss Residency for Global Health Equity, which integrated global health and internal medicine training. As a Jay Weiss resident, she obtained a Master’s of Science Degree in Public Health at UM and completed international electives in countries in the Caribbean, South America and in South Africa.

Having a desire to put her medical skills to use at “home,” Hunte-Ceasar returned to St. Thomas in 2011 to work in the public and private sectors.  She is certified with the American Board of Internal Medicine for Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases and has served as the DOH’s Territorial Infectious Diseases physician and the medical director of the Communicable Diseases Division (CDD) Clinic for six years (Oct. 2011 through May 2017), providing HIV/STD/TB care.

In addition to her new role as the medical director, Hunte-Ceasar will continue to be a provider at the DOH’s CDD clinic. She is also the chairwoman for the Infection Control Department and provides infectious disease consultations at the Schneider Regional Medical Center (SRMC).

Previously, she served as the chief of medicine at SRMC from January 2015 to May 2017. Dr. Hunte-Ceasar is a staff member of the AIDS Education Training Center, where she provides HIV/AIDS education to local clinicians in the territory. Upon returning to St. Thomas, she married a local pharmacy owner, and they have one daughter.
In Memoriam: Dr. Sanche Graham, Class of 2015
6/7/2017
On May 31, 2017, Dr. Sanche K. Graham was unexpectedly called home to rest with our Lord and Savior. Sanche was a vibrant force; she was charismatic, beautiful, and undeniably brilliant. She was the type of person to completely illuminate a room, and it was impossible for her to go unnoticed. Dr. Graham was also an incredibly compassionate and dedicated physician, serving the women of her community in their most vulnerable states, and bringing life into this world as an obstetrician and gynecologist.
 
Dr. Graham’s imprint on this world and our hearts will never be forgotten. To ease the burden of her passing, we are asking for monetary donations to support her family in this time of loss and to fund her memorial services. Thank you for taking the time to remember our beloved Sanche, and for donating to this unforeseen tragedy.

Dr. Sanche Graham's funeral will be held on Friday, June 9th from 5-7pm at Calvary Tabernacle , 78 N Franklin Street, Hempstead, NY 11550. The viewing will be from 7-9pm, and the repast at 9pm. Her burial will take place on Saturday, June 10th at 9am.
Dr. Blanche Bourne-Tyree, Class of 1941, Celebrates 100th Birthday
6/7/2017
When Dr. Blanche Bourne-Tyree was born, the U.S. had just entered WWI. The Frederick woman celebrated a century on the planet as friends and relatives from as far as Rhode Island and even Japan reflected on her legacy in the medical field.

Dr. Bourne-Tyree, who turned 100 on May 18th, is credited with being the first woman in Frederick County to hold a medical license.

Well-wishers gathered at Northampton Manor in Frederick became emotional when speaking about the impact Bourne-Tyree has had on the community, but she was somewhat demure on the subject of her legacy. When asked if she had words of wisdom to share, she laughed and said she didn’t.
“I can’t believe I made it,” she said. “I can’t stop crying, but I’m happy.”

Bourne-Tyree was one of five women to graduate from Howard University’s College of Medicine in 1941. She worked as a pediatrician in St. Louis and Cincinnati, then moved on to become the deputy director of public health in Washington. Bourne-Tyree moved back to Frederick in 1979.

Firsts run in her family. Her father, Dr. Ulysses Grant Bourne, was the first African-American doctor in Frederick. He established the only hospital to serve African-American patients in Frederick at the time, the 1920s.

In 2014, the Frederick County government dedicated 355 Montevue Lane as the Bourne Building in his honor. “She adored her father,” her cousin Delma Bourne-Parran said. “She’s always continued her father’s legacy of service to others.”

Her great-nephew, Alec Jordan, traveled to Frederick from Japan to attend the celebration. “It means so much to be able to see her surrounded by so many friends,” he said. Looking back on his time with her, he said, he always remembered her elegance, intelligence and grace.

Friend and Living Treasures founder Joy Olney said Bourne-Tyree made an impression “always dressed to the hilt.” Bourne-Tyree cut a festive figure Thursday in a yellow floral top speckled with sequins and black patent leather shoes. Purple balloons were tied to the handle of her wheelchair. Frederick Mayor Randy McClement and a representative of Howard University presented Bourne-Tyree with certificates honoring her service to the community at her party. Dr. Wayne Frederick, President of Howard University, included a letter commending her for paving the way for black women in medicine.
In Memoriam: Dr. Carlos Forrester, Class of 1988
5/15/2017
Dr. Carlos Forrester, Class of 1988, passed on Monday, May 8, 2017 while in the Virgin Islands. Dr. Forrester was a weight management physician who practiced in Pascagoula, MS. He was 56 years old.
HUCM Students Participate in 4th Annual Endo March
4/27/2017
This past March saw the Howard University Student Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology (HUSSOG) participate in the 4th Annual Endometriosis Worldwide March and DC Rally. Panelists included Drs. Farr Nezhat, Hal Lawrence, Kevin Smith, James Robinson, Alan Decherney and Mr. Sean Tipton. The event was sponsored by HUMAA. 

Participants described the pain and confusion associated with the disease syptoms, telling their stories as part of a worldwide effort to focus attention on the ailment. The march was founded in the District three years ago by three brothers, Drs. Camran, Farr, Ceana Nezhat, and their niece, Dr. Azadeh Nezhat. 

One woman, 29, told of how the disease had robbed her of the ability to have children. A 17-year-old said she was diagnosed with the disease two years ago. The pain causes her to miss school, she said.

Dr. Vanessa Nunes, a medical resident at Howard University Hospital, said she and her husband haven’t been able to have children so far because of the disease.

Dr. Hal Lawrence, a North Carolina obstetrician and gynecologist, told the audience of a young lady who had so much pain during her menstrual cycle because of endometriosis, “she actually became uncontrollable. (Doctors) thought she had a psychiatric illness,” Lawrence said. “They wanted her to go see a psychiatrist.”

After doctors did a thorough examination, they discovered endometriosis had taken over one of the woman’s ovaries, he said, and after removing the endometriosis, her psychosis was cured.
Endometriosis occurs when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus is found outside the uterus on other parts of the body. It causes pain, excessive bleeding and can lead to infertility. It affects girls and women during their most productive years, and can impact all aspects of their lives – school, careers, finances, relationships and overall well-being.

Generally, the disease is found in the pelvic cavity. It can attach to any of the female reproductive organs, or any of the spaces between the bladder, uterus, vagina, and rectum. It can also be found also on the bladder, bowel, intestines, appendix or rectum.

Dr. James Robinson, director of Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery at the MedStar Washington Hospital Center, talked about symptoms for women to watch. “If you have nose bleeds that happen only when you’re on your period, you’ve got endometriosis in your nasal passages,” Robinson said.
Other symptoms that can occur during the menstrual cycle include blindness, bloody coughs and skin rashes. Unfortunately, many doctors are unclear as to how endometriosis presents itself, he said. “These are things that we have to teach our other doctors that don’t think about women’s health care to start thinking about,” he said.

Women may go years without being diagnosed, because they believe symptoms are a normal part of menstruation, the doctors attending the event said. Young girls may see their moms, aunts and other women in their lives go through similar symptoms and think nothing of it, they said.

Dr. Kevin Scott Smith, a minimally invasive gynecologic surgeon at Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group, said the important part of curing and managing endometriosis is creating more awareness among men and women. “If we had to create a campaign, it would be called ‘Ask About Endometriosis,’” he told the audience. “That’s everyone sitting here, that’s every medical student who is going to evaluate a female patient going forward, every resident that’s going to be treating, and telling your friends.”
HUCM Students Elected to the Student National Medical Association
4/27/2017

The Annual Medical Education Conference (AMEC) took place in Atlanta this past month. Student National Medical Association President Jasmine Ginn reported that several HUCM students sat on panels, as well as presented research poster presentations. Various HUCM students were also elected to leadership positions, including:

National Leadership:
- National President Elect- Gabriel Felix (M2)- a two-year position; Gabriel will serve as the National President Elect for 2017-2018 and National President for 2018-2019
- National Parliamentarian- Johnothan Smileye (M1)
- National Community Service Committee Liaison- Oluwaseun Shobitan (M3)

Regional Leadership for Region VI (DC, MD, and VA):
- Regional Director- Marius Chukwurah (M3)- continuing the second year of his two-year term
- Assistant Regional Director- Kristen Bailey (M2)
- Regional Recording Secretary- Marika Tate (M2)
- Regional Corresponding Secretary- Onyekachi Ezeibe (M1)
- Regional Parliamentarian- Dominique Durante (M2)

HUCM was elected as the host institution for the 2018 Regional Leadership Institute for pre-medical and medical students within the DMV. It will consist of workshops geared towards enhancing leadership qualities with leadership development activities. It will be beneficial for students interested in holding future leadership roles at any level in any organization, as well as a good opportunity to showcase HUCM facilities and faculty, especially for pre-medical students interested in applying to medical school.

 

In Memoriam: Dr. Donna L. Johnson, Class of 1968
4/27/2017
Dr. Donna Lynn Johnson, Class of 1968, passed away peacefully at home on April 6, 2017, surrounded by her family. She was born in Chicago on April 27, 1945. She attended the Chicago Lab School. At age 15, she left high school to attend Fisk University in Nashville. At 19, Dr. Johnson begand medical school at Howard University. After graduating, she married her former classmate, Dr. Percy David Mitchell Jr. Donna and Percy completed their residencies in New York, and had their first son, Percy David Mitchell III.

The family moved to Dayton, where they had two daughters, Nancy and Tiffany. In 1979, Dr. Johnson moved to Chicago to continue her opthalmology practice on South Jeffrey Boulevard. Dr. Johnson is survived by her sisters Nancy and Judge Moira Johnson, her three children, her son-in-law James and two grandchildren, Andrew and Madeleine. Dr. Johnson was an intelligent and loving doctor, sister, cousin, mother, grandmother, aunt and dear friend to a community of people who will love and miss her dearly.
In Memoriam: Dr. Frank N. Beckles, Class of 1966
4/27/2017
Born on September 18, 1934, in Christ Church, Barbados, to Guyanese parents Winslow and Ines Beckles, Dr. Frank N. Beckles was the sixth of seven children. Dr. Beckles was an authority on suicide in Guyana and wrote extensively on the subject. He attended the George Washington University, where he completed a Bachelors of Science Degree in Zoology and Howard University School of Medicine, where he graduated in 1966.

Dr. Beckles joined the Peace Corps and served in Gabon and Niger before returning to the United States where he pursued psychiatry studies at the University of Maryland’s Institute of Psychiatry and Human Behaviour. In 1997 he returned to Guyana and set up a Psychiatry practice.
Lawrence Reynolds, M.D. '79, Named as Member of Michigan Environmental Justice Work Group
3/24/2017
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has announced the members of the new Environmental Justice Work Group, which will work to better understand current policy and develop guidelines to better serve all Michiganders. “Ensuring every Michigander has the same protections from environmental and health hazards is of the utmost importance. My goal for this group is to have thoughtful, productive conversations about this complex issue and I look forward to their recommendations and insight on this topic,” Snyder said.

The creation of the work group follows direct recommendations from the Flint Water Advisory Task Force and the Flint Water Interagency Coordinating Committee’s Policy Subcommittee. Both the FWATF and the FWICC were created by Gov. Snyder to review the crisis that occurred in Flint with its water system.

Dr. Reynolds of Flint is the President and CEO of Mott Children’s Health Center. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Wayne State University and a medical degree from Howard University College of Medicine. He will represent the medical community.

The new Environmental Justice group will be tasked with examining policy issues and developing guidance, training, and curriculum for state and local agencies.
Clarence Washington, M.D. '71, Joins Trios Medical Group in Kennewick, WA
3/24/2017
Neurologist Clarence Washington has joined Trios Medical Group in Kennewick, WA. Prior to joining Trios, Dr. Washington practiced in Richland, WA and has provided neurological consulting services to all three area hospitals since 1980. He has also served as a consultant and speaker for a variety of high profile pharmaceutical and other organizations nationwide, focused primarily on headaches, stroke, dementia and Alzheimer’s.

After graduating from Howard University College of Medicine, Dr. Washington completed an internship at the U.S. Public Health Service Hospital in Staten Island, N.Y., his medical residency at the U.S. Public Health Service Hospital in Baltimore, Md., and neurology residency at University of Washington in Seattle. He is board certified in neurology and internal medicine.
LaKimberly Pearson Price, M.D. '09, Joins Intown Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine in Atlanta, GA
3/24/2017
Dr. LaKimberly Nicole Price has joined the practice of Intown Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine in Atlanta, GA.

At Howard, Price also served as the Student National Medical Association’s Chair of the Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students, a program she helped to charter at Emory University as an undergraduate student. Additionally, Price was the American Academy of Pediatrics liaison for the College of Medicine’s Pediatric Interest Association, as well as the community service chairwoman for her senior class.

In 2009, Price matched in pediatrics with her No. 1 choice for residency programs, Morehouse College of Medicine of Atlanta. Price worked as a pediatric resident at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. During her last year of residency, Price served as chief resident, overseeing her 17 other physician colleagues.

Price accepted a rural physician scholarship; therefore, upon completion of residency, Price started her own inpatient and outpatient solo practice in the Savannah area, where she practiced from 2012-16. At this practice, Price attended deliveries, performed rounds in the nursery, admitted pediatric patients to the hospital, and ran a full-time pediatric clinic providing health checks.During her last year with the practice, Price was nominated for Best Pediatrician in Liberty County.

Price is currently a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association. 
Tom Thomas, M.D. '05, Named as Medical Director of Head and Neck Reconstructive Surgery at the Kahn Institute, NJ
3/24/2017
Dr. Tom Thomas, Class of 2005, has been named Medical Director of head and neck reconstructive surgery and transoral robotic surgery for the Leonard B. Kahn Head & Neck Cancer Institute at Morristown Medical Center. Dr. Thomas brings innovation and new talent to the Institute’s growing minimally invasive surgery program.

A multidisciplinary team of specialists at the Leonard B. Kahn Head & Neck Cancer Institute evaluate and treat the entire spectrum of head and neck cancers, from early stage to the most complex advanced cancers of the throat, voice box, salivary glands, thyroid gland, mouth, lips, nose, and sinuses.

Dr. Thomas comes to Atlantic Health System from Dana Farber Cancer Institute, a principal teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School in Boston where he was the associate director of transoral robotic surgery (TORS). His focus is on minimally invasive surgical techniques such as TORS and Transoral Laser Microsurgery (TLM).

“We are excited to have Dr. Thomas join our growing team of highly experienced head and neck specialists,” said Eric Whitman, MD, medical director, Atlantic Health System Cancer Care. “With Dr. Thomas and other nationally-known experts joining our team we are the most comprehensive and highly-skilled head and neck cancer program in New Jersey, and one of the strongest in the nation. “Dr. Thomas has expertise in treating all head and neck cancers including but not limited to squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, melanoma, Merkel cell carcinoma, various salivary gland carcinomas, thyroid and parathyroid cancers, laryngeal cancers, sinus and skull base cancers.

His minimally invasive surgical techniques, combined with a microvascular reconstructive surgical approach, helps to preserve important functions such as speech and swallowing that can be affected by head and neck cancer and its treatments. Dr. Thomas has extensive experience in Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) related head and neck cancer, especially oropharyngeal (tonsil and base of tongue) cancers. He lectures on this topic nationally and internationally.“I am excited to be part of a nationally ranked, magnet healthcare system where the leadership is focused on patient centered care and healthcare innovation,” said Dr. Thomas. “I am looking forward to working with our multidisciplinary head and neck cancer team and growing our head and neck cancer program as the best in the state and in the country.”

Head and neck cancer is the sixth most common cancer in the U.S., with more than 60,000 new cases and over 13,000 deaths each year. Though tobacco and alcohol use can raise the risk of developing the disease, exposure to the human papillomavirus (HPV) poses an even greater risk. People who have had an oral HPV infection have a 50 times greater risk of developing head and neck cancer versus the general population. Currently, nearly three quarters of head and neck tumors test positive for HPV. A growing number of these newly diagnosed cases are among men in their forties and fifties.

Dr. Thomas received his medical degree from the Howard University College of Medicine with the highest academic honor of AOA (Alpha Omega Alpha). He completed his surgical internship at The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, and his otolaryngology residency at the Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO. He then had additional fellowship training in head and neck surgical oncology, microvascular surgery and TransOral Robotic Surgery (TORS) at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. After completing his fellowship, he joined the medical staff at Dana Farber Cancer Institute and was associate surgeon at Harvard Medical School - Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. ‎In addition, he has a Master of Public Health degree from John Hopkins School of Public Health in Baltimore. He is affiliated with Atlantic Medical Group, and is a participating provider of Atlantic Accountable Care Organization.
Reyna L. Gilmore, M.D. '08, Recognized as 'Professional of the Year'
3/24/2017
Reyna L. Gilmore, MD '08, of Cincinnati, Ohio has been recognized as a Professional of the Year for 2017 by Strathmore’s Who’s Who Worldwide Edition for her outstanding contributions and achievements in the field of healthcare.

Dr. Gilmore has 8 years experience in the healthcare field. She is a self-employed Psychiatrist providing patient care in Cincinnati, Ohio, specializing in child and adolescent psychiatry. She provides therapy and medication as needed. She is passionate about suicide prevention, cultural psychiatry, and psychoeducation. Dr. Gilmore is affiliated with the A.P.A. and the A.A.C.A.P.

Dr. Gilmore has been featured in the Women of Distinction magazine and has earned many accomplishments including: The Inaugural Resident of the Year Award at Morehouse School of Medicine in 2011; The EY Williams Resident of Distinction Award presented by the National Medical Association in 2011; and the Brian McConville M.D. Award upon completion of her child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in 2013.

Born on March 29, 1981 in Melbourne, Florida, Dr. Gilmore obtained a M.D. from Howard University College of Medicine in 2008. She completed her Residency at Morehouse School of Medicine in 2011 and her Fellowship at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in 2013. In her spare time, she enjoys sports, reading, spending time with friends and loved ones, and fine arts.

Ms. Gilmore states, "Live your life to the fullest and don't allow others to dictate your fate."
In Memoriam: William E. Brown, M.D. '66
3/6/2017
Dr. William E. Brown’s breath of service to the medical profession and to others is unprecedented.  He used his knowledge and energy to make significant contributions in medical administration and leadership.

Dr. Brown was born in New York City and was educated in the public schools, attending the prestigious Stuyvesant High School and the City College of New York (CCNY). William excelled in Track and Field in both high school and college, earning Varsity Letters. Majoring in biology and chemistry at the City College of New York, he developed a flair for politics and was elected to every office in CCNY’s Student Government except Secretary. During his senior year, he served as CCNY’s Student Government President.  

His mother, Elizabeth, and his stepfather, William H. Bell, instilled in him a drive to succeed and to give something back to others. This early emphasis on service greatly influenced his work in the medical profession and service to his community. Often characterized as “one who marches to the beat of a different drum,” his choice of a profession was an early indicator of interest and service to others.  After earning his Master’s degree in Human Relations from New York University, he decided to switch gears completely and pursue studies in medicine. Dr. Brown’s medical training began in 1960 at Howard University College of Medicine. During his freshman year, the “drum beat” sounded again. Dr. Brown became intrigued by Dr. Edward Hawthorne’s Physiology Research Laboratory and began spending as much time there as in the anatomy lab. For the next two years, he would be registered, both at Howard University’s graduate and medical schools.  Eventually, medicine won out and Dr. Brown graduated with a medical degree in 1966.

The next influence in shaping his career was Dr. F. J. Clark, former Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Freedman’s Hospital. After graduating from medical school, Dr. Brown was accepted as an Obstetrics and Gynecology resident at Freedman’s Hospital. During his residency, Dr. Brown was accepted into The Berry Plan, that guaranteed completion of residency for two years of military service. During his second year of residency at D.C. General Hospital, a mutual friend introduced him to Hattie Irene Carey, who became his bride and they continue to enjoyed forty-eight years of marriage. In 1971, Dr. Brown began his military service as a Major in the United States Army at Fort George Meade in Maryland, spending his third year as Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology Service. While still in the military, in 1973, Dr. Brown became a Diplomate of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and in 1974, he became a fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

In 1974, he returned to Howard University where he served as Assistant Professor for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He also served as Director of Medical Services from 1974 to 1977, Project Director from 1977 to 1978, and Medical Director from 1981 to 1987, at the Center for Family Planning Services of Howard University Hospital.  From 1984 to 1986, Dr. Brown served as President of the Medical Dental Staff of Howard University Hospital, as well as President of the National Capital Medical Foundation (Professional Services Review Organization). In 1984, Dr. Brown served as President of the Medico-Chirurgical Society of the District of Columbia. Dr. Brown has been active in the Medical Society of the District of Columbia and served as the Alternate Delegate of the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates from 1981 to 1992. He was the first Chair of the Hospital Medical Staff Relations Committee from 1987 to 1988. Dr. Brown was elected Executive Secretary of the National Medical Association (NMA) from 1986 to 1989; and Secretary of the NMA’s House of Delegates from 1991 to 1993. He Chaired the Committee on Administrative and Fiscal Affairs of the House of Delegates from 1990 to 1991; and for several years beginning in 1999, served as the Parliamentarian of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Section.Dr. Brown served as a member of the Executive Board, Howard University Medical Alumni Association (HUMAA) from 1990 to 1993, as Treasurer from 1993 to 2000, and as President from 2000-2002. As an active member of the Daniel Hale Williams Reading Club since 1984, he was President for several years beginning in 1999.  Demonstrating his profound interest in improving his community, Dr. Brown served as President of the Organization of Black Progress.

Over the years, Dr. Brown professional appointments have included: Consultant to the Montgomery County School System on Prevention of Teenage Pregnancy; Member of the District of Columbia Commission on Licensure for the Healing Arts, 1984 to 1986; District of Columbia Board of Medicine, 1989 to 1999.  He served as Vice Chair, 1994 to 1995 and Chair, 1995 to 1998.  While serving on the Commission in 1986, Dr. Brown was appointed to the Department of Human Services (DHS) Director’s Task Force on Birthing Centers.

If all of his affiliations, positions and appointments both locally and nationally were included, they would only tell a small part of Dr. Brown’s legacy.  His desire to give something back to others went beyond institutions and organizations.  In 1992, when the American Medical Association failed to adopt a proposal that would  have made it an ethical duty to care for the poor, Dr. Brown was quoted by the Chicago Sun-Times, “I rue the day when [Doctors] come out against giving care to the poor.”  
Dr. Brown’s achievements would not have been possible without the love and support of his family, Hattie, Bill Jr. and his daughter, Leslie, who in 1999 became a living donor for her father’s kidney transplant.Dr. William E. Brown, M.D.’s impact on Howard University’s medical and academic community is profound and prolific, but only second to the impact that the Howard University community has had on him.

The funeral for Dr. William E. Brown, Class of 1966, will be held on Friday, March 10th. There will be a viewing/family hour from 9.30am. The service will begin at 11am at Howard University's Andrew Rankin Chapel, 6th Street NW & Howard Place NW, Washington, DC 20059. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to to the William E. Brown MD Memorial Scholarship Fund at HUMAA, 2225 Georgia Avenue NW, Suite 801, Washington, DC 20059.
 
The burial will take place at St. Paul's Rock Creek Cemetery, 100 Allison Street NW, Washington, DC 20011 following the service. A repast will follow the burial. Messages of condolence can be sent to Mrs. Hattie Brown at 3144 Gracefield Rd Apt 207, Silver Spring, MD 20904-5880. 
In Memoriam: Dr. Leroy Brown, M.D. '58
1/30/2017
Leroy Bradford Brown, Sr., M.D. was born on 6/5/29 in Detroit, Michigan, to Allie Brown and Fannie Hubbard Brown. With his older brother Herbert “turtle dove” Brown, the family lived in Detroit where his father, an engineering graduate, worked for the Henry Ford Motor Co.  Sadly, when Leroy was just one year old, his father died of meningitis.

Unemployed, Fannie took her two sons to her ancestral home in Orangeburg, SC, where life was ruled by the strict law and order of his grandfather, Charlie Hubbard, also known as Boss Charlie. Born in slavery just two years before the end of the Civil War, Boss Charlie owned a 400-acre farm, where Leroy became convinced that only an education would save him from a life spent plowing and viewing the backside of a mule. Exceptionally intelligent and hard working, he completed high school by age 14 and hoped to go to college. However, after falling out with Boss Charlie over his wages, he was sent back to live with his mother, who had by that point remarried. Rejected by his stepfather, he began living and working with his uncle Robert “Ebbie” Hubbard, who trained him to be a master carpenter, a skill he would utilize the rest of his life. 

At 17, Leroy enlisted in the military just after the end of WW II. He joined the Marines, because a recruiter told him that African Americans were allowed to fly fighter planes. However, upon starting boot camp at Camp LeJeune, SC he discovered the recruiter had been lying, and he wouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the planes he so wanted to fly. Eventually, he was honorably discharged as a Corporal in 1952. 

While he couldn’t fly the planes he loved, he did pursue the greatest love of his life, for it was in the Marines that he first glimpsed the photo of a young woman named Ola Augusta Watkins. Mesmerized by the woman with the flowing black hair, he begged her brother Price Watkins for her address, and promptly began writing to her faithfully. The first time he got military leave he went to meet her and immediately proposed, but she said no. Disappointed but persistent, Leroy continued to write.
Returning to Mississippi on a second leave, Leroy proposed again. His prospects were improving—this time, she said maybe. Asking what it would take to get a yes, Ola said she always wanted to marry a doctor. Leroy, who had been hoping to become an aeronautical engineer, quickly let her know that it was his lifelong dream to become a doctor. She finally said yes, and taking no chances, Leroy whisked her across the state line to Arkansas where one could get married in a day. They were married on January 3, 1952.  

Leroy, now in college on the GI Bill, discreetly changed his major to chemistry and started applying to medical school. He graduated from South Carolina State College with all A’s except for a C in French (and if you had heard him speak it, you’d be amazed he was even able to get a C).

Leroy was accepted to the Univ. of South Carolina School of Medicine, a ‘whites only’ school. When the notorious segregationist Senator Strom Thurmond, heard this, he arranged for Leroy to receive a unique offer: the state would pay his tuition if he attended the local ‘black only’ medical school. Leroy raised the stakes: he would take the tuition only if he could go to the prestigious Howard University in Washington, D.C. So Leroy received $500 annually from the state of S.C. while Ola worked at the Seventh-day Adventist hospital to cover their remaining expenses. During that time, Leroy B. Brown, Jr. and Rene Brown, were born. Leroy often dragged his sleepy boys to medical school with him, where he graduated with a specialty in Internal Medicine.  

Leroy completed his internship at Fresno County Hospital where his daughter Rita B. Bermudez was born. A year later, they moved to Sacramento. Working side by side, Leroy and Ola opened a private practice in internal medicine. Ola was the nurse, receptionist, typist, and ‘the boss’. Concurrently, Leroy worked for the Dept. of Corrections as the prison doctor.  Leroy finally took flying lessons and fulfilled his life-long ambition to become a licensed pilot. This led to his career as an FAA medical examiner, where he was able to share his love of aviation and God with the pilots who were his life-long friends. He purchased a Beechcraft Baron and Super Cub, and with Ola in the co-pilot’s seat, they crisscrossed the country numerous times. 

In 1964, Leroy and Ola, with the help of their children, began building the house of their dreams along the Sacramento River. For seven years, they both came home from their office to work on their home. But what a home – finely constructed with steel foundation, brick exterior, hard wood flooring, and wood paneling - it was everything Ola wanted. 

In their 60s, both Leroy and Ola took up karate with their grandchildren EB and Justin Bermudez. All four earned their black belts, with Ola even karate-chopping a board with her elbow on one memorable occasion.

First and foremost, Leroy and Ola enjoyed sharing their love for God. During his many years of medical practice, Leroy would often recollect numerous stories about his “dear heavenly Father,” and how much he loved Him. Both were members of the Church of God 7th day where Leroy, being an orphan himself, started the widows and orphans fund. 

Leroy will be deeply missed by his family and friends for his strong values, generous nature, and, above all, the deep and everlasting love they had for each other. Preceded in death by their oldest son Leroy Bradford Brown, Jr., they are survived by their two younger children, Rene Brown and Rita Brown Bermudez, and their six grandchildren Daniel Brown, EB Bermudez, Kathryn Brown, Justin Bermudez, Augusta Brown, and Tamara Brown, in addition to a large extended family which includes many pilots, patients, and colleagues.
In Memoriam: Alvin Blount Jr., M.D. '47
1/30/2017
Dr. Alvin Blount, 94, who died January 6 2017, left a legacy found in legal books, but also through people whose lives he touched. 

Blount is best known as one of the plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit that desegregated Moses Cone and other hospitals. In the 1962 landmark Simkins v. Moses H. Cone Hospital case, the doctors found a legal loophole through the federal Hill-Burton Act, which said federal dollars for public facilities could not be used to discriminate. The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed. When the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case, it hastened the integration of hospitals for African American doctors and their patients. The case was considered as important to integrating hospitals as Brown v. Board of Education was to integrating schools.

Blount would be the first black doctor to operate at Moses Cone. He remembers performing that first gall bladder surgery, partly because of the “Glad to see you” and “Bless my soul” comments he heard from the black nurses and custodians who were working that day. Cone Health System officially apologized to Blount last year. A historical marker honoring the case stands on North Elm Street, adjacent to Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital.

But Blount wasn’t waiting on an apology.“We knew L. Richardson did what it could with what it had, but that wasn’t enough,” Blount once told the News & Record of L. Richardson Hospital, where black people were treated at the time. Back then, the newer Moses Cone had all the latest instruments and equipment. But as the lawsuit argued, it excluded black doctors and dentists.“It resulted in a stronger local health system ... once you got race out of the way,” Blount said.

Blount, who grew up near Raleigh, was a 1943 graduate of N.C. A&T. After medical school at Howard University, he served as chief of surgery for a M.A.S.H. unit in Korea where he was the only black doctor on the medical teams made famous by the movie and TV show. He worked shoulder to shoulder with white surgeons and found that he was as qualified as they were.That made it more difficult to come back to the United States and deal with segregated hospitals and a segregated society.

Blount and his wife, Gwen, a Bennett College alumnus, raised seven children as he built a practice here. She died in 2009. “My daddy was a gentle soul who wanted to do right by everyone,” said Gwen Blount Adolph, who is now a New York attorney.

When reached by phone, Adolph recalled the night the arm fell off brother Alvin III’s “bruised and battered” teddy bear, which he took everywhere. Alvin was inconsolable, and Gwen, who had over time restitched much of the stuffed animal, wasn’t home. “We all have this vivid memory of my dad taking needle and thread and operating on Teddy,” Adolph said. “We all gathered around, as if in an operating room. He was so patient and it was so important to my brother. It was as if everything else in the world had stopped. “That was Daddy.”

When others needed him, Blount had a similar response. When he was a student at A&T, young Otis Tillman needed a physical for his application to medical school but had little money. A classmate took him to see Blount.“He didn’t charge me anything. He told me he was proud to do it,” said Tillman, who attended Howard University, where Blount got his degree, because the medical schools in North Carolina were still segregated.

Tillman, now retired from practicing in High Point, said he has come across few people with Blount’s level of character. “He has left a mighty fine legacy,” Tillman said.When Dudley High School students were arrested during a 1963 civil rights demonstration, Blount and his wife fed them — and the jailers, too — while the bonds were being processed. Because of his kids, lots of young people from the neighborhood were in and out of his house and Blount always encouraged them to study hard. He overpaid a neighborhood kid to do odd jobs, like cleaning Blount’s office. The young man, Richard Peace, was struggling to pay his way through A&T. “He said, ‘Richie, I’m going to tell you something. We’re going to get you through this. You’ve come too far,’ ” recalled Peace, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel and financial planner, during one of the many ceremonies honoring Blount over the years.

An unofficial adviser to past A&T presidents, Blount raised millions of dollars for scholarships while leading the N.C. A&T Foundation and was awarded the highest honor for alumni. Blount was also awarded the inaugural Distinguished Service Lifetime Achievement Award as part of the United Way of Greater Greensboro’s African American Leadership Series. The Evans-Blount community health clinic in southeast Greensboro bears his name.

Blount kept up his medical certifications. After going to specialists from time to time, Frye, the first black man to serve as chief justice of the state Supreme Court, would still call Blount. “Before I did anything, I would check with Dr. Blount,” said Frye, also his Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity brother. “His mind was still very sharp.” Frye served with Blount in other organizations and said he was always a strong leader with great suggestions.“Sometimes,” Frye said with a laugh, “it would be more work than you wanted to do.”
In Memoriam: Dr. William N. Ricketts, M.D. '52
1/30/2017
Dr. William N. Ricketts was born in Jamaica, West Indes, educated at Howard University BS '48, Howard University College of Medicine MD '52, and was a Freedman's Hospital surgery resident in 1959.

Dr. Ricketts was a surgeon servant to the underserved in the greater Los Angeles area for over forty years. He was a loving husband of sixty-five years to Vera L. Ricketts, father of Renee, Verlie, Vicky,and Wendy; grandfather of Candice, Tommy, Stirling and Chloe and great-grandfather of Jaela.

Dr. Ricketts transitioned on Friday, December 23, 2016 at the age of 92. He was a stalwart member of the Howard University Medical Alumni Association (member of the last medical school class instructed by Dr. Charles Drew), the National Medical Association (where his wife Vera is a Past National Auxiliary President) and the Surgery Section of the National Medical Association (of which his daughter Dr. Wendy Ricketts Greene is currently chair). He has touched numerous lives here and abroad. He was always willing to open his home and medical practice to strangers, family, and friends in need. He was a gentleman and a scholar.  

In his final years Alzheimer's amplified his wit and charm. Outward expressions of affection and appreciation for all who cared for him would be followed by a heartfelt thank you, a loving kiss, and a reminder to all that "He loves you dearly."
In Memoriam: Dr. Norris Johnson, M.D. '77
1/30/2017
Dr. Norris Johnson, M.D. '77, was born on February 17, 1938 to Roosevelt and Fannie Downs Johnson of Lancaster County, Virginia. 

Dr. Johnson accepted Jesus Christ early in his life. He was baptized at Nottoway Baptist Church and remained a faithful member there until hemoved to Petersburg. In Petersburg, he joined the First Baptist Church-Harrison Street and later moved his membership to Gillfield Baptist Church having served as a member of the Trustee Ministry and the Health Ministry until his health failed.

He began his education in the Nottoway County School System graduating from Luther Foster High School in 1954 as Salutatorian of his class. In 1958, he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Horticulture from Virginia State College (now University). Norris was a very active member of Virginia State’s ROTC program and was commissioned by the United States Army as a Second Lieutenant. He was on active duty from December 4, 1958 to June 4, 1959. He was appointed as a Reserve Commissioned Officer and served as a Captain from 1958 to 1979.

In 1967, Norris pursued a Master of Science Degree in Biology through the National Science Program, at Virginia State College from which he graduated in 1968. In 1972, he enrolled in the Ph.D Program at Virginia Commonwealth University in the Department of Anatomy. However, in 1975 his interest changed and he enrolled in the Howard University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C. where he took the Doctor of Medicine degree in May 1977. He did his internship and residency in Family Practice, at VCU/MCV Division of Health Science, The Department of Family Practice at Chippenham Hospital and The Chesterfield FamilyPractice Center.

Dr. Johnson was an advocate for education. Many years were spent teaching. He will be remembered for his dedicated service teaching inNottoway, VA at Luther H. Foster High School; Prince Edward CountyFree School, Farmville, VA; Chesterfield County Public Schools,Chesterfield, VA; and Virginia State University, Petersburg, VA. He served for three years at Virginia State University as the Director of the Student Health Services and as the school’s Physician,concurrently establishing a private practice and founding the Ettrick Medical Center in Ettrick, Virginia. He served the Ettrick, Petersburg and surrounding areas until he became ill in 1999.

Dr. Johnson was very active in social, civic, and professional organizations to include: The American Medical Association; The Virginia Medical Society; The Richmond Academy of Medicine and The Richmond Medical Society. He was a past president of the Old Dominion Medical Society (the state-wide professional organization for Black physicians); a Past Basileus of the Delta Omega Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Dr. Johnson was the founding president of The Alexander Medical Society (Tri-City Black Doctors). He was a Boy Scout Leader; an organizer of the CAPAAMAAD; a Member of Beaux-Twenty Club; a supporter of the Ettrick Youth Association; a member of the Richmond Guardsmen, Inc.; a Life Member of The NAACP and a former member of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated (Alpha Beta Boule).

Dr. Johnson gave of his time, service, and money to strengthen the community and was recognized for his generosity. He received many awards including: Omega Man of the Year 1958 and 1988; Outstanding Citizen of the Year, Nu Psi Chapter- Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.1987; Minority Access to Research Award 1972; National Science Foundation Academic Year Award 1967; Virginia State University Certificate of Merit 1992; Chesterfield Delta Sigma Theta Alumnae Chapter Award - Black Male Role Model 1994; Petersburg Delta Sigma Theta Alumnae Chapter Award for Community Leadership 1995; Kiwanis Club of Petersburg Certificate of Appreciation for presentation on Aids-HIV Virus 1992; Boy Scouts of America- Crater District Scoutmaster’s Right Way Citation 1983; Matoaca High School Certificate of Appreciation for Cooperative Education 1982;Chesterfield Public Health Department Certification of Appreciation-Public/Private Corporation to increase the immunization rate among children living in the Tri-Cities area; Who’s Who Among Successful African Americans; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy Award for Citizenship 1995; Petersburg Public Schools Star of Excellence Award 2000.

He enjoyed fishing, playing cards, playing golf, watching footballgames (especially the Redskins), listening to music, reading, spending time with family and friends and helping others. These aspects of his life were very important.

He was preceded in death by his parents, step-father, William Clack,Sr.; daughter, Brenda Juacita; grandson, James Bryant; grandparents;all of his aunts and uncles and a number other relatives and friends. Dr. Johnson leaves to cherish his precious memory: his devoted wife of 55 years, Carrie Willis Johnson; a son, Norris Dwayne
Dr. Dexter Shurney, M.D. '83, Discusses His New Role at the Cummins LiveWell Center
1/27/2017
Dr. Dexter Shurney, M.D. '83, has joined a new LiveWell Center in Indiana. The Center, owned and operated by Cummins, an engine manufacturing company based in Indiana, is a health clinic that also offers vegan cooking lessons to its employees. Cummins, long an innovator in technology and corporate best practices, is trying a new approach to tackle one of the business world's knottiest problems -- the skyrocketing cost of U.S. health care. The LiveWell Center offers not only easy-access traditional health care services, but also advice to help employees and their families lead healthier lives.

The clinic, staffed by 46 health care professionals, offers services including traditional primary care medicine, radiology, a medical lab, physical therapy, massage, acupuncture, chiropractic, optometry, mental health and, perhaps most unconventionally, the cooking classes.

Dr. Shurney, a nationally recognized expert in preventive medicine, has helped Cummins build the health clinic based on preventing diseases rather than simply treating them. Dr. Shurney believes the best way to fight diseases is to not get them in the first place. "The reason lifestyle is such an important issue is 75 percent of all our chronic diseases are due to lifestyle issues. If you're really not addressing lifestyle, you're not going to move the needle in terms of health. If you want to get off your medications, come to the center. "We can reverse Type 2 diabetes with lifestyle. We have patients that were on insulin and oral hypoglycemics that are no longer taking insulin." 

The LiveWell Center already has created quite a buzz. Shurney says companies and institutions such as Subaru, Caterpillar, Genentech, Purdue University and the University of Pittsburgh have expressed interest in the Cummins experiment.

There's good reason. Health care costs for large corporations will rise more than 5 percent in 2017, nearly triple the rate of the rest of the economy, according to a survey by the National Business Group on Health in Washington, D.C., a group of 425 large employers.

At Cummins, some new anti-cholesterol drugs can cost as much as $14,000 per year per employee.Says Steve Wojcik, vice president of public policy at the group: "Over the last two to three years, it's been pretty steady -- 5 percent is much faster than the overall growth in the economy and growth in wages. So it's still a problem in trying to afford health care for employees and their dependents."

Dr. Shurney, who had been medical director at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, introduced the lifestyle component to the clinic and helped design it. Dr. Shurney moved to Columbus, IN from Vanderbilt, where he had been happy. 

Dr. Shurney admits the teaching kitchen was one of the most difficult elements to get approval for from Cummins financial management. But he believes it's paying off already. "We got an email from a patient who was saving $700 a month on medications," he says. "If you're going from somebody who is not eating any green vegetables to being a vegan, that takes a certain level of commitment and is often motivated by some kind of health crisis. The alternative is to take a lot of pills. Each of them has side effects. Healthy eating, exercise and good mental health -- the only side effects they have are good side effects."
Dr. Leleka Doonquah, M.D. '95, Joins the AIDS Healthcare Foundation
1/27/2017
Dr. Leleka Doonquah, MD ’95, has joined the AIDS Healthcare Foundation in the Greater Washington D.C. area. She will be serving patients at AHF’s Healthcare Centers at Benning Rd in Northeast Washington DC and at AHF’s Temple Hills Healthcare Center in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

Dr. Doonquah is a graduate of Mount Saint Mary’s College in Los Angeles and received her medical degree from Howard University School of Medicine in Washington D.C. She has served as a physician at Howard University Hospital, Family and Medical Counseling Services, Inc. in Washington and Maryland, Greater Baden Medical Services, Inc. in Prince George’s County and Prince George’s County Health Department.

“Dr. Doonquah brings over 20 years of dedicated service to the HIV response in a community that has one of the highest HIV burdens. AHF is excited to have someone of her caliber and skill join our team,” said Dr. Robert Heglar, chief of medicine for AHF’s Southern Bureau.

“I am excited to be here and join such a caliber organization as AHF to continue working in HIV in the highly affected areas of Washington, D.C. and Maryland,” said Dr. Doonquah.

Dr. Doonquah began seeing patients at Temple Hills, Maryland Health Care Center and the Benning Rd. NE Healthcare Center effective January 9th.

“As AHF continues to expand our operations in the U.S. and internationally, we are honored when we can have experienced and highly-regarded HIV specialists like Dr. Doonquah join our family to provide exceptional care to our patients,” said Michael Kahane, Chief of AHF’s Southern Bureau. “Dr. Doonquah’s appointment is also significant for AHF because it allows us to continue to leverage our local presence and expand our services to areas of greatest need in the Greater Washington D.C. area.”
Dr. Kwame Akosah, M.D. '85, to Provide Cardiology Services at New Culpeper Medical Center
1/27/2017
Dr. Kwame Akosah, M.D. ’85, will provide cardiology services as part of a new cardiology clinic opened inside Novant Health UVa Health System Culpeper Medical Center, providing continuous cardiology services to the Culpeper, VA area. The 6,000-square-foot newly-renovated clinic space includes seven exam rooms and four diagnostic rooms for echocardiography, exercise stress tests, nuclear stress tests and vascular ultrasound, according to hospital spokeswoman Ashton Miller.

Greg Napps, CEO of Culpeper Medical Center, informed a group of retired hospital employees last September that the new clinic was being built in the area of the hospital’s former administrative offices near the main entrance. “We are glad to now offer additional cardiology access through our partnership with UVa Health System,” Napps said. “We have known for some time that there is a local need for cardiology services and the new suite will allow us to better serve our community and our patients.” Renovations to enhance the lobby of the hospital began during the summer of 2016.

“I am excited to see patients in our new clinic and to work alongside a dedicated team that cares for patients with a variety of cardiovascular conditions – from coronary artery disease to heart failure,” Akosah said. “And because of our unique relationship with UVa Health System, we are able to offer the same level of care provided at an academic medical center right here in the Culpeper community.”

Napps added that the new cardiology physicians will be available 24/7.

Meanwhile, the administrative staff that used to be inside the hospital was relocated to the Ruby Beck house across the street from the hospital to make room for the cardiology clinic.

After receiving his medical degree from Howard University College of Medicine in 1985, Akosah completed his internship in 1986 and his residency in 1989 from St. Vincent’s Hospital Medical Center of New York. He completed his fellowship at the Medical College of Virginia School of Medicine in 1992.
In Memoriam: David H. Pendergrast, M.D. '61
1/27/2017
Dr. David Harold Pendergrast was born on March 3, 1932 in Arcadia, Florida. He graduated from Smith Brown High School in Florida in 1950. In 1954, he graduated from Florida A. & M. University in Tallahassee, Florida where he received a Bachelor of Science degree. From 1956 to 1957, Dr. Pendergrast attended Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan where he completed 12 Hours of Graduate Work. Dr. Pendergrast pursued an Externship at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, DC from 1959 to 1960. After graduating from Howard University College of Medicine in 1961, he completed his internship and residency at Freedmen’s Hospital in Washington, DC in Ophthalmology. He is board certified by the Diplomate of American Board of Ophthalmology.
During 1973 to 1977, he received honors for his service as Associate Examiner for the American Board of Ophthalmology; and in 1980, he was honored for serving as Co-Chairman on Mayor’s Census Committee.

Dr. Pendergrast published several papers from 1967 to 1979. In 1980, he published “Optic Neuropathy Associated with Parasinus Disease”, National Medical Association in Dallas, Texas; and in 1981, he published “Macular Holes”, National Medical Association in Atlanta, Georgia. 

Dr. Pendergrast held membership in many professional organizations including the American Medical Association; the National Medical Association; the Medical-Chirurgical Society of the District of Columbia; the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology, Inc.; and was Secretary-Treasurer to the National Medical Association-Ophthalmology Section from 1977 to 1979.

Dr. Pendergrast was married to the late Anna Whitson and has two children, a daughter, Kimberly Ann and a son, David Moore. His funeral will be held at Rankin Memorial Chapel on the Howard University campus on February 11th at 11am. A viewing will be held at 10am.
In Memoriam: Michael DeWitt Banfield, M.D. '53
12/16/2016
Michael DeWitt Banfield passed peacefully from this life on Sunday, November 6, 2016. Dr. Banfield was the third son born to Edna M. and Pastor Michael S. Banfield on August 15, 1926 in Baltimore, Maryland. 

He was inducted into the United States Army in February 1945. After his discharge, Michael matriculated one year at Temple University and then transferred to Howard University in Washington, D.C. to complete his undergraduate studies where he graduated cum laude. He received his Doctor of Medicine from Howard University in 1953. 

Dr. Banfield married in 1958 and to that union were born two sons, Michael David and Darren Blanchard. He joined the Bellfort Seventh-day Adventist church which is now World Harvest Outreach. 

Dr. Banfield was a founding member of the Houston Medical Forum in the late 1950's (an organization for African-American physicians). He also belonged to the American Medical Association, National Medical Association, Texas Medical Association, Lone Star State Medical Association and Harris County Medical Association. 

He leaves to celebrate his life: son Darren, sister Gloria (Eric), sisters-in-law Gerri and Julia, nieces and nephews, long-time friends, Bernadette Mills of Opelousas, LA, Myrtle Beasley, his office manager for forty years, and her son Pastor Charles Osborne as well as many church family members. 

Messages of condolence can be sent online.
Leading Sarcoma Expert, Dr. Earl W. Brien, M.D. '86, Joins CytRx Board of Directors
12/5/2016
CytRx Corporation, a biopharmaceutical research and development company specializing in oncology, has announced the appointment of Earl Warren Brien, M.D., a noted sarcoma surgeon, industry consultant, and private healthcare investor, to its Board of Directors.

"Dr. Brien is a healthcare leader with clinical and strategic experience at the highest level," said Steven A. Kriegsman, CytRx's Chairman and CEO. "As one of the world's leading orthopedic surgeons, Dr. Brien has performed thousands of sarcoma-related surgeries over the course of his career.  He brings a wealth of knowledge to CytRx through his first-hand experience in treating patients with soft tissue sarcomas coupled with years of providing strategic counsel to both biotech and medical device companies. On behalf of the entire Board and management team, I welcome him and look forward to his contributions as we advance aldoxorubicin toward a New Drug Application (NDA) filing for the treatment of soft tissue sarcomas."

Dr. Brien commented, "My background and deep familiarity with sarcoma, both as a surgeon and a collaborator with treating sarcoma physicians, enables me to bring a unique, real world perspective to CytRx and I am delighted to join its Board of Directors and to work closely with this world-class scientific and entrepreneurial team. With positive Phase 3 results now in hand, I believe aldoxorubicin represents a major step forward for sarcoma patients and I look forward to making contributions that will assist in bringing this promising new treatment candidate to patients suffering with this rare, complex and difficult-to-treat cancer."

Dr. Brien is a board certified orthopedic and sarcoma surgeon who currently serves as a Professor of Orthopedic Surgery and Surgical Director of the Sarcoma Service at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California.  He completed fellowships at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Orthopedic Oncology and at the Hospital for Special Surgery at Cornell University. Over his more than twenty-year career, Dr. Brien has received numerous research grants, given over 140 scientific presentations, and been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals and books.
Dr. Leonard Richardson, M.D. '95, Publishes His First Book
11/18/2016
Dr. Leonard Richardson, M.D. '95, has published his first book, 'Determined to Practice: An Ancient Calling to Provide the Highest Quality Healthcare'. In the book, Dr. Richardson shares the goals and mistakes he made that helped him achieve his goals; how to put patients first, despite the business of running a modern medical practice; and how he developed a new system of patient-centered medical homes. 

Following his graduation from HUCM, Dr. Richardson completed a joint residency training program at Michigan State University, Kalamazoo Center for Medical Studies and at Howard University Hospital in internal medicine. He then joined the United States Air Force where he served with distinction. As a civilian, he worked as a hospitalist/critical unit physician and started a medical practice, Kingdom Medicine, PA, which has grown to six locations.

Dr. Richardson attended Homecoming in October and was on hand to sign copies of his book, which are available at the Howard University bookstore. 
Washington, DC Council Approves Death with Dignity Act After Testimony from Howard Alumna
11/18/2016
The D.C. Council has given final approval to legislation that would allow physicians to prescribe fatal drugs to terminally ill residents in the city, making the District the seventh jurisdiction nationwide to allow the practice. D.C. is the first predominantly black community to legalize what is called “death with dignity,” overcoming objections from some African American residents and others who worried that ill patients could be coerced into an early death. 

Some African American residents have said the legislation reminds them of the Tuskegee experiments, in which hundreds of black men with syphilis in Alabama unwittingly participated in a 40-year federal study of the disease’s long-term effect. The men were told they were being given “free health care” and were being treated for the disorder, when in fact they were not.

“They are afraid that somebody is going to take advantage of them the way they have been taken advantage of in the past,” said Dr. Omega Silva, M.D. '67, the black D.C. physician working with Compassion and Choices, a national advocacy group trying to pass the legislation. “We have to assure them they are in control of everything.”

African Americans, who make up nearly half of the population in the District, have been the group most consistently opposed to the practice.

Read the Washington Post story
In Memoriam: Dr. Manuel Lorenzo Walker, Class of 1955
11/14/2016
Manuel Lorenzo Walker was born in Battle Creek, Michigan to Manuella and Charles Walker, M.D. on March 22, 1930. He attended the public school system, graduating with numerous awards.

Lorenzo, as he became to be known, applied to Howard University and received a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in 1951. During his college years, he was active in student affairs. His involvement included being President of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and a member of the Student Council.
During his freshman year he met Romaine Smith, whom he married several months after graduation. He subsequently became a proud father, and he and Romaine raised two children during their more than 25-year marriage prior to her passing.  

Dr. Walker studied at Howard University’s Medical School from 1951 - 1955.  While in medical school, he served as Class President and also became a member of Alpha Omega Alpha and Kappa Psi Medical Societies. After graduation, he became the only African-American out of 108 interns at the Philadelphia General Hospital. Then he served for two years as a Medical Officer in the U.S. Navy, where he tended to the injured and infected during the Korean War. He holds the permanent rank of Lieutenant Commander.

Dr. Walker set up a family practice in West Philadelphia where he practiced until 2006.  He loved his patients and they loved him. During this time, he served on the staff of the St. Ignatius Nursing Home for 37 years and as Medical Director of the home for more than 25.  Prior to his retirement, he became Clinical Care Associate with the University of Pennsylvania Health System and a Clinical Associate with the University of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine.

Dr. Walker’s professional affiliations and honors were numerous.  For 30 years he was the editor and publisher of the MSEPulse, a news magazine for the Medical Society of Eastern Pennsylvania. He is the past president of both that organization and the Keystone State Medical Society.  He is also the past president of the Philadelphia Academy of Family Physicians.

In 1977, Dr. Walker received the Legion of Honor Award presented by the Chapel of the Four Chaplains. He was also named among Who’s Who in Black America and received honors from the Alpha Omega Medical Honor Society and Kappa Phi Medical Honor Society. In 1979, the Philadelphia County Medical Society named Dr. Walker, Practitioner of the Year, making him the first African-American to receive this honor.   In 1986, he received the same honor from the National Medical Association. In 1989, he received the Mercy Douglass Lectureship Award for Outstanding Service. In 1990, he also received the President’s award by the North Philadelphia chapter of the NAACP.
Dr. Walker was the first African-American President and member of the Yeadon Pennsylvania Board of School Directors. He was a member of the National Medical Association for 41 consecutive years and is a former Honorary Trustee of the first Baptist Church in Darby.

Dr. Walker became reacquainted with Joan Carter Parks, a widow, who he knew at Howard University. They dated, became married in 1980 and settled in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. They enjoyed each other immensely.  After retirement, they settled down to a quieter life. They enjoyed eating out, socializing with friends, and spending time in Florida with and near Joan’s family. Dr. Walker remained active in a number of social and community organizations. He was a member of Alpha Boule, the Guardsman and the Ashanti groups and had served in leadership positions in each.

Dr. Walker had artistic leanings during his youth. He later learned golf and loved to play weekly with close friends.  He always carried his pocket camera, which he used to take pictures at all social events, which he then sent happily to his subjects.

Saddened by his loss are his wife Joan of 36 years, a brother Charles, three children, several grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and a host of relatives and friends.
Racial Disparities in Medical Schools Remain
11/8/2016
Despite some progress, there still is racial disparity among medical students and unconscious biases remain when it comes to health care, according to Howard University’s president.

Dr. Wayne A.I. Frederick gave a lecture Monday at East Carolina University Heart Institute, where he discussed work to eliminate those disparities in STEM, medical and health fields and address biases.Though a shortage of physicians is a chief concern today, that has not always been the case, Frederick said.

In 1910, Abraham Flexner published a study called the Flexner Report, in which he evaluated medical education in the United States and Canada and gave suggestions. Flexner recommended entrance requirements, a reduction in the number of medical schools and a decrease in the annual output of physicians from 4,000 to 2,000.“To be quite frank, his intent was to reduce the physicians supply, because they felt that there were too many unqualified physicians,” Frederick said. “As a result of this report, the landscape of medical education changed very significantly. I think it’s important for us to recognize that because the impact that had on diversity ...”

Prior to the turn of the century, seven medical schools existed for students of color. That number decreased to two after the Flexner Report. Today, there are four.

“Between 1920 and 1964, less than 3 percent of students entering American medical schools were black, and unfortunately I can say today that number hasn’t changed,” Frederick said. Less than 7 percent of students enrolled in U.S. medical schools during the 2015-16 year were black, according to a report from the Association of American Medical Colleges. By comparison, nearly 21 percent were Asian, and 54 percent were white.

Frederick said unconscious biases also remain. He referred to a study in which Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine students were presented different scenarios, including one that involved a white tollbooth collector and a black lawyer. Results showed the students favored the white tollbooth worker in several categories, including patient reliability and trust.“One of the things that this study found was that implicit racial preferences are present, but these do not affect their critical decision making,” Frederick said. “That is a very important outcome as well because it means that we have an opportunity to mold these young students in such a way that they will ultimately do the right thing in terms of what we expect them to do.”

Frederick said he applauds ECU’s Brody School of Medicine for its work.“Because when you look at the national average and who is getting into those communities that are underrepresented, you clearly have demonstrated a strong commitment to do that,” he said.

Frederick said with the disparities that exist, mentoring and feeder programs that encourage students to pursue careers in STEM fields are key. He said historically black colleges and universities also play a role in advancing diverse pipelines in STEM. Those colleges and universities produce 20 percent of blacks in all STEM disciplines and are responsible for 34 percent of the blacks who receive bachelor’s degrees in physics, chemistry, math and biology, Frederick said.
Dr. Sandra Ford, M.D. 91, Named One of the Top Twenty-Five Women of Atlanta
10/28/2016
Dr. Sandra Elizabeth Ford, Class of 1991 and CEO of the DeKalb County Board of Health in Atlanta, has received well-deserved recognition for her commitment to public health — particularly with regard to inequities in minority health care. She has accepted several awards for her dedicated service, including the Fulton-DeKalb Hospital Authority’s 2012 Healthcare Hero Award and the Dominique Wilkins Foundation’s 2012 Legendary Humanitarian Award. She was named one of Atlanta’s 25 Most Influential African American Doctors by Black Health Magazine in 2012. For her success, she credits preparation, discipline and faith.

“My medical training, as well as my business background,” Ford revealed to rolling out about what prepared her for her current job. “I also have very good communication skills and can explain complicated issues in an understandable way.”

That training and business background are not to be taken lightly, as the Stanford University alum attained an MBA in health services administration from Howard University School of Business and earned her MD from Howard University School of Medicine. Despite her lofty academic and professional achievements, her guidance for both economic and spiritual freedom is quite down-to-earth.“Plan for the future when we’re young and healthy, think long term, and seek out multiple streams of income,” Ford advises, adding that she is motivated by “people who love what they do, whatever that is, because when you do what you love, everything else seems to fall into place.”

As for the remaining factors in her formula for success, discipline and faith go hand in hand.When she is not busy leading the DeKalb County Board of Health through the accreditation process, or in successfully acquiring more than $15 million in federal funds to address health disparities — Ford is also a certified Zumba instructor seeking to become a certified personal trainer — she can be found on Twitter @DrFordDCBOH.
Dr. Brent Stephens, MD '09, Discusses Shoulder Replacement Surgery
10/25/2016
Advanced “reverse” shoulder replacements can dramatically restore function to patients with torn rotator cuffs, but the stakes are high during rehab, according to former baseball star turned orthopedic surgeon Dr. Brent Stephens, Class of 2009.

“Baseball helps (my understanding of) the physics of it and also from the standpoint of when a shoulder hurts, what should be done to help rehab and what helps to not do,” he said. “I played baseball and had constant shoulder problems. I can draw from my experiences. It’s not always text book. It’s more living through (the experiences).”

Post-surgery patients feel good for about a week before some pain occurs giving some a change to be too aggressive in returning to strenuous activities, he said. “Once you explain to them that just because you feel good does not mean that it’s healed they typically ease off,” he said. “When you tell them that ‘if you ruin what I do, I can’t do it again,’ they listen. The revision is a lot more difficult and the outcome would not be the same.”

Q: Did you always expect to go into medicine as a career?
Stephens: My dad is a judge so I ruled out law early on. I was an athlete, baseball, and my plans were to play professionally. I was supposed to get drafted but hurt my ACL and ended up getting surgery. I shadowed an orthopedic surgeon there and that’s how I got into medicine.

Q: Where and when did you choose your specialty?
Stephens: Funny, even when I got to medical school I was torn between plastic surgery and orthopedic surgery because I’m into aesthetics and making things look good. Ultimately, orthopedics was more interesting to me. It was a good choice because of my background.

Q: What procedures do you perform most often?
Stephens: I do shoulder replacements and rotator cuff repairs. So really, any shoulder level injury I treat from age 16 and older. So it’s the young athletes and the older replacements. Most of the younger ones are athletes but the older ones are still active. I kind of get the whole spectrum. It’s a little bit different than hip and knee because a lot of times they just want to be able to walk. Mine want to be able to go play tennis and golf. With some older patients it’s about getting the quality of life back; with the younger patients it’s about getting their sports back. The rotator cuff tear is probably the most common injury in orthopedics.

Q: What advanced procedures are you performing now?
Stephens: A reverse shoulder replacement is the area that is kind of unique. That’s where a lot of shoulder specialists are honing in on doing the most we can do. On a normal shoulder you have a ball and socket. With a reverse shoulder replacement, you put the socket where the ball used to be and the ball where the socket used to be. It has a similar range of motion but not the same. You go from 40 degrees of lifting your arm to 130 degrees. I did one on a 75-year-old who couldn’t lift his arm because he had a real bad shoulder and rotator cuff tear. He can now get his arm up to 170 degrees. I saw him (recently) and he was hugging me because he can now mow the lawn by himself and can do things without asking for help, which is what he couldn’t do before. He can play tennis or golf if he wants to but for him its just getting back to the things he does every single day. Even the small things, you realize that’s the quality of your life.

Q: Did your experience with baseball influence your choice of specialty?
Stephens: Yes, absolutely. I think the shoulder is a fascinating joint. It’s one of the joints people don’t realize they are more complicated than you think. A hip can move some, a shoulder you can move 180 degrees all around with 30 plus muscles.

Q: Has there been progress made in your specialty since you started in school?
Stephens: Actually, the reverse shoulder replacement came into existence one year before I started and now it’s one of most common shoulder replacements that is being performed. The shoulder and elbow world is the newest area in orthopedics that’s really picking up. The joint replacement for hips and knee have been around for 40 years.

Q: Are the materials used metal and plastic?
Stephens: Similar to a hip or knee replacement using metal and plastic. It’s the procedure. The materials are similar. How to do the procedure is unique. That’s why I did the fellowship in shoulder and elbow training. You want to know how to do it correctly. People do better than I thought they would initially. When you can put your arm above your head two or three days after surgery, it’s a big difference.

Q: What are the factors in getting the maximum life span out of an artificial joint?
Stephens: Following the early rehab protocol. If you do too much too soon even when it feels good, you risk the longevity of it. If you don’t enough, you’ll be stiff. It’s about following instructions for the first three months which will give you longevity for a long time. It’s different than hip and knee. With the shoulder, there are 30-plus muscles so you are balancing moving with rest because if you move too much you are going to tear those muscles. I have them move them the first day out of the hospital but it’s basic movements and not any exercise.

Q: What advice would you give the parents of elite young baseball players to help protect their shoulders and elbows long term?
Stephens: Rest and interval training are important: meaning take time off. If you use it all year round you are going to injure yourself and I did that to myself when I was 12. Have periods of built-in rest throughout the year when you are not using that body part. Take time to do other stuff. Pick different sports because that uses different parts of your body. I blew out my knee because of that very reason. Same thing applies to the older patients as well. You can’t overdo it. While I support them being active, you have to listen to their bodies.

Q: What is your favorite part of your job?
Stephens: I had a guy come back a year after shoulder replacement surgery who can do what he likes to do now without asking for help. His level of independence has gone up and with that his quality and happiness has improved. He was happy about making that change in his life. It changed everything about what he can do. The best part of my job is when you see the end result.

Q: What is a difficult or frustrating part?
Stephens: When you want to help but you know that you can’t do too much to make a difference.
Engagements: Dr. Niles Ita, Class of 2010 to Marvin Carter
10/24/2016
Dr. Niles Edemeka Ita, grandaughter of Mrs. Julia Reuben of Augusta, GA., and Marvin Cottrell Carter son of Marvin and Charlotte Carter of Richmond, IN. are pleased to announce their engagement and plans to marry November 5, 2016 in Indianapolis, IN. Marvin is a 2006 graduate of Ball State University in Muncie, IN and works in medical device sales for Roche Diagnostics in Indianapolis, IN. Niles is a 2010 graduate of Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, DC and works for Beaufort Jasper Hampton Comprehensive Health Services in Beaufort, SC.
Dr. David Gooray, M.D. '80, Recognized as Cardiologist of the Year by Continental Who's Who
10/20/2016
Dr. David A. Gooray, Class of 1980, has been recognized by Continental Who's Who as a 2016 Cardiologist of The Year in the field of Medicine as a result of his role as a Cardiologist in Private Practice.

Dr. Gooray has over thirty years of experience in the medical profession and specializes in cardiovascular disease, adult cardiology and internal medicine. Dr. Gooray is also board certified in Internal Medicine.      
Dr. Leslie Wilbanks, M.D. '09, Joins Riverside Medical Group in Kankakee, IL
10/20/2016
Dr. Leslie Wilbanks, Class of 2009, has joined Riverside Medical Group in Kankakee, IL. "My mission is a partnership, a collaboration of ideas and approach to disease between the patient and myself to yield the healthiest, happiest life that patient can have," she said.

After graduating from Howard University College of Medicine in 2009, Dr. Wilbanks completed her residency in neurology from Saint Louis University Hospital in St. Louis, Mo., and her fellowship in neuromuscular medicine from Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio.

Riverside's team of neurology doctors works on the diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of disorders of the brain, spine and nerves.
Howard University Hospital Announces Fiscal Improvement
10/14/2016
Howard University Hospital officials announced that the hospital has reached profitability, making $4.3 million in operating income during FY 2015-16. During FY15, the hospital had announced a $19 million loss, and in FY14 it reported a $58 million loss. 

"Over the past two years, Howard University and Paladin Healthcare have embarked on a large-scale strategic restructuring plan for the hospital," President Wayne Frederick said. "Today, Howard University Hospital is emerging as a stronger institution."

HUH operating highlights for the FY15-16 fiscal year ended June 30, 2016 include:

- Revenue from patient services grew by $17.3 million to $233 million, up 8%
- Operating expenses were $238 million, down 8%
- HUH market share stabilized to 7.2%
- HUH's previous profitable year was 2012

In addtion, HUH reported improvements in the delivery of emergency services to the community. After a significant overhaul of emergency operations this year, patient wait time declined from 106 minutes to 20 minutes, an improvement of 81%. The emergency department also reported improvements in other metrics, including discharge times and patient satisfaction scores, which improved by 20%. 

In October 2014, Howard University entered into a management services agreement with Paladin Healthcare. The collaboration brought new senior leaders and other managers who assumed responsibility for day-to-day hospital operations under the joint oversight of Howard University and Paladin Healthcare Management. Howard University continues to be the licensed operator of HUH.
Dr. Alaina Fields, M.D. '08, Joins St. Helena Family Heath Center in Clearlake, CA.
9/22/2016
Dr. Alaina Fields, M.D. '08, has joined the St. Helena Health Center in Clearlake, CA as part of the family medicine provider team. Dr. Fields will provide high quality care to patients of all ages, from children to adults.

Dr. Fields has served families in rural communities throughout California and has made Lake County her home since July 2014. She previously worked with Tribal Health. She looks forward to continuing to provide welcoming, compassionate care to Lake County residents.

“We are delighted to have such an enthusiastic and high quality family medicine provider join our team,” said Brent Dupper, Executive Director of Physician and Outpatient Services for St. Helena Hospital Clear Lake. “Dr. Fields’ passion for serving Lake County patients from all backgrounds and with all types of health goals will help us achieve our vision for a healthy community.”

Fields takes a holistic approach to health care. She has a special interest in mental health and in helping patients struggling with obesity progress to a healthier life. She also wants to ensure bright futures for adolescent patients and is passionate about education around healthy lifestyle choices.“

I fell in love with Lake County when I arrived here in 2014, and look forward to working collaboratively with Adventist Health’s specialists to continue serving the community effectively,” Fields said. “My goal is to educate patients and keep them involved in their care so they can make informed decisions and become their most healthy selves.”

Originally from Washington, DC, she has spent time in international settings throughout the world and is fluent in Spanish.
Dr. Pamela O. Obi, M.D. '12, Joins Floyd Primary Care in Georgia
9/20/2016
Pamela O. Obi, M.D. '12, has joined the Floyd Primary Care Network in Armuchee, GA. She will join the practice of Michael Gonsalves, M.D.

Dr. Obi practices integrative medicine, where she treats the entire person, not just the disease, by combining traditional medicine, lifestyle choice and alternative health. She is a strong believer in the patient-physician relationship and treats patients from infants to adults.She earned her medical degree from Howard University College of Medicine in Washington D.C., and a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Howard University. She completed her residency at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Obi is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians.
In Memoriam: Dr. George Mallory, M.D. '53
9/15/2016
Poor and underserved people held a special place in the heart of Dr. George L. Mallory. His compassion for their plight inspired his lifetime commitment to provide health care access to the residents of South Los Angeles.Mallory, who was one of the first staff members at Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center in Watts, passed away August 24 at the age of 95. Throughout his 62-year career, he worked tirelessly as an educator, psychiatrist, and civil rights activist in Los Angeles.

Mallory was born October 9, 1920 in Richmond, Virginia to Oscar and Julia Mallory. He completed his early education in Richmond then relocated to New York City where he graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School in 1939. Mallory attended City College of New York for two years followed by a stint in the U.S. Army during World War II from 1942 to 1945, deployed to the Pacific Theater in Hawaii.

Resuming his education in 1946, Mallory earned his Bachelor’s and Medical degrees at Howard University. He moved with his wife and children to Los Angeles and in 1960, was named a Board Certified Diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, one of the few African Americans board certified psychiatrists in the nation.

At King Drew Hospital, Mallory served as staff psychiatrist, chief of adult psychiatry, director of residency training and interim chairman for the Department of Psychiatry. The hospital’s Psychiatric library was named in his honor in recognition of his contributions. Also, his career includes serving as an instructor and professor at USC School of Medicine, UCLA School of Medicine and Charles Drew School of Medicine and Science.

In addition, Mallory was the president of the Black Psychiatrists of Southern California from 1965 to 1973 and recipient of the Black Psychiatrists of America’s (BPA) Distinguished Life Fellow Award in 1988 and Life Time Achievement Award in 2014.

According to a family member, “Dr. Mallory worked into his 90’s as a founding member of D’Veal Family and Youth Services in Pasadena. Again, he continued his life long commitment to the underserved families and youth in crisis and in need of assistance to survive some of life’s most unfortunate circumstances.”

Outside of his career, Mallory was devoted to his family.  His daughter, Lydia Patton, preceded him in death. Cherishing his memory is his wife, Naomi Booker Mallory; children, George L. Mallory, Jr. and Lloyd Mallory; stepchildren, Marsha Hamilton, Karen Hamilton, Melody Booker, Andre’ Booker, Eric Booker and Karlos Booker as well as several grandchildren, great grandchildren, relatives and friends.
Dr. Bryan H. Curry, M.D. '95, Spotlighted in The Leading Physicians of the World
9/14/2016
The International Association of HealthCare Professionals welcomed Bryan H. Curry, MD, a cardiologist, as a member with his upcoming publication in The Leading Physicians of the World. He is a highly-trained and qualified cardiologist with a vast expertise in all facets of his work, especially nuclear cardiology. Dr. Curry has been practicing for over ten years and is currently serving patients as a cardiologist at The Doctors of Howard University Faculty Practice Plan, as well as Assistant Professor and Program Director of the Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship at Howard University Hospital.

Dr. Curry attended Howard University College of Medicine where he received his Doctor of Medicine degree in 1995. He then served his residency in internal medicine at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, and completed his cardiovascular disease fellowship at Washington Hospital Center. Dr. Curry holds dual certifications by the American Board of Internal Medicine and the Certification Board of Nuclear Cardiology, and holds testamur status with the National Board of Echocardiography.

One of the Washington Post’s Super Doctors, Dr. Curry remains at the forefront of this challenging industry through his professional memberships with the American College of Cardiology, the American Association of Black Cardiologists, the American Society of Echocardiography, and the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology. Dr. Curry credits his success to his perseverance and his passion for the field of cardiology. He dedicates his spare time to photography, playing tennis, and cooking.
Dr. Imudia D. Ehanire, M.D. '09 Joins Southwest Medical Clinic in Liberal, KS
8/29/2016
Southwest Medical Center announced the arrival of general surgeon, Imudia Ehanire, M.D. ‘09, M.B.A., to the Liberal community in August. Dr. Ehanire joined Southwest Medical Center’s surgical team as part of the Southwest Professional Physicians (SWPP) General Surgery clinic.

Dr. Ehanire was raised in Nigeria before moving to the United States to complete her education and pursue a degree in medicine. She explains her passion for the medical field began at an early age.“My dad is an orthopedic trauma surgeon and my mom is an ENT surgeon,” Ehanire said. “My dad was a very good story teller. He would tell us stories about the ancient Greeks and tales from Nigeria, but he would also tell us stories about his work. He talked about patients he had seen, the burns he repaired, and about the bones he had put back together. That really sparked my imagination as a little girl wanting to learn more about medicine.”Ehanire added her interest in medicine only grew after having the opportunity to travel to work with her father and help check on patients around the age of seven.

Years later, she graduated Magna cum Laude with her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Mount Saint Mary’s College, and completed her medical degree at Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Ehanire says working as a surgeon came naturally to her as she was deciding upon her medical specialty.“I knew a lot about surgery and I really enjoy working with my hands. In terms of creativity, I draw a lot and I love putting things together, so the idea of being able to help people by working with my hands pulled me toward surgery,” Ehanire added, “There’s something very gratifying about fixing a problem for someone through surgery.”

In addition to her medical degree, Ehanire also obtained her Master’s in Business Administration.“I pursued my MBA because I wanted to know more about finance,” Ehanire said. “I’m very interested in hospital administration and the efficient running of a hospital, including quality improvement, cost effectiveness, and excellent patient care.”

Dr. Ehanire says excellent outcomes and providing education for each patient are both important components of her care philosophy.“I hope patients walk away with a good understanding of what has happened – of what we did and what the outcome was,” Ehanire said. “It’s very important to me that my patients understand their care process and that they are satisfied with the care that they’ve received.”
In Memoriam: Dr. Harriette M. Clark Chambliss, M.D. '50
8/17/2016
Dr. Harriette Clark Chambliss died on Thursday, July 14, 2016. Dr. Clark Chambliss is predeceased by her husbands C. Robert Chambliss Sr., The Honorable George Crockett Jr. and James Wade; her son, Dr. C. Robert Chambliss Jr.; and siblings, Carolyn Smith, Dr. John Clark Jr., M.D. '46 and Dr. Charles Clark Sr., M.D. '49. She is survived by her son, Marque Chambliss (Sheryll Cashin); grandsons, C. Robert III, Ryan, Logan and Langston Chambliss; sister, Dr. Lucille Fisk Younger, M.D. '44; daughter-in-law, Dana Chambliss and step-daughters, Elizabeth Hicks and Dr. Ethelene Jones.
In Memoriam: Dr. Karel Kennedy, M.D. '71
8/17/2016
Dr. Karel Kennedy, M.D. '71 died on August 5, 2016 at Palmetto Health Tuomey in South Carolina. Dr. Kennedy served his internships at Kings County Hospital, Brooklyn, New York, and did residency at Harlem Hospital, New York. Dr. Kennedy was board certified in cardiology and internal medicine. He was a kind and compassionate person and physician who dedicated his professional life to patient care. While at Howard University, he was initiated into Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. Alpha Chapter as a Life Member.
In Memoriam: Dr. Purvis W. Hill, M.D. '71
8/17/2016
Dr. Purvis W. Hill died on Tuesday, July 26, 2016 in Memphis, Tennessee. Dr. Hill practiced medicine in his home state of of Clarksdale, Mississippi for over 41 years. He was a humble man who had the gift of compassion and stellar bedside manners even as a young resident doing his Obstetrics and Gynecology rotations at the old Freedmen's Hospital in Washington, D.C. He was profiled in the book "The Promised Land" as a physician commited to caring for his community of Clarksdale.
Dr. Andrew Sanderson, M.D. '01, Starts Work at U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
7/25/2016
Dr. Andrew Sanderson, M.D. '01, recently completed the Commonwealth Fund Mongan Fellowship in Minority Health at Harvard Medical School while also completing graduate studies (M.P.H.) at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He will begin health policy work as a Medical Officer in the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Minority Health in late July 2016.
Dr. Renee N. Georges, M.D. '88, Takes Position as Chief of Surgery at Gov. Juan F. Luis Hospital in St. Croix
7/25/2016
Dr. Renee N. Georges' calling has landed her back on St. Croix, providing health care for her community and helping keep the doors of the Gov. Juan F. Luis Hospital open.

At the end of 2013, Georges was working in New Jersey when a JFL hospital administrator called asking her to come home and join the staff as the chief of surgery at JFL. She accepted the position and returned home to St. Croix around two years ago.“I came back when I found out what really needed to be done and why it was so important,” Georges said. JFL has struggled with all sorts of issues over the past few years, issues that threatened the continued existence of the hospital. “This opportunity for me to help just presented itself,” she added. “I”ll go where health care is needed and it's needed here at home now. And I'm able to do what needs done.”

Georges worked in surgery at JFL from 1996 to 2004. She said practices and equipment weren't progressive enough at JFL during her early years on staff. She moved to New Jersey to practice with RWJ Barnabas Health and broaden her skills. “Now everything is much better,” Georges said. “There's better equipment and care providers are more experienced. There are shortages – but on the positive side the hospital is here providing care.”

As chief of surgery she is required to make sure things run well in the surgery department. Her duties include staff scheduling and conducting meetings with the staff and administrators. And she performs general surgeries, such as gall bladder, hernia and appendix, and specializes in breast surgery and vascular surgery.

Georges realized at the age of six that she wanted to be a doctor, and never wavered. Georges suffered with asthma and spent a lot of time under doctor's care and in the emergency room. She believed she could do a good job communicating with and caring for patients. And she found science and medicine interesting. She dreamed of being being a pediatrician until she started observing surgery at JFL the summer before she began medical school.

She excelled in academics and always made the honor roll in school. As an eighth-grade student at Elena Christian Junior High School she represented the territory in Washington, D.C. in the 1976 Scripps Howard Spelling Bee. She was the 1980 St. Croix Central High School valedictorian.

Georges graduated from Yale University and earned her medical degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C. IN 1988. She completed her general surgery residency at Howard University Hospital. At M.D. Andersen Cancer Center in Houston, she completed a research fellowship and wrote several articles related to her work there. She also completed a vascular fellowship at Englewood Hospital in Englewood, N.J.

In New Jersey, she practiced breast surgery in Ocean and Monmouth counties. She was a breast surgeon provider for the NJCEED (New Jersey Cancer Education and Early Detection) program for Ocean County women.

Georges is a member of the American Society of Breast Surgeons She was awarded the 2010 Health Provider Service Award from the N.J. Department of Health and Senior Services, the 2011 Making A Difference for Women Award from Soroptimist International (SI) of Toms River. SI, in partnership with Ocean County College, inducted Dr. Georges into their Women's Hall of Fame in 2011.

Yvonne Ashley Galiber, founder of the local breast cancer education and support organization YAG Foundation, said she Georges is a phenomenal doctor.“ Dr. Georges is an excellent physician who is well trained,” Dr. Dante P. Galiber said. “She's an active member of the JFL medical and surgical staff. And she has a busy private practice.”

Georges has done bench and clinical research, Dr. Galiber added, and has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals. Her research has been on breast and lung cancer and sickle cell disease.“ It's rewarding to be here and working at home despite the challenges,” Georges said. “It's nice to know I can make a difference by being here and helping people. It feels great to be back.” 
Dr. DeVonne French, M.D. '66, Joins 60th Anniversary for OMRF Scholars
7/21/2016
The Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation welcomed past and present Sir Alexander Fleming Scholars during a 60th anniversary celebration of the its one-of-a-kind science internship program. For two former Muskogee residents, it was a chance to return to the place where their paths toward medical school began.“My number one memory is the kindness and support that was there and the willingness of the scientists to work with you,” said Marguerite DeVonne French, M.D. '66, a member of the 1957 class who traveled from Kansas City, Mo., to attend. “This program has always been great, and it taught me at an early age that good things come from hard work.”

French also remembered appearing with all her Fleming classmates on NBC’s "Today" Show, with host Dave Garroway. Another guest on the show that day was President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who had launched a nationwide campaign to strengthen science education in the wake of the Soviet Union's Sputnik mission, After her summer at OMRF, French earned a doctorate in medicine from Howard University. She maintains a practice in pediatric psychiatry in Kansas City, Mo.

The Fleming Scholar Program was founded in 1956 to give Oklahoma’s top science students an opportunity to gain lab experience in a research setting. The program was named after Sir Alexander Fleming, the legendary Nobel Prize-winning scientist who discovered penicillin and also came to Oklahoma City in 1949 to dedicate OMRF’s first building. Saturday evening’s festivities featured a panel of former Fleming Scholars. The scholars answered a variety of questions about their favorite memories and how the experience influenced their career choices.
HUMAA President Earl H. Harley, M.D. '71, elected to the Nominating Committee of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
6/28/2016
HUMAA President Earl H. Harley, M.D. '71, has been elected to the nominating committee (academic) of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. The election results were announced in June. 

The AAO-HNS is the world's largest organization representing specialists who treat the ear, nose, throat, and related structures of the head and neck. The Academy represents approximately 12,000 otolaryngologists—head and neck surgeons who diagnose and treat disorders of those areas. The medical disorders treated are among the most common that afflict all Americans, and include chronic ear infection, sinusitis, snoring and sleep apnea, hearing loss, allergies and hay fever, swallowing disorders, nosebleeds, hoarseness, dizziness, and head and neck cancer.
Dr. Kevin Hurtt, M.D. '87, Joins Meritus Surgical Specialists in Maryland
6/13/2016
Dr. Kevin Hurtt, M.D. '87, recently joined Meritus Surgical Specialists in Maryland. Hurtt received his medical degree and completed his residency at Howard University College of Medicine and Howard University Hospital in Washington, D.C. He also completed a fellowship in laparoscopic and pancreatic biliary surgery at the Institute for Laparoscopic Surgery in Dobbs Ferry, NY. He is certified with the American Board of Surgery.
Dr. Tanya Hinds, M.D. '01, Named Top 10 Caribbean-born Female Doctors in the U.S.
5/31/2016

Respected Internet-based information provider News Americas has rated its top 10 list of leading Caribbean-born female doctors across the United States of America.The New York-based organization traced the overall medical achievements of the 10 in their specific fields before making the final determination.

Born in Georgetown, Guyana, Dr Tanya Hinds is an Assistant professor of pediatrics at the George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, DC, and is certified by the American Academy of Pediatrics as a child abuse pediatrician. She is also a practising pediatrician in Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, DC.

Dr Hinds migrated with her family to the US in the late 1980s. She attended Queen’s College in Guyana, before continuing her education at Howard University in Washington DC. Her degree at Howard University College of Medicine was followed by pediatric residency training, which she completed in 2004 at SUNY Downstate Medical Centre in Brooklyn, New York.

President Obama Appoints Dr. Wayne A.I. Frederick, M.D. '94, to President's Board of Advisors on HBCUs
5/27/2016

President Barack Obama has appointed Howard University President Wayne A.I. Frederick, M.D. '94, to the President's Board of Advisors on HBCUs. 

"I feel grateful and honored by this appointment," said Dr. Frederick. "I will work to fulfill President Obama's confidence in me and his commitment to HBCUs."

"The role of Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the nation's higher education arena and in the discourse of higher education is critical. We must make sure they thrive," he adds. "The 100-plus HBCUs of this nation represent an array of diversity, in size, in scope of offerings and in students enrolled. I appreciate this diversity, and I intend to be a staunch advocate for the role of these very important institutions."

The Board issues an Annual Federal Plan for Assistance to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to the President on participation by HBCUs in federally-sponsored programs; provides advice to the Secretary of Education and makes recommendations in reports to the President on how to increase the private sector role in strengthening HBCUs, with particular emphasis on enhancing institutional infrastructure and facilitating planning, development, and the use of new technologies to ensure the goal of long-term viability and enhancement of these institutions. Members are appointed by the President and include representatives of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, other institutions of higher education, business and financial institutions, private foundations, and secondary education.

Dr. Anita Edwards, M.D. '85, receives Jefferson Award for mentorship of African-American teens interested in medicine
5/27/2016

The odds of a young African-American male growing up to go to medical school and becoming a doctor are not high in this country, but William Simmons, Anita Edwards and Jan Madison believe they have a cure for that.

Through the Journey to Medicine program of the Gateway Medical Society — a local group made up of black physicians — the three doctors are mentoring nearly 100 youths who have come into the program over the past seven years. The teens are taught about medicine, encouraged to achieve academically, coached in math and science, taken on field trips and nurtured in various life skills.

The program has accepted 15 sixth-graders every year since 2010, and each group continues in Journey to Medicine year by year while proceeding toward high school graduation. There are now seven different groups, including 10 high school seniors after five in the first class stopped attending along the way. No one knows whether the participants will actually become the physicians of tomorrow, but their mentors are already proud of one thing — all of the seniors will be attending college in the fall.

“It has probably exceeded expectations — I think we would have been happy with just five from the first class [of 15] to make it this far, and we’ve got 10,” said Dr. Edwards, medical director for Gateway Health.

Dr. Madison is a pulmonologist with Pittsburgh Pulmonary & Critical Care Associates. Dr. Simmons, an anesthesiologist at UPMC Shadyside, is also president of the Gateway Medical Society.

The three have served as steering committee members of Journey to Medicine since founding it. They are also the key student mentors and program planners volunteering their time every week to create a path to success for teens — in many cases from single-parent households and troubled neighborhoods — who might otherwise be mired in the same difficulties that trap many of their peers.

Their collaboration has earned Drs. Edwards, Simmons and Madison the Jefferson Award for Public Service Team Award, which was established a few years ago to recognize joint volunteer contributions. The award is part of the annual program that honors super volunteers in the region.

“African-American males are the group with the lowest representation in medicine, and this group had a vision to change that,” said Rhonda Johnson, a pediatrician and Gateway Medical Society board member who nominated them for the award. “They’ve all spent hours and hours of their time teaching and being involved, whether in summer or winter, weekdays and weekends.”

The three doctors, assisted by other health care professionals serving as guest speakers or volunteer mentors, take turns running the monthly weeknight meetings of each of their seven groups and pitch in with one another on Saturday sessions when multiple groups get together.

The agenda may consist of medical specialty presentations, hands-on training such as learning CPR, tips for academic success, learning life skills such as public speaking, and guidance on how to present themselves for jobs or anything else that may help mold them into successful young men. The youngsters are encouraged to pursue the most challenging courses available in their schools, and they receive tutoring that helps meet those rigors when necessary.

“They’ve taught us a lot of things about how to keep ourselves organized,” said JiJuan Matthews, a 10th-grader and Pittsburgh Allderdice student from Lawrenceville. “They stay on you, because they want you to do well, and they make sure you actually do your best.”

Grants from multiple sources, most notably The Heinz Endowments, have helped keep Journey to Medicine functioning, but the funding would mean little without the volunteering of three leaders who have to fit it into their already full schedules as medical professionals.

Assessing what they’ve seen out of the boys in the midst of becoming young men, whom they also expect to follow through college, the trio have no doubt it’s been worth it. And while they’re curious to see how many might enter medical school in a few years, that won’t necessarily be the true barometer of the program’s success.

“Even if they decide to go into a master’s program like engineering,” Dr. Simmons said with a smile, “I would not be disappointed, because I don’t think it’s something they otherwise would have done.”

Locally, the Jefferson Awards program is administered by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette with sponsorship by Highmark and BNY Mellon.

Dr. Gail Nunlee-Bland, M.D. '80, receives $1.2 million NIH grant for diabetes research
5/27/2016

Dr. Gail Nunlee-Bland, M.D. '80, has received NIH grants to fund two diabetes projects - The Working to Engage Insulin-Resistant Group Health Using Technology Study (W.E.I.G.H.T. Study) and The Living Smartly with Diabetes using Patient Web Portal (PWP) and Mobile PWP for Self-Mangement. The objective of the W.E.I.G.H.T. Study is to implement and evaluate the preventive benefits in African American adolescents and young adults who are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes using state-of-the-art communications and networking technologies. The object of the Living Smartly with Diabetes project are to improve PMP use by removing barriers through patient and provider focus groups, redesign the current PWP using feedback from the focus groups with the assistance of health science librarians, integrate the Smartphone with the existing PWP for enhanced patient/provider communication and health information, and measure patient activation for improved diabetes self-management. A combined $1,299,766 has been awarded to fund these two projects over 5 years ending in 2017. 

In Memorium: Dr. Ulysses W. "Sonny" Watkins, M.D. '75
5/27/2016

Dr. Ulysses W " Doc" "Sonny" Watkins peacefully entered into eternal rest on May 3rd, 2016. He served the Houston community as a physician for more than forty years. Whenever, called upon to care for the sick or feed the hungry, he was always available. He believed you should live life with a purpose.Dr. Watkins leaves sons and daughters, Vincent Watkins, Ara Watkins, Valerie Watkins and Ulysses Watkins III; brother, Richard Watkins EdD (Helen); sisters, Claudia Watkins and Doris Carlos; sisters-in-law, Patricia Watkins, Norma Young, Shirley Anderson and Arnette Ingram; brother-in-law, Herbert Anderson Jr; companion, Mary Titus; 5 grandchildren, 5 great grandchildren; a dear and devoted friend, Sgt Clarence Douglas and many other dear relatives and friends.His parents, Ulysses W. Watkins and Lovie Watkins, brother, William Watkins, DDS preceded him in death.

 

 

Dr. Denise Bruner, Class of 1979, to give graduation address at Stoneleigh-Burnham School
5/23/2016

Dr. Denise Bruner, M.D. '79, will deliver this year’s commencement address at Stoneleigh-Burnham School in Massachussetts. Bruner, who runs a private practice in Arlington, Va., is one of the nation’s leading authorities on obesity medicine.

“Each year, the senior class nominates the person they would like to deliver the commencement address,” said Nicole Letourneau, the school’s assistant communications director in the release. “Dr. Bruner is someone with whom students feel a personal connection and who they consider a role model for breaking the barriers of gender and race in her profession.”

Like her father, Dr. Herman Bruner, she graduated from Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C. After completing her residency in internal medicine at D.C. General Hospital, she re-opened her late father’s general medical practice. She joined the American Society of Bariatric Physicians in 1983, became certified by the American Board of Bariatric Medicine in 1985, and served as president of ASBP from 1999 to 2002. She became the first female fellow of ASBP in 2002.

In Memorium: Dr. Robert Copeland, Ophthalmology Chairman
4/28/2016

Dr. Robert Copeland founding chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at the Howard University College of Medicine, died on Monday, April 11, 2016. He was 60.

Dr. Copeland contributed more than three decades of service to Howard University. In 1982, he arrived at Howard University Hospital as a young ophthalmology resident. Four years later, he joined the Howard University Department of Surgery, Division of Ophthalmology, as an instructor. He was promoted to assistant professor in 1988 and to full professor in 2010.

Dr. Copeland served as interim chief of the division from 1993 until his campaign to make ophthalmology a stand-alone department was successful in 2000. He was named chair in the document ratifying creation of the Department of Ophthalmology by the Howard University Board of Trustees. Copeland has written multiple papers on corneal and external diseases, uveitis, and other diseases of the eye. His research focused on conditions affecting the eye, as well as the socioeconomic and gender disparities in cataract surgery, including factors such as insurance coverage, transportation and other barriers to access. In 2012, Copeland published Copeland and Afshari’s Principles and Practice of Cornea, a definitive textbook on the cornea, in conjunction with a Duke University professor.

He also traveled throughout the world to perform humanitarian services for underserved populations. He served the people of Haiti, Saint Lucia, Ghana, Egypt, Ethiopia, Chile, Liberia, Nigeria and India.

Throughout the years, Copeland’s work has drawn numerous awards and accolades. He was frequently honored by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, garnering the Distinguished Service Award, Achievement Award, Council of Appreciation Award, Surgery by Surgeons Award and the Secretariat Award.

Copeland was frequently listed as a “top doctor” in major publications. In 2008, he received the Professional Service Award from the Prevention of Blindness Society of Metropolitan Washington; and in 2013, he garnered an Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society nomination. At Howard University, Copeland was honored at the Ninth Annual Spirituality and Medicine Seminar in 2005. Howard also honored him with a Citation of Achievement Award in 2008.

He was a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. He is survived by: his parents, Edgar and Joy Dudley; wife, Candie Copeland; children, Kennedie Copeland, Robert Copeland, III, and Lucas Copeland; brother, James D. Copeland (Pamela); mother-in-law, Janice Lucas and brother-in-law, Michael Lucas.

Dr. Diana Cejas, M.D. '10, discusses her cancer and stroke, and the effect on her career
4/28/2016

Over the course of her medical career, Diana Cejas has worked with cancer patients and stroke victims. It's to be expected -- she is, after all, a doctor. But she has unique insight into what those patients experience. Cejas is a cancer and stroke survivor herself. Ever since she was a little girl growing up in the small town of Rougemont, North Carolina, Cejas knew she wanted to be a doctor. She earned degrees in biology and physics, a masters degree in public health, got her M.D. from The Howard University School of Medicine and did a residency in general pediatrics at Tulane University.

It was during her second year of residency that Cejas noticed a lump forming on the right side of her neck. She thought it might be a minor infection and took antibiotics, but they didn't help. Her med school colleagues and doctors told her not to worry. "Med students are hypochondriacs," she thought, but something didn't feel right. Some days she was light headed and began getting bad headaches. She even fainted a couple of times. Eventually she pressed her primary physician for a CT scan.

The scan showed a carotid body paraganglioma -- a rare type of tumor that forms near the carotid artery in the neck. In May of 2012, she had surgery to remove the tumor. "It wasn't a thought that it could be cancer," Cejas says. "It was a thought that I have this tumor and I have to get it out and I'm going to have this ugly scar and that's the end of it."

When Cejas returned a few days after surgery to have her stitches removed, doctors told her the tumor was cancerous. It had metastasized to nearby lymph nodes and Cejas needed a second surgery -- called a modified radical neck dissection -- to remove the lymph nodes and other tissue below the skin from the right side of her neck."

[When] you finally realize what a cancer diagnosis really means... you get sad, you're confused, it's a lot of anger," says Cejas. "I could understand it because I have the medical background, but it's one thing to know what something is objectively and it's another thing to have to deal with it yourself."

The second surgery would leave her with a more prominent scar, and she'd need to go in for regular checkups -- but once the procedure was over, Cejas thought the hardest part of the cancer experience would be behind her.On July 3, 2012, her surgeon was nearly finished with the neck dissection procedure when he noticed her carotid artery was, as he explained it later, "leaky." When the surgeon attempted to repair the vessel it fell apart. Vascular surgeons were called in but they were unable to repair the artery and instead put in a graft, or artificial blood vessel. Cejas woke up from the surgery feeling groggy but otherwise fine.Later that night, she began to feel confused and angry. "I don't have a reason to be [angry]," she recalls thinking. "I'm not really in pain, this doesn't make sense... then things kind of get hazy from there."

A little after midnight on July 4, 2012, Cejas began having a stroke. She was rushed to emergency surgery where doctors found the artery graft had clotted, restricting blood flow to part of her brain.This time when Cejas woke up, the left side of her body was paralyzed. She couldn't move her left arm or leg. The side of her face was drooping. She couldn't eat or even swallow.

After a surgery, a cancer diagnosis, a second surgery and a stroke -- Cejas' life had been turned upside down. Just weeks before she had been working grueling 15-hour shifts as part of her residency. Now, she had begin re-learning basic functions. She took her medical knowledge, and the determination that helped her achieve so much as a doctor, and focused it on recovery.

She began intensive therapy immediately. Within seven days of her stroke, she could move her left leg, shoulder and wrist. After two weeks she was able to eat and swallow. Her speech got clearer after a month.Now, she's able to walk, talk and eat normally. And while her left hand will always be slightly impaired, she doesn't notice other symptoms of her stroke unless she gets very tired or sick. But the experience is always with her. "It's every day I remember that I had a stroke," she says. "It's just a little bit less frequent now than it was before."

A recent MRI showed Cejas is also cancer free. Her severe medical problems a temporary hurdle to overcome as she continues her already impressive career.She remained in her residency program at Tulane, completing it in 2013, and is now a second-year fellow in the child neurology training program at the University of Chicago. During the first year of her fellowship, she often worked with adult stroke victims. Many of them had symptoms just like her own. She says she's more understanding with all of her patients than she used to be. She knows what it's like to be in that bed. She knows how hard it can be. And she knows what it takes to get better."

It can be very overwhelming sometimes to think about all of this stuff that happened," Cejas says. "And sometimes dealing with these patients it puts me right back there. But I have to kind of step back and say, 'That's OK. I was there, now I'm not. Let me get you to where I am. Maybe I can help.'"

Dr. Valerie Callender, Class of 1986, Elected to the American Academy of Dermatology
4/12/2016

Dr. Valerie Callender has been elected to the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Dermatology. She will serve a four year term that will begin at the conclusion of the Academy's 75th Annual Meeting in March 2017. Dr. Callender serves on the Academy's International Affairs Committee. She is the Immediate Past President of the Women's Dermatologic Society and is a former president of the Skin of Color Society. 

The Academy’s new officers and board members will lead the world’s largest dermatologic society, which represents more than 18,000 physicians who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of skin, hair and nail conditions. These officers and board members also will hold the same positions for the American Academy of Dermatology Association. 

Dr. Stephen Taylor, Class of 1988, discusses the prevention of opioid addiction in Alabama
4/7/2016

Charlie, my patient, was a tall, brilliant young graduate student with an athletic build, sandy brown hair, a warm, friendly smile, and all the potential in the world. Charlie was lucky to have survived long enough to enter graduate school.  His addiction to prescription painkillers almost killed him while he was still in college.

Charlie was no different from many young people across Central Alabama, and throughout our state and our nation.  Charlie had first been prescribed opioid medications for the right reason. They are literally the most powerful and effective medications we doctors can give people with severe pain.

Yet long after Charlie's pain was controlled, Charlie would continue taking the opioid medicine, and often share it with his friends, having discovered the intensely pleasurable "high" these drugs can cause.  We doctors call these drugs "opioids" for a reason – because they work on the same "opioid" receptors in the brain, causing essentially the same powerful effects, as the illegal opiate heroin, or its parent opiate drug, morphine.

Like these drugs, prescription opioids cause potent relief of pain, and a calming effect on anxiety.  They also have devastating addiction potential like the opiates do.  They cause the same horrific withdrawal syndrome when stopped abruptly; and – most frighteningly – they are lethal if taken in overdose, just like heroin or morphine.

Charlie's opioid misuse progressed in a way that was similar to other young people in Alabama and beyond. He went from taking the medications orally, to crushing and "snorting" the crushed pills up his nose, to eventually dissolving and injecting them into his veins.  As his use escalated into full-blown addiction, Charlie no longer obtained the pills from a doctor.  He became one of the 70% of Americans who, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, obtain the opioids they abuse from a friend or a relative, or some source other than a doctor.

As an addiction psychiatrist, I found helping Charlie overcome his addiction to be difficult, and at times, scary – but incredibly rewarding, in the end.  But prevention beats treatment any day. Imagine if Charlie had started with "abuse-deterrent" medication.

New "abuse-deterrent formulations" of prescription drugs have been developed. This means the same powerful pain relief can be provided by the same opioid medication, but the pills are specifically designed so that the powerful euphoric effect of these drugs is lost when they are crushed, chewed, injected, snorted or manipulated.  The pills keep their pain-killing potency – which we want – but are stripped of their intense euphoric effect and their addictive potential, which we can do without.

Certainly, this development sounds exciting – so much so that FDA officials have signaled that as more and more abuse-deterrent formulations are approved, the agency may eventually call for all prescription pain medications to have abuse-deterrent properties. But obstacles exist.  The drugs may be more expensive to produce than traditional opioids, which may induce health insurers to discourage physicians from prescribing them.

Ultimately, for Charlie's sake, and for the sake of thousands if not millions of other people in our great state, I believe it is essential that we doctors have the ability to prescribe opioids with abuse-deterrent formulations.  I suspect these drugs will be less likely to be abused or obtained illegally; and their use can be limited to the powerful, appropriate pain-relieving purposes for which they were intended.  That can only help us fight the dreadful epidemic of opioid addiction and opioid overdose deaths that is destroying the lives of so many people in Alabama.  With parents and doctors working together, I am convinced we can make this happen.

Dr. Babu Welch, Class of 1997, Named Inaugural Duke Samson Chair in Neurological Science
3/29/2016

Dr. Babu Welch, M.D. '97, Associate Professor of Neurosurgery and of Radiology at UT Southwestern, has been named the inaugural holder of the Duke Samson Chair in Neurological Surgery. The endowment honors Dr. Duke Samson for his extraordinary career as a cerebrovascular neurosurgeon and as Chair of that Department from 1985 to 2012. Dr. Welch was recruited to UT Southwestern as a Faculty member in 2006 and is the first African-American Neurosurgery faculty at that institution. He is an open and endovascular neurosurgeon.

In Memorium: Dr. Lennox S. Westney, Class of 1961
3/18/2016

Lennox S. Westney was born in Jamaica, West Indies, where he also received his early education up to the junio college level at West Indies College. He completed his B.A. degree, magna cum laude, at Atlantic Union College, Massachusetts, and his MA degree in History and Political Science at Columbia University, New York. After garduating with his MD from Howard University College of Medicine, Dr. Westney completed a rotating internship at Freedmen's Hospital, followed by specialty training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Baltimore City Hospitals, The Johns Hopkins University Hospital, and the University of Maryland Hospital. 

On completing his specialty training, Dr. Westney's first positions were Assistant Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland (1966-68). He later served as Medical Officer in the District of Columbia Public Health Department while setting up private practice in Northwest Washington, DC. From 1971 until the time of his retirement he taught and practiced obstetrics and gynecology at the Howard University College of Medicine and Hospital. He served from 1992 to 1995 as Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. In 1995, he was installed as the College of Medicine's first John F.J. Clark Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He retired as Professor Emeritus from the Howard University College of Medicine in 1998. 

Dr. Westney's practice focused on high risk obstetric patients with conditions such as sickle cell anemia, diabetes, renal problems, multiple gestations, teenage pregnancy and drug abuse. He managed and delivered many triplets and in 1991 led the team that delivered the first set of quintuplets born at Howard University Hospital, of Bermudian parents, for which he was cited in a resultion by the Bermuda House of Parliament. 

He held membership in a number of professional organizations, including the National Medical Association, the American College of Surgeons, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. He was a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. 

Dr. Westney authored or co-authored over forty publications on a wide range of topics covering medical concerns of women, infants, and children and methods that help assure the delivery of a healthy baby. When he retired in 1998, although ill, he endeavored to be involved in service activities as much as possible. In 2008, he published his autobiography, Just As I Am: Challenged But Confident - A Story of Surmounting and Serving. 

His community service contributions covered a range of involvements such as Member of the Board of Directors for the Washington Adventist Hospital and the Shady Grove Adventist Hospital (1977-1980); Medical Director of the Allegheny East Conference of S.D.A. (1977-1980); Member of the Executive Board for HUMAA (1982-1992); Member of the Board of Directors for the George E. Peters Elementary School (1990-2000), serving as its Chairman from 1994-1996; and a member of the Board of Directors for the Chillum Oaks Adventist Apartments Inc., a home for senior citizens (1994-2006). 

He served as an elder for 25 years at the First Seventh Day Adventist Church, Washington, DC. Also, for over twenty years, he teamed up with his wife, Dr. Ouida Westney, in presenting lectures and seminars on marriage and family enrichment, parenting and communication. They were granted the Distinguished Service Award in Family Ministries by the North American Division of Seventh Day Adventists in 2001. Dr. Westney was a member of the Emmanuel-Brinklow Seventh Day Adventist Church in Ashton, Maryland. 

Dr. Westney leaves his wife, Dr. Ouida Westney, three children and four grandchildren. Lennox S. Westney Jr. is in business, Irving V. Westney is an emergency medicine physician, and Ouida L. Westney is an urologist. 

Dr. Yvonne Turner Johnson, Class of 1987, is Keynote Speaker for Cayman Heart Fund
3/18/2016

Dr. Yvonne Turner JohnsonThe Cayman Heart Fund has been at the forefront of cardiovascular disease education and prevention – the islands’ No. 1 health issue – for almost a decade, and this year they have selected Dr. Yvonne Turner Johnson to be the keynote speaker at their annual gala. Dr. Johnson is co-medical director of the Emergency Department at Baptist Health South Florida and emergency director of the Heart Attack Unit at South Miami Hospital. Dr. Johnson’s topic will be “Secrets of a Woman’s Heart.”

Dr. Johnson has worked in the Emergency Department of South Miami Hospital – Baptist Health South Florida since 2001. A native of Atlantic City, New Jersey, she is a graduate of
Harvard College and Howard University College of Medicine. She was in private practice for several years with Dr. Robert Cava before turning to the practice of emergency medicine full-time.

She recently served as the president of the medical staff at South Miami Hospital. Dr. Johnson has been honored several times as “Doctor of the Day,” staffing the Florida Legislative Clinic in Tallahassee. She also is a member of the American College of Physicians and is active with the National Medical Association.

Dr. Dayle Hawthorne, Class of 1977, discusses her passion for family medicine
3/18/2016

Inside the doors of Med First and C&C Medical in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, two doctors and 12 other medical professionals spend their days treating patients for emergencies, injuries, ongoing health conditions and routine health maintenance.  The joint facilities are owned by Connie Couch, who is so pleased with her staff she beams when she talks about them. “Everyone works together beautifully,” she says

Dr. Dayle Hawthorne, personifies that, says Couch. “If Dr. Hawthorne sees you even once, she’ll remember everything about you forever. She really cares about her patients.”

Hawthorne comes from a tradition of medicine — her father and grandfather were doctors and her mother a registered nurse. After attending Howard University in Washington, D.C., she moved to Atlanta where she became the first graduate of Morehouse School of Medicine’s family practice residency.

“Partnering with a person to take joint responsibility for their health,” says Hawthorne, “is a privilege. I love working with someone over the course of their lifetime.” Hawthorne says Morehouse trains doctors to see an individual as part of a family and a family as part of a community. The school strongly encourages its graduates to practice medicine within the state of Georgia.

Besides practicing family and urgent care medicine, Hawthorne is an herbalist, has studied Chinese medicine and has a passion for nutrition. She’s been with Med First for 18 years.

Med First and C&C Medical boast five exam rooms and an operating room where they do suturing, biopsies, set broken bones, remove lesions, treat burns, and much more. They do x-rays, EKGs, blood tests, blood pressure and sugar tests and provide both walk-in emergency care and appointment-only primary care.

“We go off-site, too,” says Couch. Clinic doctors and staff go to schools where they do sports physicals and to companies where they offer everything from flu shots to biometric screenings.

Dr. Rodney Leacock, Class of 1992, Joins Palmetto Health Neurosurgery Associates
3/17/2016

Dr. Rodney Leacock, Class of 1992, has joined the staff of Columbia, South Carolina’s Palmetto Health Neurosurgery Associates.

Dr. Leacock is a neurointensivist holding board certifications in neurology, neurocritical care and vascular neurology. His areas of focus are varied and include acute ischemic stroke, intracranial and subarachnoid hemorrhage, status epilepticus, and airway protection for patients with neurological disorders. He has extensive experience providing care for patients living with complicated neurological conditions. 

Howard and Georgetown Awarded $27 Million from NIH
1/28/2016

A large clinical research program led by Georgetown and Howard universities, facilitating the participation of more than four million Washington-area residents in clinical trials, has received a $27 million dollar grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The NIH’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences awarded a five-year renewal of the prestigious Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) to Georgetown University and Howard University on Aug. 28. The award allows those institutions, as well as the MedStar Health Research Institute and the Washington DC VA Medical Center to continue its broad support of clinical and translational research — improving health care by developing and testing targeted, next generation treatments for all human diseases.

The first CTSA grant for $38 million was awarded in 2010 to the two universities. This seeded the formation of the Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Science (GHUCCTS).

“Our mission is not only to stimulate clinical research in the area, but also to encourage the participation of underserved populations and their communities in that research,” said Thomas Mellman, MD, Howard’s principal investigator for the CTSA. “The award is also intended to foster the development of the next generation of clinical researchers.”

In addition, the grant allows clinical researchers to continue their collaborations with scientists at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory to analyze large volumes of dynamic biomedical data with increasing levels of speed and efficiency.

“This collaboration represents one of the largest integrated clinical trials networks in the country,” says Joseph Verbalis, MD, Georgetown’s principal investigator for the grant. “That matters because it directly impacts patient care.” There are 62 other federally funded CTSA programs in the U.S.

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), said the Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational program has become an outstanding partnership whose work together is showing that scientific investment on a national level can directly impact patient care.“

In a very short period of time, this program has demonstrated the benefits of coordinated community outreach on increasing access to advanced clinical care. Over time, this will change the health of our citizens. Not only are the scientists and doctors at the forefront of medical discoveries, but now, so are our residents.”

“We will be even more productive during our next phase — we have laid down a solid foundation for GHUCCTS and we’ll now build on it,” Mellman said. “There have been many accomplishments during our first five years.”

During the first five years of funding, more than 440 studies that benefited from GHUCCTS support were published: from pilot grants, to bioinformatics and biostatistical advice, to use of core laboratories across all five GHUCCTS institutions.

In addition to supporting the infrastructure necessary to speed advances in health care, the award supports the training of clinical investigators and provides training in translational science to predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees at Georgetown and Howard, ensuring future success in the field of translational research.

Finally, the community engagement and research component of GHUCCTS ensures community input into research priorities and representation of underserved groups in clinical research studies, thereby ensuring the validity and relevance of results to broad communities.“

By working together, we can and will combine our strengths in ways that will impact health care to a far greater degree than our institutions could do individually,” said Joseph Verbalis.

Colibri Jenkins, Class of 2007, Joins Merit Health River Region in Mississippi
9/8/2015

Colibri Jenkins, MD, has joined Merit Health River Region’s staff as a board-certified general psychiatrist on the inpatient behavioral health team at the West Campus.

Jenkins’ areas of interest are in adult and child psychiatry services with a special focus on adolescent behavioral health issues. She earned her medical degree from Howard University College of Medicine in 2007, and completed her general psychiatry internship and residency as well as her post-doctoral fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans.

She spent one year in Washington, D.C. working with Senator Ron Wyden’s Office as part of the Jeanne Spurlock Congressional Health Policy Fellowship. Jenkins holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Tougaloo College, where she graduated Cum Laude and is a member of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists and the American Psychiatry Association.

 
Dr. Derrece Reid, Class of 2010, Joins Albany Medical Center
8/2/2015

Dr. Derrece Reid, Class of 2010, a neuromuscular specialist, has joined the Department of Neurology at Albany Medical Center and has been appointed assistant professor of neurology at Albany Medical College. Reid specializes in treatment of a range of neuromuscular conditions and disorders including muscular dystrophy, motor neuron disease, neuropathy, and other injuries to the peripheral nerves and muscles. Reid recently completed a neuromuscular fellowship at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, where she also completed her residency training.

Dr. Carl Mansfield, Class of 1956, Selected to Receive 2015 ASTRO Gold Medal
7/10/2015

The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) has chosen Carl M. Mansfield, MD, ScD (Hon.), FASTRO to receive the ASTRO Gold Medal during the Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, October 20, 2015, at ASTRO’s 57th Annual Meeting, October 18-21, 2015 at the Henry B. González Convention Center in San Antonio, TX. 

The ASTRO Gold Medal is the highest honor bestowed upon revered members of ASTRO who have achieved outstanding lifetime contributions in the field of radiation oncology, including in research, clinical care and teaching, as well as through their dedicated service to ASTRO. First awarded in 1977, the ASTRO Gold Medal has been conferred on only 78 of ASTRO’s more than 10,000 members, including the three 2015 awardees. Candidates for the Gold Medal are formally nominated via a letter of support by one Active ASTRO member along with letters of recommendation from two additional Active members of ASTRO. The letters provide a detailed history of the nominees’ achievements and their impact on the advancement of radiation oncology. Nominees may be from any of the scientific disciplines represented in ASTRO’s membership, including radiation oncology, biology and physics.

Carl M. Mansfield, MD, ScD (Hon.), FASTRO, has been a member of ASTRO since 1970. When he retired from a nearly 50-year medical career in 2002, he was Associate Director of the Greenebaum Cancer Center and Chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Maryland. His career included the positions of Professor and Chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City; Professor and Chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology and Nuclear Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia; and Associate Director of the Division of Cancer Treatment, Diagnosis and Treatment Centers Radiation Research Program at the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Mansfield is considered a pioneer in intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT) for early stage breast cancer. He produced a seminal 1983 report comparing perioperative and intraoperative (Iridium -192) breast implants that laid the groundwork for much of the continuing research in this field today. His work also led to advances in the conservative management of breast cancer through breast irradiation and local brachytherapy; this method of treatment excised the tumor without removing the entire breast. Mansfield served as primary or co-author on more than 200 original original publications and more than 30 original abstracts. He has also written a book on breast cancer and was editor of two radiation therapy textbooks. 

Thinking about the genesis of his work, Mansfield credits the inspiration of his mentor, Dr. Simon Kramer. “My mentor, Dr. Kramer, revealed the amazing world of radiation oncology science to me through his leadership, guidance and support. He arranged a year’s study for me at the Middlesex Hospital in London, where I continued and fortified my education. My experiences there revealed the endless possibilities for radiation in the treatment of cancer,” said Mansfield. 

Mansfield earned an undergraduate degree in chemistry from Lincoln University, a medical degree from Howard University, and an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from Lincoln University. In addition to his post-doctoral fellowship at Middlesex Hospital, he was the Chernicoff Fellow in Pediatric Radiation Therapy at Jefferson Medical College Hospital from 1964-66 and served another year at the Meyerestein Institute of Radiotherapy at Middlesex Hospital Medical School in 1972-73. 
“I am grateful to be recognized by members, peers and colleagues with the ASTRO Gold Medal. I encourage today’s medical students, researchers and residents to continue the wonderful progress being made in the elimination of cancer.” 

Charles H. Clark, Class of 1949
6/22/2015

Dr. Charles H. Clark died on Wednesday, June 3, 2015 in his sleep. The memorial service will be held on Saturday, June 27, 2015 at 11:00am at the Howard University Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel, 6th & Howard Place, NW.  In lieu of flowers, please send your contribution to the attention of Ms. Charlene Blount, Development Assistant, Howard University College of Medicine, 520 W Street, NW, Room 511, Washington, DC  20059. Expressions of sympathy may be sent to his wife, Mrs. Jennine Clark and family at 1844 Randolph Street, NW, Washington, DC 20011-5340.

 

 

New York County Medical Society Honors Anthony A. Clemendor, Class of 1963
6/22/2015

At its annual meeting on June 2, New York County Medical Society President Joshua M. Cohen, MD, MPH presented the Society’s Nicholas Romaine, MD Lifetime Achievement Award to Anthony A. Clemendor, MD.

“Dr. Clemendor has worked tirelessly on behalf of physicians and patients throughout his career,” said Dr. Cohen. “He embodies the finest attributes represented by this award and its namesake, Dr. Romaine.” The award is named for Doctor Nicholas Romaine, who in addition to serving as the Society’s first president in 1806, was also a founder of the New York College of Physicians and Surgeons.  It was said of Doctor Romaine that “he was unwearied in toil and of mighty energy, dexterous in legislative bodies, and at one period of his career was vested with almost all the honors the medical profession can bestow.”  

In recognition of the caliber of physician this award honors, this year the Society presents it to a physician of equally impressive stature. A graduate of the Howard University College of Medicine, Dr. Clemendor is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology. He is Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at New York Medical College, where he served as a dean for 23 years.As a member of both New York County Medical Society and the Medical Society of the State of New York, Dr. Clemendor has served in a number of capacities: he chaired the MSSNY Task Force to Eliminate Ethnic and Racial Disparities in Health Care, and served on the AMA Commission to End Disparities in Health Care.  He served on the New York State Board for Professional Medical Conduct; as treasurer of the Empire State Medical Scientific and Educational Foundation; and on the New York State Council on Graduate Medical Education. In addition, he served on the Executive Committee of the Medical Society of the State for New York as Treasurer and as Councilor representing Manhattan and the Bronx.Dr. Clemendor is a fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine. He continues to serve as vice chair of the Society’s delegation to the Medical Society of the State of New York.

Dr. LaSalle D. Leffall Jr. Celebrates his 85th Birthday
6/22/2015

At the age of 85, Dr. LaSalle Leffall is still teaching and inspiring students at Howard University Hospial and Medical School At the age of 85, Dr. LaSalle Leffall is still teaching and inspiring students at Howard University Hospial and Medical School 

It was his 85th birthday and LaSalle Leffall, a retired surgeon who still make makes rounds and lectures, was in the auditorium of the Howard University Hospital lecturing surgical residents about remaining calm when they encounter tense moments in the OR. Then he quoted from “Aequanimitas: A Biographical Note,” which was written by medical pioneer Sir William Osler. “Equanimity under duress,” said Leffall adding that one of the best attributes of  surgeon is to  “maintain that degree of calmness and tranquility because that will allow you to do what is appropriate in any circumstance.”

Joel Stevens, a general surgeon at Providence Hospital, nodded his head. Seated next to Stevens was his son, who will be a first-year medical student at Howard this fall. Following the lecture,  Stevens rushed up to Leffall and introduced him to his son. In 1968, Leffall taught him as a first year medical student, Stevens said. “I will never forget it. I said to myself, ‘Who is this man,’” said Stevens, who was among the attending surgeons and residents who took time out to celebrate the 85th birthday of a medical pioneer who has no plans to hanging up his lab coat at a medical school and hospital after more than 50 years.

“My philosophy is that as long as you have your health and you enjoy what you do then you should continue,” said Leffall in an interview after a modified Grand Rounds on Monday where university officials made an 8-minute video and held a surprise luncheon on Leffall’s honor. Four decades after he had Dr. LeSalle Leffall as an instructor at the Howard University Medical School, Dr. Joel Stevens, a general surgeon, introduces Leffall to his son Eric, who will be a first year medical student at Howard this Fall. 

Edward E. Cornwell III, the LaSalle D. Leffall Jr. Professor and Chairman of Surgery at Howard University, said having a special Grand Rounds honoring Leffall Monday was important. “We wanted to celebrate someone who has had both impact and longevity and that is what today’s ceremony was all about.” Cornwell said Leffall is the living link for modern day surgeons and medical pioneers like Dr. Charles Drew, a medical pioneer whose research with blood transfusion help to develop blood bank technology around the world. “You will notice on that video there was actually footage of Dr. Drew and for all that I have heard of Dr. Drew that was the first time that I got to see actually footage of Dr. Drew,” Cornwell said.

During his lecture Leffall couldn’t help but to talk about Drew, the former chairman of the Howard University Department of Surgery, who died in a car accident April 1, 1950 in Burlington, N.C. while he was driving to a medical/surgical conference in Tuskeegee, Alabama. Thinking it was a bad April fools joke, Leffall said he couldn’t believe that one of his mentors had passed away, but then “Dr. Booker then turned us and said I have some very sad news for our chief of surgery was killed in tragic automobile accident.”

Drew had a close relationship with the surgical staff at the famed Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. From 1957 to 1959, Leffall studied at Sloan Kettering In 1962, he went to Howard, where he rose from being an Assistant Professor of Surgery to Professor to Chairman of the Department of Surgery in 1970.

During his career, Leffall has taught more than 6,000 medical students and trained more than 300 surgical residents. Even though Leffall retired from performing surgery nine years ago he remains on the faculty as a lecturer and resource at Howard, who still arrives at the hospital by 6 a.m. every morning.

Leffall has lectured at more than 200 medical institutions across country and among his efforts is to  clear up the urban legend that Drew died without getting blood products even though he was one of the pioneers with the development of blood plasma. “So many people had heard that he had been turned away and didn’t get proper care,” Leffall said. “He was given care but his injuries were very severe. To say that [he didn’t get adequate care] would be a disservice to those people in a predominantly white hospital in North Carolina that gave Dr. Drew treatment that morning.”

In terms of the future,  Leffall is hopeful. “I have gotten so much in life but it is not what you get, it is what you give. I have received a lot but I want to give a lot,” Leffall said. “I’m so hopeful for the future. We have made so many advances and so many reasons to be hopeful.”

Howard University College of Medicine Names New Dean
6/22/2015

Dr. Hugh E. Mighty has been named the 18th Dean of the Howard University College of Medicine and Vice President of Clinical Affairs. Dr. Mighty succeeds Dr. Edward E. Cornwell, III, who has served as interim Dean since October 2014.

Dr. Mighty joins Howard University from Louisiana State University (LSU) where he served as Vice Chancellor for Clinical Affairs and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the LSU School of Medicine. Dr. Mighty will oversee the College of Medicine’s development and growth of its academic programs; effective development and relations with students, faculty members, alumni and the other schools and colleges in the University; and provide oversight for the administrative and financial operation of the College of Medicine. Mighty will also serve as Vice President of Clinical Affairs, having oversight of the relationship between the academic enterprise and the hospital and responsibility for the development and direction of the Faculty Practice Plan. He will also serve as professor on the faculty in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Mighty will report to Dr. Michael Winston, Howard University Provost and Chief Academic Officer.

Dr. Mighty has a long history of leadership working to create lasting positive change at the institution and community level. During his tenure at LSU, Dr. Mighty guided the financial and strategic direction of the academic and hospital enterprise, including three safety-net hospitals in the state. He is known for developing innovative statewide initiatives, such as telemedicine to offer obstetrical services to high-risk pregnant women in rural areas of Maryland and the Tamar’s Children initiative to defer incarceration for pregnant women with minor offenses in exchange for the development of job and parenting skills. Dr. Mighty has also served in multiple public leadership roles, including Chairman of the State Commission on Infant Mortality Prevention for the state of Maryland.

Dr. Mighty earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Georgetown University, a medical degree from the University of Maryland and his MBA from Loyola University in Baltimore. He’s held multiple academic leadership positions, including Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Maryland. As Chair, Dr. Mighty trained and mentored more than 200 residents and fellows as well as recruited clinical and basic science faculty. 

Dr. Ernest Brown, Class of 2002, Brings Healing To Patients in Their Homes
6/22/2015

Ernest Brown is a unique doctor. Unlike most doctors, he does not work in a clinic or hospital. He works out of a black Toyota truck. Patients do not come to him. He comes to their houses.Dr. Ernest Brown is a doctor who makes house calls.In 2008, Dr. Brown received his first phone call asking him to make a house call.

Almost eight years later, this is the only method Dr. Brown uses. But, he says, this method is not unusual or even new. "It's not anything new, because it’s really just the roots of medicine. You know, when you go back in time, when communities were smaller and people were part of a community... there used to be a good old doc down the street… That's really been, kind of, lost."

Dr. Brown was born and raised in Washington, DC. His first interest was in emergency medicine. However, in his third year of medical school he studied under Dr. George Taler. Dr. Taler only treated patients by visiting them in their homes.Dr. Brown saw a special relationship between Dr. Taler and his patients. Most doctors stand over their patients and do not touch them, Dr. Brown says. Dr. Taler sat down beside on of his patient’s hospital bed and said, "Mary, I think you're doing great. I'll see you at home in a week."

Several months later, Dr. Brown took a trip to Cuba. In Cuba, he witnessed a festival honoring a member of the community."There was this little old guy… He had a red scarf, suit, and a cane, and he was twirling the scarf and popping the cane. And people would come up to him and dance with him, hug him, and he would smile… It was so nice to see this elderly gentleman in his community and people engaged with him. And I was like, 'you know, that's really cool. Who is he?' 'He's our family doctor."From that moment, Dr. Brown decided to become a family doctor. This means he treats men and women of all ages. Family doctors are usually the first doctor a sick person contacts. He chose family medicine because he believes it brings him closer to his community."When you slow things down and do what I think is appropriate, [and] really interact with patients, and follow patients, [then] you really know the true benefit of healing."

The American Academy of Family Physicians reports that fewer medical students are entering family medicine. Dr. Brown says that this is because of the increasing cost of medical school. This increase forces students to seek specializations in medicine. These specializations will get the students better paying jobs in the future.

Meggie Chochol is a third year medical student at Georgetown University. She is interested in Dr. Brown’s work and follows him on house calls. "There’s so much insight you can gain just seeing somebody in their home and in their natural environment versus in [the clinic]," she says. However, Mrs. Chochol says she will finish medical school with half a million dollars in debt.The Health Care Cost Institute is a non-profit organization based in the United States. The organization collects data from private insurance companies to measure the current cost of healthcare in the country. According to the HCCI, privately insured people under the age of 65 increased their healthcare spending by 3.9 per cent in 2013.

Dr. Brown refuses to work with any health insurance organization. He only requires patients to pay him when their health improves. He makes money from what he calls "concierge services." Concierges from upscale hotels would contact him when hotel guests are feeling sick. Dr. Brown collects fees from these wealthy patients so he can provide free treatment to people who cannot afford it. Three years ago, Dr. Brown received one of his first concierge service calls. A high level politician from Greece was in Washington, DC for a meeting. He fell ill before the start of the meeting. Dr. Brown helped improve the politician's health. As a reward, the politician gave him and his family a free vacation to Greece.

During Dr. Brown’s vacation, the politician asked him to renew his professional vows on the island of Cos. Cos is the island where the physician Hippocrates taught medicine thousands of years ago. Hippocrates is considered the father of Western medicine. Dr. Brown says moments like these inspire him to continue his work. Patients want peace of mind. He says that the way to achieve this is "to care, end of story."

The Case for Black Doctors
5/18/2015

This story originally ran in the New York Times on May 15, 2015
By Damon Tweedy

In virtually every field of medicine, black patients as a group fare the worst. This was one of my first and most painful lessons as a medical student nearly 20 years ago. The statistics that made my stomach cramp back then are largely the same today: The infant mortality rate in the black population is twice that of whites. Black men are seven times more likely than white men to receive a diagnosis of H.I.V. and more than twice as likely to die of prostate cancer. Black women have nearly double the obesity rate of white women and are 40 percent more likely to die from breast cancer. Black people experience much higher rates of hypertension, diabetes and stroke. The list goes on and on.
The usual explanations for these health disparities — poverty, poor access to medical care and unhealthy lifestyle choices, to name a few — are certainly valid, but the longer I’ve practiced medicine, the more I’ve come to appreciate a factor that is less obvious: the dearth of black doctors. Only around 5 percent of practicing physicians are black, compared with more than 13 percent of Americans overall.

As a general rule, black patients are more likely to feel comfortable with black doctors. Studies have shown that they are more likely to seek them out for treatment, and to report higher satisfaction with their care. In addition, more black doctors practice in high-poverty communities of color, where physicians are relatively scarce.

As a psychiatrist, I’ve seen this up close. I’ve frequently been the only black doctor (or one of very few) in clinics with large black populations. Quite often, patients ask to see a black doctor, but the sheer volume of people seeking help prevents me from accommodating most of their requests.

Black patients, compared with those of other races, tend to be far less trusting of physicians and their medical advice. Much of this is rooted in a dark history of experimentation on black people without their consent (the four-decade-long Tuskegee syphilis study is the most notorious modern-day example). Too often, however, this mistrust is to the patients’ detriment. I’ve met countless black people who have either delayed or refused needed treatments because they were skeptical about their physician’s motives and honesty. Some wound up far sicker than they should have been; others died.  

Perhaps the most compelling evidence that black patients are more likely to trust black doctors comes from the mental health field, where a patient’s relationship with his or her provider is especially important. Black people have often fared poorly in their interactions with the mental health care system. For example, they are nearly half as likely as whites to receive treatment for diagnosed mental health disorders of comparable severity. When black patients do receive treatment, it is far more likely to occur in an emergency room or psychiatric hospital than it is for whites, and less likely to be in the calmer office-based setting, where longer-term treatment can take place.

In this context, it is easy to understand a 2011 meta-analysis published in the Journal of Counseling Psychology that observed that black people strongly preferred to be matched to black therapists and were more likely to view them favorably, and that these preferences and perceptions translated into slightly better clinical outcomes.

In addition to the issues of trust, there is also a simple geographic explanation for the importance of black doctors. For at least three decades, researchers have found that black doctors are simply more likely to practice in high-poverty communities that are minority-rich and physician-poor. According to a 2012 report by the Association of American Medical Colleges, black medical students are more than twice as likely as white students to express the intention to work in such areas.

My career offers an example. I grew up in a working-class family a generation removed from segregated poverty, a background that influenced my decision to practice in clinics that served a disproportionately poor and minority population, instead of private offices.

Clearly, we need more black doctors. In the 2011-12 school year, the most recent for which figures are available, there were 5,580 black students enrolled in medical school, making up about 7 percent of the medical student population, which is roughly half of the proportion of the black population in America.

Nonetheless, when viewed through the lens of history, this recent figure reflects progress: In the 1968-69 school year, 783 black students were enrolled in American medical schools, just 2.2 percent of the overall total. Race-based affirmative action programs, which began to be implemented around this time, undoubtedly played a major role in expanding the number of black students in medical school. By the late 1970s, the number of black students had increased nearly fivefold, with the proportion peaking at 8 percent in the mid-1990s.

Since that time, however, opposition toward affirmative action has grown stronger. Many states have banned race-based admission efforts at public universities, and last year, the Supreme Court ruled that this was permissible. Purely race-based affirmative action is not yet dead, but it appears to be approaching its twilight years.

Even those who are uncomfortable with affirmative action or oppose it outright should consider the potential impact of this trend when it comes to medical school. A recent study in The Journal of Higher Education found that affirmative action bans in six states led to a 17 percent reduction in the enrollment of underrepresented students of color in medical school. Policies resulting in fewer black doctors could lead to even worse health outcomes for a population that is already the least healthy.

Of course, black doctors are not the only physicians who can deliver good medical care to black patients. Nor is every black physician a good one. Over the years, I’ve worked with many white and Asian doctors who are adept at interacting with patients of all races and social classes; indeed, they have been some of my best teachers and colleagues. Yet I’ve also seen the other side, where black patients have received cursory evaluations and callous misdiagnoses based upon negative stereotypes.

When I have been particularly successful at treating black patients, it has often had less to do with any particular talent on my part than with my patients’ willingness to bring up the racial concerns that troubled them.

Several years ago, for example, I met a recently retired black man who had been referred to me for treatment of depression. He had become increasingly dispirited by the fact that the town where he had raised his children had transformed into a community full of poor schools, single mothers and young black men in the criminal justice system.

Rather than prescribe him an antidepressant pill, as another doctor had done, I encouraged him to talk in depth about his early life in the 1940s and ’50s and the positive influences that had helped him succeed. Discussing his life in this way made him feel more confident about his ability to touch other lives, even though he couldn’t fix larger social problems. He helped put together a local program that introduced poor black kids to chess and golf, an endeavor that made him feel better than he had in many years. Periodically, he leaves me messages saying that he is still doing well and thanking me for my help.

Another time, I worked with a young woman who struggled with her biracial identity. Her black father had been abusive to her white mother when she was a child, and she found herself both afraid of and hostile toward black men. Because she physically resembled her father in many ways, she had also turned these negative feelings inward. Not surprisingly, her initial impression of me was unfavorable, but a friend encouraged her to come back to see me.

Over the next several months, we talked about every aspect of race imaginable, and by the end, she found herself more at peace and better able to see black men as individuals. For the first time, she even met a black man whom she began dating. She no longer felt depressed or severely anxious.

My experience as a patient may also be instructive. I received a diagnosis of high blood pressure as a first-year medical student, and although I knew perfectly well that I needed to change my high-salt, high-fat diet, I just couldn’t do it. Of course, it was hard to give up what was familiar and enjoyable. But an equally important part was my resistance to assimilating and adopting behaviors that I associated with well-to-do whites — eating salads and drinking fruit smoothies, for example — even though I knew that this defiance was ultimately self-defeating.

Only after many failed attempts have I been able to consistently do the right thing with my health. Today I take this experience into the exam room. While patients ultimately have to take responsibility for their own lives, it is helpful to have a doctor who understands, and doesn’t dismiss, behavior patterns that are often rooted in a cultural history.

How do we find more doctors who can share these insights with their patients? The truth is that race-based affirmative action is not an ideal fix. Despite being a beneficiary, I am ambivalent about it. In college in the 1990s, I was a strong student — co-valedictorian of my class — and a good test taker. On these measures alone, I would have gotten into several high-quality medical schools. Yet affirmative action propelled me into a different stratosphere. I was suddenly an applicant worthy of early admissions and special scholarships at some of the most elite schools.

Race might have been my ticket onto this stage, but what really made me different was social class. My mother went to segregated inner-city schools and couldn’t afford college; my father grew up in rural poverty and didn’t finish high school. In contrast, many of my white classmates were the children of doctors, lawyers and professors. A greater emphasis on socioeconomic diversity — one that looks at applicants in the context of their family structure, parental education, childhood neighborhood and quality of grade-school education — is more likely to be seen as fair by a greater number of people (and more likely to survive legal challenge) than one that primarily uses race as a marker for diversity.

Universities — and medical schools in particular — should go out of their way to recruit good students of every race from these less affluent backgrounds. Over time, such efforts could produce a greater cohort of doctors who are better prepared to relate to the patients who need them the most. In an ideal world, the race of the patient or physician wouldn’t matter; we would all treat each other strictly as individuals. But we’re quite a ways from reaching that exalted goal. For now, we have to attack the problem of racial health disparities from as many angles as possible. Black doctors are an important part of this mission.

President Obama visits HUCM; discusses the impact of climate change on public health
4/15/2015

President Barack Obama participated in a roundtable discussion April 7 at Howard University College of Medicine to emphasize the link between a changing climate and public health as part of an effort to boost support for its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

President Obama joined U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Interim Dean Edward E. Cornwell for a roundtable discussion on the topic as part of National Public Health Week."

I think we've always known -- or at least in the 20th century we've understood -- that environment has an impact on public health," the President told CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta."

I remember when I first went to college in Los Angeles in 1979, the air was so bad that you couldn't go running outside," Obama said. "You'd have air quality alerts, and people who had respiratory problems or were vulnerable had to stay inside. We took action, and the air's a lot better."

"There are a whole host of public health impacts that are going to hit home, so we've got to do better in protecting vulnerable Americans," Obama continued. "Ultimately, though, all of our families are going to be vulnerable. You can't cordon yourself off from air or climate."

Murthy revealed to the group that asthma is a personal issue for him, as a favorite uncle died from a severe attack when he was younger."

It's also personal to me because I've cared for many patients over the years who have suffered from asthma and have seen firsthand how frightening it can be to suddenly be wheezing and fighting for every breath," Murthy said. "Asthma can be very difficult for patients, but also for their families. The impacts of climate change could make the situation worse."

"This is not just a future threat -- this is a present threat," said Brian Deese, a senior adviser to the President. Deese also cited a recent study by the American Thoracic Society that found seven out of 10 doctors reported climate change is contributing to more health problems among their patients.

Obama designated April 6 through 12, 2015, as National Public Health Week and his administration used the opportunity to highlight the health impacts of climate change. As part of its outreach efforts, the Obama administration is releasing more than 150 health-related data sets through its Climate Data Initiative that can be used by researchers to identify and minimize the impacts of climate change. It will also present a Climate Change and Public Health Summit later this spring, and the Department of Health and Human Services will release a Health Care Facilities Toolkit through its Sustainable and Climate Resilient Health Care Facilities Initiative to improve health providers' access to data on climate change and health.

A large portion of the White House's latest climate push will focus on outreach to public health professionals and engagement with local governments looking to boost their climate mitigation strategies. In addition to Obama's roundtable, the surgeon general will participate in a White House Climate Change and Health Summit this spring and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will release its Adaptation in Action Report, which spotlights successful steps taken by state and local officials to reduce the health impacts of climate change.

The White House also announced that the deans of 30 medical, public health and nursing schools had committed to training upcoming doctors and nurses to better address the health impacts from climate change."

The good news is that, in addition to having doctors and nurses, public health officials, schools of medicine joining together to raise awareness -- and to in some cases impact their practice -- they anticipate, for example, increased asthma instances, and plan ahead of time to deal with those," Obama told Gupta. "What we have is companies like Google and Microsoft that are going to take data we're releasing and start developing apps so that, potentially, individual families are going to be able to monitor the air quality in their communities in a real-time basis."

"Communities can start planning for prevention and mitigation efforts more effectively, and hopefully the other thing that happens is that families and parents join with these doctors and nurses to start putting some pressure on elected officials to try to make something happen to reduce the impacts of climate change," said Obama.

President Wayne Frederick, Class of 1994, featured in the Washington Post magazine
4/15/2015


You are a surgeon, an academic, a researcher and now president of Howard University, and you’re only 43 years old?
Right. I’m an old man stuck in a young person’s body.

Even in a city of high achievers, that’s an impressive résumé. What’s something you’re not good at?
Probably being patient. [Laughs.] There’s a lot to be done, and given the changing landscape of higher ed, we certainly want to be addressing the concerns as quickly as possible.

You started at Howard when you were 16. Should kids start college at a younger age?
I don’t necessarily think they should be starting at an early age, but I think we need to have a more efficient system of trying to ensure that they acquire the full skill set. What I am more concerned about is, are we really utilizing the four years appropriately?

What’s the best advice you can give to a student starting college today?
They need to be focused — not so much on a specific major as we have traditionally done, but they need to be focused more broadly on what they would like to do with their lives. 

Should colleges move to a three-year program?
I think it’s something to be considered. What constitutes that time is what is more important. I think if we get that right, the time won’t be of as much importance. 

Will you be able to save Howard University Hospital?
I don’t think it is an issue of us saving it. It’s an issue of putting it in the right circumstance to deliver, one, the care to the underserved as we’ve always done, and two, to provide a medical education. Really what we’re trying to do is make sure it continues to provide the right functions in the best fiscal circumstance. 

Does the United States still need historically black colleges and universities?
Absolutely. HBCUs account for about 4 percent of all of the college grads in this country. But they account for 21 percent of all African American students who receive bachelor’s degrees. What we must do is ensure that we are providing an excellent education, because our diversification of the workforce is so critical. 

What should a Howard University student strive to be?
A Howard University student needs to strive to be someone who is flexible and is not confined by their field of study. And also sees that they are here to get an education and not a degree. And that that education comes alive only when it’s used to make the lives of the people around them or the society in which they choose to live better. 

Dr. Eloise Skelton, Class of 1977, discusses primary care physician scarcity
4/15/2015

The area is suffering from a doctor shortage, but Barstow, California Community Hospital officials say they are busy working on the cure. Using 2011 data, the Healthcare Atlas shows there are 2,407 civilians per primary care physician within the region that includes Barstow, Daggett, Lenwood, Nebo Center, Oro Grande and Yermo. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Service Administration designates it as a medically underserved area.

But many Barstow area residents don’t need to look at the data to realize there is a shortage of doctors. A lot of them walk into the emergency room at Barstow Community Hospital to seek basic care. Even with the Affordable Care Act in place, Barstow Community Hospital CEO Steven Foster says, patients have no place to go but the ER. “Right now if I look at ER volume, 30 to 40 percent of it has no primary care. In other words they are using the ER as the primary care place,” Foster said. “That’s a huge waste to our health care system. Because it’s not designed to manage your low acuities — bee stings, things that should not be coming through the ER. But if you don’t have primary health care, where else do you go?”

Foster said insurance is not the issue. Since the Affordable Health Care Act, more people have health coverage. He said they don’t have a primary care doctor. “Year over year, I can tell you this off the cuff, we had an 50 percent increase in ER visit volume,” he said. “We just had our conversation with Dr. Bradley Gilbert over at Inland Empire Health Plan. He said it is probably in line exactly with what they saw and expected from the Affordable Health Care Act.” Inland Empire Health plan is a not-for-profit insurer designed for low-income residents in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. It has reported that enrollment has doubled since 2011, when the health plan had 500,000 enrollees. In 2014, 350,000 patients were added with two-thirds of enrollees newly eligible for insurance as result of the ACA. “It has exceeded their budget projections, in fact,” Foster said. “They saw a 19 to 20 percent increase across the county.”

Barstow Community Hospital experienced the busiest January in its history, according to John Rader, business development and marketing director.“ For us, we had a 35 percent increase in ER volume, compared to January 2014. Just that month. It was unheard of, unprecedented,” Foster said. “So our year-end ER visits were 26,000 for 2014. If we had continued on that January trend line, we would have hit 28,000. Luckily, February was a little bit lower and March seems to be evening out. That's a huge increase for one year.”

To meet the need, Foster says the hospital is involved with an aggressive recruitment campaign to lure not only primary care physicians, but specialists as well. He estimates the community needs at least three more primary care physicians. He said they can be either internal medicine or family practice. But he says the community could easily add four physicians and there still would be plenty of patients to go around.“ One of the hardest things for me in recruiting, is generating the leads. So we use our parent company to help generate leads. But a lot of leads are also generated by word of mouth,” Foster said. “Obviously we talk to them on the phone. We kind of talk about ‘let's paint the picture of what health care looks like now in Barstow.’ Basic demographics of population, what our projections of population growth is in the next five years. If it’s primary care, then we talk about what does the primary care market look like.”

While Barstow doesn’t offer some of the perks of a metropolitan area, Foster says many candidates just want to practice medicine. He said they are looking for a market that offers them growth. He said the community actually has advantages of having solid major employers such as the BNSF railroad and area school districts that provide solid insurance coverage to employees. Foster also gets help from the community during recruitment. He mentioned Barstow Unified School District Superintendent Jeff Malan and Mayor Julie Hackbarth-McIntyre who volunteer to talk to candidates about the advantages of living and practicing in Barstow. He also said doctors currently practicing in Barstow will talk to the candidates as well.

Dr. Eloise Skelton, M.D. is a recent recruitment success story. She is certified in obstetrics, gynecology and gynecological surgery and practices out of the Barstow Health Partners clinic. She joined the clinic from Martin Luther King Jr. Hospital in Los Angeles and graduated from Howard University College of Medicine. She had previously worked in a small town in Iowa, so she was looking forward to the transition from the big city to Barstow.“ Working in a small community like Barstow is something I’ve done in the past,” Skelton said in a previous Desert Dispatch story on the clinic. “It is so valuable having a physician close to home. Years ago I worked in Iowa in a city with a population of 9,000.” Foster is also looking into a time-share concept where the hospital sets up clinics to keep costs low for doctors who might want set up a practice in Barstow. The hospital is even targeting Silver Lakes as a clinic location. “We have pretty neat little market analytics,” he said. “We know in general when patients come here what zip codes they are coming from. So when we see zip codes from Helendale, we know we’ve already got a piece of market out there. But it’s only a piece. So our concept when you build a strategic plan, is how do you make a bigger impression on that market?”

Passing of Dr. John T. Daniel Jr., Class of 1964
3/26/2015

Class of 1964 member, long-time North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) and Durham-Orange County Medical Society member, and Durham pioneer in medicine, Dr. John Thomas Daniel, Jr. died September 18, 2014 at Duke Regional Hospital. He was 80-years-old.

Dr. Daniel served as a leader in the Durham-Orange County Medical Society, the Old North State Medical Society and DAMDP.  He was a highly respected physician and surgeon and a steward of the Durham community.  He achieved many firsts in his remarkable career, including serving as the first African American President of the North Carolina Board of Medical Examiners, as the Medical Director for the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, and as Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery at Duke University Medical Center.

Dr. Daniel is survived by his wife Mrs. Beverly Monk Daniel, a sister Dr. Ida Daniel Dark, three children, four grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and two stepsons.

Dr. Leo V. English Jr., Class of 1944
3/24/2015

Dr. Leo V. English Jr., Class of 1944, passed on February 25, 2015 at the age of 95 at his home in San Jose. While practicing medicine in Detroit, Michigan, he was drafted into the Korean war as a captain and served in Alaska. In 1954, Dr. English settled in San Jose, CA with his family. From 1960-61 he served as President of the San Jose branch of the NAACP; San Jose Police Chief's Advisory Board; Santa Clara County Grand Jury; Santa Clara University Board of Regents. In 1965, Dr. English and his wife helped find summer housing for Selma, AL students. Awards include Howard University Student Non-Violent, Direct Action to Desegregate Restaurants and Interstate Buses; 1959 Distinguished Citizen Award, San Jose City Council; 2002 Martin Luther King Association of Santa Clara County, Good Neighbor Award.

Dr. English is survived by his wife Juanita and four sons. 

Dr. Sharon Deans, Class of 1988, promoted to Chief Medical Officer, Affinity Health Plan
3/24/2015

Affinity Health Plan has promoted Sharon Deans, MD, FACOG, to the position of Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Deans will be responsible for all aspects of medical management, including utilization, case, pharmacy and quality management, as well as integrated behavioral health. She will report directly to Affinity's President & Chief Executive Officer, Glenn A. MacFarlane.

Dr. Deans first joined Affinity in November 2014 as Senior Medical Director and Interim Chief Medical Officer, after having served as Medical Director at Health Plus Amerigroup, a division of Anthem. She brings more than 20 years of medical experience to Affinity and has served as the Director of Gynecology at the North Bronx Healthcare Network, as well as a district surgeon for the New York City Police Department. As a board certified obstetrician and gynecologist, Dr. Deans led her own practice for more than 11 years and served as a clinical instructor of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.  

Dr. Deans is a native New Yorker, born and raised in Brooklyn and educated in New York City public schools. She received her medical degree from Howard University College of Medicine in 1988 and will obtain a Master's in Public Health from Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health in October 2015.

Dr. Edwin Chapman, Class of 1973, describes his partnership with Howard University over the use of the drug Suboxone
3/24/2015

Edwin Chapman’s secretary handed him a pile of prescription slips, and the doctor’s pen moved quickly across them: “Buprenorphine/naloxone.” “Buprenorphine/naloxone.” “Buprenorphine/naloxone.” His waiting room was full of heroin-addicted patients there to refill their generic prescriptions for Suboxone, a drug that helps keep their relentless cravings at bay and now outpaces methadone as a treatment.

Chapman is an internist, a cardiologist. This drug has transformed his Washington medical practice — now more than half of his patients are there to seek it, addicts edging out elderly ladies with arthritis and diabetes. And the drug, he believes, has transformed lives. He wishes more people could get it. Yet even as heroin use surges in the United States, destroying neighborhoods and families — drug overdoses kill more people than any other kind of accident — both addicts and doctors say there are barriers that keep some from the treatment they desperately need. “In the past we’ve kind of run away from these patients, put them in methadone clinics, places no one can see them,” said Chapman, who estimates that two-thirds of his heroin-addicted patients tested positive for hepatitis C and more than one in 10 for HIV. “We need to reverse that. Put them in primary care. We need to be taking care of sick folks, not running away from them.”

Suboxone is controversial. Even among those who strongly support the appropriate use of the drug, there are some who don’t want to make it more widely available. The drug, after all, has street value. Patients can sell it to fund a heroin habit, although some experts say “Subs” on the street are mainly used by people trying to fight off withdrawal symptoms, not get high.

But there is plenty of evidence that the drug gets diverted; police seize it, addicts talk about how easy it is to buy. It can cause fatal overdoses if used illegally, especially if combined with other drugs. For the past decade or so, private doctors have been allowed to prescribe it to a small number of patients, as long as they get training from the Drug Enforcement Administration and follow rules intended to keep the drug from reaching the street. The hope was to integrate addiction treatment with primary care and allow patients to get care somewhere that has less of a stigma than a methadone clinic.

Methadone has been used for decades to treat addiction, in heavily regulated clinics that require most people to show up daily for their dose. It’s only in the past 10 to 15 years that people have had other options for medication-assisted therapy. Suboxone and its generic form, which people can take at home after getting a prescription from their doctor, have become the preferred treatment for many. It’s not cheap. While methadone can cost $3,000 to $3,500 per patient per year, generic Suboxone costs two to three times as much, according to the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors. But it’s a safer drug than methadone, according to the DEA, with less risk of overdose and illegal use.

Suboxone use now far outpaces methadone. In 2012, there were about 312,000 people getting methadone treatment, while about a million people got at least one prescription for Suboxone or its generic, said Robert Lubran, director of the division of pharmacologic therapies with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.The gap would be even greater if Suboxone were easier to get. Every day, the clinic at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore has to turn people away, said Darius Rastegar, one of five doctors there allowed to prescribe Suboxone. Most doctors are not licensed to prescribe it, and many wouldn’t be interested in working with heroin addicts. Some insurance companies strictly limit the drug. Medicaid isn’t ideal for providers either. It covers the drug but pays only a tiny fraction of the office visit, making it far easier for the well-insured to obtain it than the poor. Many doctors who dispense the drug take cash only. And many just can’t take any more patients. Doctors were initially limited to 30 patients; now they are allowed to treat up to 100. There’s a bill in the Senate to increase the number of patients doctors can treat. Some of the limits are intended to keep the drugs from ending up on the street, by preventing unscrupulous doctors from running “pill mills” and giving them more insight into their patients’ behavior.

There needs to be more monitoring of doctors who prescribe it, not less, said Mellie Randall, director of the office of substance abuse services at the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. While some doctors carefully track each patient, she said, there’s nothing to ensure that all do. But the patient limits seem arbitrary to some doctors in the field. “We don’t have a patient limit for anything else we do,” Rastegar said. “I can prescribe oxycodone to a thousand patients.” Insurance companies often set dosage limits, and some require physicians to lower dosages as time goes on or take people off the drug entirely. “That’s completely unreasonable,” said Peter Friedmann, a professor at Brown University’s Alpert School of Medicine. “You’d never say, ‘Oh, you’re obese and you have diabetes, we’ll give you insulin for a year. But you have to lose weight: After a year, no more insulin for you.’ ”

Chapman’s practice was unremarkable for many years. A soft-spoken but forthright Howard University graduate, he helped patients manage diabetes, high blood pressure and arthritis, said his nursing assistant, Ellen Blount, who started working for him 20 years ago. But the doctor grew increasingly concerned about the toll drug addiction was taking on his community. He began working in a methadone clinic. “The next thing I know they’re in here,” Blount said, her eyes widening. “My regular patients were asking, ‘What’s going on? I really don’t want to come to a place where I have to sit with these people!’ ” Some of their patients are professionals who got hooked on prescription opiates. More of them are long-term, hard-core heroin users. They’re shoplifters, drug dealers, prostitutes.

Now, at 68, Chapman is proposing to work with Howard on a more comprehensive intervention for chronic heroin addicts. Chapman has an easy way with his patients such as William Hayes, who started using heroin 40 years ago, when he was 16. Hayes’s previous attempts to quit never worked. He didn’t like methadone, because to him the drug felt like a shadow of heroin — it teased at a high and made him crave the real thing more. He couldn’t afford to try Suboxone, until he got Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act. Hayes laughs with delight when he talks about the drug, which has eliminated his intense craving for heroin. “It’s working!” he said. “I ain’t been in trouble. I ain’t been in jail. I ain’t using. Ain’t doing none of that.” Like many patients, he said the drug steadies him, sets him right. “I feel like a regular person.” Not high, not withdrawing, the usual ping-pong of opiate life. Just . . . normal.

In the year or so that he’s been taking the generic form of Suboxone, Hayes has gained back 30 pounds. Family members no longer hide their watches, phones and purses when he comes over. Chapman told Hayes he should share his story with his family, with his community. “We all go through things for different reasons,” he said, “but we all have a purpose.” “I’ve told a lot of people to come here, to get some Suboxone,” Hayes said. “I got two people in so far. The rest of them, they don’t have the right insurance.” Chapman treated several other addicts the same day he saw Hayes. He gave a counseling referral to a woman who had relapsed over Thanksgiving while grieving her 9-year-old daughter’s death from cancer earlier last year. He asked another woman who had relapsed a lot of questions, gentle but firm, about the well-being of her two children. If patients keep showing up with drugs in their system, Chapman cuts them off. He doesn’t want to fund their habit. But he thinks a relapse or two, after decades of addiction, is something they may need to be helped through. Another patient talked about all the times he had overdosed on heroin. A mom talked about all the times her father put her two boys in the car and drove around the city, checking the hospitals and the jails, trying to find her. Patients talked about their new jobs, paychecks that hadn’t seemed possible without Suboxone. Chapman kept writing prescriptions. His secretary poked her head in the door and handed him a prescription slip. She had just gotten off the phone with an insurance company. “You need to revise this to three a day,” she told him, because the pharmaceutical benefits of the patient’s plan had changed. “I hope it doesn’t affect his stability,” Chapman said.He wrote out the lower dose, and handed it back to her.

Public Memorial Service to be held for Dr. Donald C. Chambers, Class of 1961
2/23/2015

Donald C Chambers, MD, FACS, FACOG a native of Brooklyn New York and Jamaica, West Indies, and a member of the distinguished class of 1961, died of complications from Parkinsons Disease and Alzheimer's on November 26, 2014, in Baltimore Maryland. He was 78. Dr Chambers lost his beloved wife Jackie to a heart attack in 2005, and had recovered physically or spiritually.

Dr Chambers was was president of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society, having been ranked number one, two or three in his class any of the four years of school. He was the winner of many scholarships, including the Roche and other honors. He honors Howard as the place where he learned "the art, science and spirit of healing and helping."

After internships and residencies in Washington DC and New York, Dr. Chambers went on to a stint in the US Air Force, and in 1969 accepted an opportunity to join the OB-GYN practice of Drs William Hall and Louis Randle in Baltimore. His service included chief of OB-GYN positions at the historic Provident Hospital, Lutheran Hospitals, Northwest Medical Center, Sinai Hospital. He was on the Howard and Meharry medical faculties, and consulted at the University of Maryland Medical School and UM hospital.

His memorial will be on Saturday March 21, 2015 at 10am at the Taggert Memorial Chapel on the campus of the McDonogh School, 8600 McDonogh Rd Owings Mills Maryland 21117, with a reception at Linwood's Bistro, 25 Crosswoods Dr, Owings Mills, Maryland 21117 at 12.30pm.

His oldest son Christopher Chambers is a faculty member at Georgetown University, his youngest son Bradley is president of Medstar's Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore, his daughter Kimberly is a consultant for Planned Parenthood. He has three grandchildren.

For information contact Prof. Christopher Chambers, 202 669-9799

Dr. Bernard Gipson, Class of 1947
2/23/2015

Dr. Bernard F Gipson Sr, Howard Med Class of '47, passed away at the age of 93 at 4:10pm MST on Monday afternoon, January 26th, 2015, in Denver. Dr Gipson, was surgically trained by Dr. Charles Drew at Howard, and trained Dr. LaSalle Leffall (he was present assisting when Dr. Leffall performed his first operation). Dr. Gipson had come to Howard from Morehouse (Class of '44) where he had married a "Miss Maroon & White" (Morehouse/Spelman homecoming queen), Ernestine Wallace (Spellman ’43). They were married in the Morehouse chapel by Dr. Benjamin Mays . Dr. Gipson became the first African American board certified surgeon in the state of Colorado, and he practiced medicine in the mile high city for over 40 years – and always kept in touch with his Howard Med. classmates. 

Dr. Joseph Wright, HUCM Chair of Pediatrics, responds to the need for minority healthcare professionals
2/12/2015

 

In the Feb. 8 Local Opinions commentary of the Washington Post “A necessary rescue,” former D.C. city administrator Robert C. Bobb offered compelling data in support of the “Empowering Males of Color” initiative recently announced by Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) and D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson. Among the outcomes Mr. Bobb cited as symptomatic of a public education system in need of innovation was the nearly equal chance young men of color have of incarceration as they do of graduating high school.

This crisis is manifested by a dearth of black and Latino students, particularly males, entering professions in which they are critically needed. Nowhere is this starker than in health care. African American and Latino males combined made up less than 7 percent of the nearly 50,000 applicants to U.S. medical colleges in 2011, significantly underrepresenting their overall population. A decade ago, the Institute of Medicine recognized that workforce diversity could help combat the crippling health disparities in communities of color.

Priming the education pump, stimulating the workforce pipeline and offering opportunity through this empowerment initiative is absolutely necessary and the right thing to do.
Joseph Wright, Upper Marlboro

The writer is professor and chairman of pediatrics at the Howard University College of Medicine.

Dr. Carl Johnson, Class of 1996, named Vice President of Ingalls Memorial Hospital in Illinois
2/9/2015

 

New medical staff officers have been named at Ingalls Memorial Hospital in Harvey for 2015-16, according to a press release from Ingalls Health System. Dr. Carl Johnson, a general surgeon, was elected vice president, and internal medicine specialist. In 2004, he became a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and he served as the district president for the Chicago Medical Society (2008-09). His office is in the Ingalls Professional Building in Harvey, Illinois.

Dr. Michele Halyard, Class of 1984, Honored for Saving Lives
2/9/2015

 

Michele Y. Halyard, M.D. is a radiation oncologist at the yo Clinic in Arizona. Dr. Halyard completed her fellowship in radiation oncology at Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education. She became a consultant in the Department of Radiation Oncology, Mayo Clinic in Arizona, in 1989 and went on to chair the department. Dr. Halyard is an associate professor of radiation oncology in the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and is board certified in therapeutic radiology. Dr. Halyard has had significant Mayo Clinic leadership experience, including membership on the Mayo Clinic Board of Governors in Arizona and the Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees.

In 2013, Michele Y. Halyard, M.D. a radiation oncologist at Mayo Clinic in Arizona, has been named vice dean, Mayo Medical School. Dr. Halyard will be responsible for undergraduate medical education activities on the Arizona campus and will coordinate Mayo Medical School academic, curricular, and administrative activities and programs in Arizona.

Dr. Halyard's primary focus will be providing Arizona leadership with the support necessary to establish a branch of Mayo Medical School on the Scottsdale campus.

The Coalition of Blacks Against Breast Cancer (CBBC) is the only group within the Phoenix Metropolitan area that specifically targets Black men and women of African descent diagnosed with breast cancer. The coalition is an initiative of the Phoenix Chapter of the Links, Inc., Sigma Pi Phi Gamma Mu Boule, and Mayo Clinic. The CBBC was developed to bring education and awareness, to provide access to treatment, and to better understand health care disparities among African-American breast cancer patients.

http://www.abc15.com/lifestyle/sonoran-living/sl-honors-dr-michele-halyard-for-saving-lives 

Dr. Jacqueline Berry, Class of 1981, Retires from Kaiser Permanente, joins Howard University Hospital
1/21/2015

Dr. Jacqueline Berry, Class of 1981 has retired from Kaiser Permanente, and is now on the faculty of Howard University Hospital.  Dr. Berry is located in the Division of Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine. 

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health Seeks Candidates for Advisory Committee on Minority Health
1/21/2015

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Minority Health (OMH), is seeking nominations of qualified candidates to be considered for appointment as a member of the Advisory Committee on Minority Health. In accordance with Public Law 105-392, the Committee provides advice to the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health on improving the health of racial and ethnic minority groups, and on the development of goals and specific program activities of OMH designed to improve the health status and outcomes of racial and ethnic minorities. Nominations of qualified candidates are being sought to fill vacancies on the Committee. Nominations for membership on the Committee must be received no later than 5:00p.m. EST on April 15, 2015. All nominations should be mailed to Dr. Rashida Dorsey, Designated Federal Officer, Advisory Committee on Minority Health, Office of Minority Health, Department of Health and Human Services, 1101 Wootton Parkway, Suite 600, Rockville, MD 20852.

Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall, Class of 1980, Joins Tenet Healthcare Board of Diretors
12/12/2014

Lewis-HallThe board of directors of Tenet Healthcare Corporation has appointed Freda C. Lewis-Hall, M.D., Class of 1980 and Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Pfizer Inc., as a new independent director. Dr. Lewis-Hall becomes the board’s tenth member.

Dr. Lewis-Hall joined Pfizer as chief medical officer in 2009. In her role, she leads Pfizer Medical, the division responsible for ensuring the safe, effective and appropriate use of Pfizer’s products. She directs teams at Pfizer that oversee the quality and conduct of Pfizer’s clinical trials, provide medical information and clinical data, and manage collaborative work on patient-centered drug development and outcomes research, public-private research partnerships, and global public health campaigns. She is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and serves as a member of the Board of Governors for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute and of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences Advisory Council of the National Institutes of Health. Prior to joining the biopharmaceutical industry, she served as vice chairperson and associate professor of the Department of Psychiatry at Howard University College of Medicine and was an advisor to the National Institute of Mental Health.

 

Dr. Donald Chambers, Class of 1961
12/12/2014

ChambersDr. Donald C. Chambers, a retired obstetrician-gynecologist who delivered thousands of babies and was a national educational examiner in his field, died of complications from Alzheimer's disease Nov. 26 at the Broadmead retirement community. He was 78 and had lived in Timonium and Pikesville.

Born in Jamaica, West Indies, and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., he was the son of Lynval and Mavis Chambers. He was a member of the Chi Delta Mu fraternity. He then served in the Air Force and left military service as a major.

Dr. Chambers served his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the Kings County Hospital Center-Downstate Health Science Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. "He was a wonderful teacher and was a mentor to me," said Dr. Marc Lowen, a gynecologist and state medical employee. "He was very well thought of in the national community of obstetrics and gynecology. He was a respected clinician and teacher."

He moved to Baltimore and in 1968 joined with Drs. William Hall and Louis Randall to form an OB-GYN medical practice at the Garwyn Medical Center on Garrison Boulevard.

"It seemed that everyone in Baltimore's African-American community made use of the medical practice," said his son, Bradley Chambers, president of MedStar Union Memorial Hospital. "He had a stellar reputation and he spanned generations. Mothers and their daughters were his patients."
"He delivered our daughter," said former Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke, now University of Baltimore president. "He was a good friend of our family. ... I had a great deal of trust in him."

"He had a reputation in the community as being compassionate and skillful," said Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, whose daughter was delivered by Dr. Chambers. "He had an outstanding bedside manner and took the time to explain to patients what they might be going through. He was never in a rush."

Dr. Randall recalled his former medical partner's "gentle, low-key, personable demeanor." He remembered flying to Detroit more than 45 years ago to recruit Dr. Chambers to the medical practice in Baltimore. "He had quite a few offers, but we needed him," said Dr. Randall, who lives in Pikesville.

Dr. Chambers delivered babies at Baltimore hospitals that included Sinai, Bon Secours and the old Lutheran Hospital and the Provident-Liberty Medical Center. At Sinai, he was a member of the teaching faculty and headed its division of gynecology for many years. "He was so well respected that he was one of those medical statesmen who other physicians looked up to," said Neil Meltzer, president and CEO of LifeBridge Health. "Residents adored him as their teacher."

In 1970, Dr. Chambers was the subject of an article in the Baltimore Afro-American when he delivered a healthy 5-pound, 4-ounce baby boy who was not carried in the uterus but in the mother's ovaries. "The remarkable thing is that the child was born live," he said in the article.

In a 1987 letter to The Baltimore Sun, Dr. Chambers, then the president of the state's Obstetrical and Gynecological Society, addressed medical liability cases. "In the theatrical atmosphere created by some trial lawyers, both physician and patient become actors in the medico-legal drama," he wrote. "As members of the OB/GYN profession, we are appalled and dismayed. ... It is this type of absurd verdict and even more outlandish awards that is helping drive up liability insurance premiums."

In 1988, he was made a fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine in Britain. Dr. Chambers served on the Northwest Hospital board and the Board of Physician Quality Assurance for Maryland. He was a board examiner for the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology from 1981 to 2001. In that capacity, he was oral examiner for the national board and questioned medical school graduates who were entering the OB-GYN field.

In addition to his son, who lives in Hunt Valley, survivors include another son, Christopher Chambers of Washington; a daughter, Kimberly Chambers of Timonium; a brother, Barrington Chambers of Spring, Texas; a sister, Monica Dachs of Lake Wylie, S.C.; and three grandchildren. His wife of 47 years, the former Jacqueline Louise Barclay, a retired counselor and breast cancer awareness advocate, died in 2005.

Dr. Sabrina Martyr, Class of 2008, joins PinnacleHealth System
11/18/2014

Harrisburg, PA-based PinnacleHealth System has named Dr. Sabrina Martyr hematology/oncology specialist with its PinnacleHealth Cancer Institute. Martyr was previously employed with the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Vincent Lubsey, Class of 1975, Leaves a Legacy of Quality Health Care for the Community
11/18/2014

 

Dr. Vincent George Lubsey passed away unexpectedly on October 4, 2014 in Costa Rica while on vacation. He was 71. Vincent, along with his daughter Erika, practiced and managed the Lubsey Medical Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The clinic was established in 1978. Getting to know his patients was important to him. He took pride in taking time with his patients to ensure they were educated on their health so they could live their best lives. Vincent’s life began in Content, Manchester, Jamaica on July 11, 1943. He was the son of Franklyn Lubsey, Sr. and Icilda Lubsey (nee Dunbar). Vincent has five siblings: Carl, Johnny, Norma, Margaret and Franklyn, Junior.Vincent excelled in sports, especially track and soccer, while attending Saint Jago High School, Titchfield High School and Kingston College. His mother and Aunt Mabel Lubsey Brown had expectations for him to achieve academic excellence and encouraged him to travel to the United States to continue his education. Vincent did travel to the United States and completed his undergraduate degree at Howard University in Washington, D.C.. He attended Howard University College of Medicine to earn his medical degree and also to do his residency. While in Washington D.C., he became friends with a group of fellow Jamaicans. This group became some of his closest friends and were like family to him. Vincent married Bonnie Lubsey (nee Gray). This union was blessed with three children, Vincent Jr., Andrew and Erika. Vincent with his wife and children moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin and he started an independent family practice, which eventually became Lubsey Medical Center in 1978. Vincent became well established in the Milwaukee community. Later in his life, Vincent divorced. He remarried his now ex-wife Deborah and had two stepsons, Kristopher and Kyle. Throughout the years he touched the lives of many people, especially his patients, but in turn he felt appreciated by them. “I just want patients to have a place to get the care they need,” said Vincent in an interview a month ago. “I feel appreciated, I get so much more from my patients than they know.” 

Dr. Harold D. Thompson, Class of 1972, Receives Excellence in Teaching Award
11/17/2014

Dr. Harold D. Thompson was recently awarded the Most Outstanding Clinical Professor Award for 2014 by the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee where he is a tenured Professor of Diagnostic Radiology and a Fellow of the American College of Radiology. He also currently serves as Chief of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine for the VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, which has two acute care hospitals and nine outpatient facilities throughout Tennessee and Kentucky. He has also in the past served as Professor and Chief of Radiology at Meharry Medical College and as both Associate and Vice Dean of the Meharry School of Medicine.

He is married to Suzanne Fletcher-Thompson MD and has three sons: Harold D. Thompson II, MD, Jason F. Thompson J.D., and Alexander F. Thompson, third year law student.

Dr. Kelsey James, Class of 1993, Joins Bellefonte Women's Care in Ashland, KY.
11/17/2014

Bon Secours Kentucky Health System has added the services of gynecologist Kelsey James, M.D. James has joined the practice of Bellefonte Women’s Care at 2001 Winchester Ave., Ashland, KY. He completed his internship at the university and his residency at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans. Dr. James, a U.S. Air Force veteran, began his medical practice in the Ashland area in 2003. He is certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. James brings with him his physician’s assistant, Holly Knuckles. James and Knuckles join Kurt Jaenicke, M.D., and his staff in providing gynecological services at Bellefonte Women’s Care.

Dr. Carla Pugh, Class of 1992, champions hands-on tests for doctors
11/17/2014

After Dr. Carla Pugh and a resident, or doctor-in-training, cracked open the chest of a crash victim, the patient’s heart stopped. The resident squeezed the heart through her fingers, causing beats to return. But then the heart stopped again. Pugh reached in and felt something hard. She cut open the area, and a blue clot of blood gushed out. The heart resumed beating, robustly this time, allowing Pugh to send the patient to the operating room while she examined others with injuries in UW Hospital’s emergency room. After the incident last year, Pugh wondered: Why did the resident miss the clot? Maybe, she figured, the resident hadn’t been taught how a clot feels.

Pugh, director of UW Health’s clinical simulation program, is a champion of haptic technology, the science of touch. Medical students must pass oral and computer-based exams to become doctors, but they aren’t evaluated on how well they can feel a cancerous tumor in a breast, a blocked duct in a pancreas, a clot in a heart. “We don’t have a test for hands-on skills, and we desperately need one,” Pugh told an audience in San Francisco in September at the TEDMED conference, an annual gathering of innovators.

Pugh is developing anatomical models embedded with sensors and using motion-tracking systems to monitor doctors’ movements, steps that could help shift medicine toward more tactile training and testing. Her tools include sponges, balloons and squishy balls she finds at craft and fabric stores — whatever feels like a particular organ, growth or tissue layer to her. To mimic lumps in breasts that can mask tumors, for example, she uses lentils. “We’ve scoured most of the hobby shops in the city,” she said.

The National Board of Medical Examiners, which oversees the country’s medical licensing exams, agrees that hands-on simulation should become part of the process, said Dr. Kim Edward LeBlanc, executive director of the Clinical Skills Evaluation Collaboration, which administers part of the licensing exam. “We are looking at that quite heavily,” LeBlanc said. “We want to simulate abnormal (physical) findings in our exam.” Pugh, 48, grew up in Berkeley, California, and went to Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C. She was surprised that medical school and surgical training relied so much on books. “I ... found it odd that I was expected to read about what I’m supposed to do with my hands,” she told the TEDMED conference.

Late in medical school, she observed a surgery to remove a prostate gland, she recalled in an interview. “For at least two hours, all I saw was the back of the surgeon’s hand,” she said. “I’m like, are you kidding me?” She didn’t dare break protocol by talking directly to the surgeon. She asked a resident, “How are you learning what he’s doing?” To her surprise, the surgeon responded, saying she had asked a great question. “He grabbed my hand and shoved it into the pelvis,” she said. “He said, ‘Do you feel that little ball?’ ” She did feel it, and the experience gave her a better sense of what a prostate feels like — similar to a walnut, but softer, she said. 

Residents — medical school graduates undergoing years of additional training before they can work on their own — get chances to feel healthy and irregular tissue, such as the clot in the emergency room patient’s heart. But in the rush of patient care, when the patient’s well-being takes precedence over training, teachable moments can vanish quickly, Pugh said. She never discussed the clot with her resident, for example, because they had to treat other patients that day and then the resident moved to a different institution. “These lost opportunities happen every hour,” Pugh said. That is why she believes simulation is the solution. After her surgical training, she got a PhD in education at Stanford University, where she obtained the first of two patents on medical applications of sensor technology. UW Health’s clinical simulation program, which Pugh became clinical director of in 2012, features a $6 million facility on the first floor of UW Hospital.

The facility’s high-tech manikins — anatomical models used in health care, as opposed to storefront mannequins — enable students and health care workers to learn how to put breathing tubes in patients, insert catheters, tie stitches, lift patients out of bed, respond to emergencies and use new models of equipment such as defibrillators and surgical tools. But it is in Pugh’s research lab, on the third floor of the hospital, where most of her innovations unfold. The lab, which has 18 researchers, is supported by two federal grants: $1.6 million from the National Institutes of Health to develop sensor-enabled breast models to quantify breast exam skills; and $2 million from the Department of Defense to examine “skills decay” — what can happen when doctors spend time away from regular work, such as for military duty. Summarizing both projects, Pugh said, “I bring mistakes to life that people don’t realize they can make.”

Using a breast model made with silicone, silicone gel, lentils, two types of cotton and a hard clay ball to mimic a tumor, Pugh evaluated experienced doctors while they conducted a breast exam.
About 15 percent of the doctors missed the tumor, meaning their technique was ineffective, she said. For the military project, she has developed “box trainers” — partial anatomical models made of box-like material — for four procedures: placing a central line, inserting a bladder catheter, connecting two portions of intestine and repairing a hernia.

She is testing medical residents in Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota who already planned to spend two years away from surgical training to do research, a proxy for military duty. Pugh is evaluating the residents at the beginning of their leave, midway through it and at the end. “We’re looking at what gets lost when you have time away,” she said. The projects could someday lead to hands-on tests of doctors’ skills, Pugh said.

Medical students must pass three computer-based exams to become doctors. To assess communication skills, the National Board of Medical Examiners added encounters with patient actors to the second exam a decade ago. Specialty groups such as the American Board of Surgery generally require a computer-based exam and oral exam for certification, and a computer exam for re-certification every 10 years. Hands-on assessments could be added during medical school to weed out students from certain specialties, and for experienced doctors to be sure they keep up with the latest techniques, Pugh said. She would like to see national medical boards adopt hands-on evaluations and hospitals use them when granting privileges to doctors. It might not be easy to get experienced doctors to agree to such scrutiny, Pugh acknowledged. But if they want to ensure the best patient care, they should, she said. “It’s going to require a culture change,” she said.

Dr. Vincent Lubsey, Class of 1975, has daughter Erika join his practice
10/6/2014

 

For Doctors Vincent and Erika Lubsey, healthcare is a family affair. Father and daughter, Vincent and Erika Lubsey practice and manage the Lubsey Medical Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The clinic, established in 1978 by Dr. Vincent Lubsey, is an out-patient health care facility that is committed to their patients for quality healthcare regardless of income, class, race or insurance status. Dr. Vincent Lubsey, 71, originally from Jamaica, came to America and attended Howard University for his undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as his residency. His daughter, Dr. Erika Lubsey 40, attended medical school at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee and did her residency at Meharry Medical College. 

Erika, an ob-gyn and mother of one, indicated that she was primarily interested in the medical field because of her father. “My goal was to work for my dad. He tried to talk me out of it,” she said. Medicine, it can be difficult for a family, there are no regular hours. You have to make real heavy sacrifices,” Her father responded. “I’m glad she didn’t listen to me.”

“I was hoping she would come here,” replied Vincent. “I didn’t want to get my hopes up, but eventually she did come to work with me at the clinic. The clinic is not a solo practice; it employs four medical doctors and six nurse practitioners. The clinic specializes in family practice, internal medicine, obstetrics, gynecology, cardiology, orthopedics, nephrology and neurology.

”Over the years, there has been an erosion of independent African-American healthcare facilities. Lubsey is well established in the community and has thrived and continued to grow in that environment,” said Keith Thomas, marketing consultant for Lubsey Medical Clinic. “Lubsey Medical Clinic tries to create a familial atmosphere where people come, socialize, talk about community events and politics. It’s kind of like a “barbershop of healthcare,” said Thomas. “People are looking for a professional and family oriented healthcare facility. This is what separates Lubsey from larger healthcare institutions in Milwaukee. “Some African-Americans, especially the elderly are intimidated by larger more formal institutions; they won’t seek out health care until they really, really need it.” Thomas added.

Erin Noon-Woodley has been a patient at Lubsey Medical Clinic for 5 years, and is presently a patient of Erika’s. “Dr. Erika is outstanding. She is very hands on, and she spent a lot of time getting to know me as a person,” Noon-Woodley said. “She made me feel very comfortable.” “I could [have] gone to any clinic in Milwaukee that I wanted, because my husband has great insurance, but I chose Lubsey because they are family oriented and take their time with their patients,” Noon-Woodley added. Erika explained, “I try to educate women on their bodies and how their bodies work. The body is an amazing machine that you have to respect and have others respect. I take time with patients to deal with social and emotional issues. When social and emotional issues are dealt with, the medical part comes easy. If your social and financial stress is handled, you can take care of yourself better.”

Later this year, Lubsey Medical Clinic will be branching out, and opening a specialty clinic. The space, dedicated to specialist, will be housed next door to the current clinic. “While Lubsey Medical Clinic will promote the clinic, it will be a separate entity. The specialists will be independent,” explained Thomas. There are many specialists in the area that will not take Medicare or Medicaid, and this clinic of specialists will serve this demographic.” When talking about the care of his patients, Vincent has a clear vision of what he wants for them. “I just want patients to have a place to get the care they need. There are a whole lot of people who are emotionally hurting and are in distress. I do not want people to leave here with questions unanswered,” Vincent said. “I want them to feel comfortable, answer all their questions, and educate them so they can live their best lives. It’s the feeling of them being confident, it’s the feeling of trust that I enjoy most.” “I feel appreciated,” Vincent added. “I get so much more from my patients than they know.”

Dr. Rosalyn Payne Epps, MD '55
10/6/2014

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Dr. Roselyn P. Epps, Class of 1955. Dr. Epps died on Tuesday, September 30, 2014.  Dr. Epps is the spouse of Dr. Charles H. Epps Jr., Class of 1955 and the mother of Dr. Roselyn E. Epps, Class of 1988.  Dr. Roselyn P. Epps was born in Little Rock, Arkansas but grew up in Savannah, Georgia.  She attended Howard University in Washington, D.C. where she majored in zoology and chemistry and continued her medical education there. In 1961, she became a medical officer with the District of Columbia Department of Health, and in 1973 earned an MPH from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.  In 1980, she was appointed the first Acting Commissioner of Health of the District of Columbia; and was Professor of Pediatrics and children's health at Howard, and a year later, she received an M.A. from American University in Washington, D.C.In 1980, Dr. Epps worked for the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland.  Semi-retired since 1998, she served as a consultant for the public and private sector.  Dr. Epps has authored more than 90 professional articles, 16 of which were published as chapters of books.  She also co-edited The Women's Complete Healthbook and Developing a Child Care Program; and was the first African American and female president of the District of Columbia chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

 

Research!America to recognize former Howard faculty with Advocacy Awards
9/30/2014

Research!America's 19th annual Advocacy Awards will honor distinguished research advocates who are trailblazers in advancing medical progress to improve the health and economic security of our nation. The event will take place on Wednesday, March 11, 2015, at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC.

Dr. Kenneth Olden, director of the National Center for Environmental Assessment, U.S. EPA, will be honored with the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Award for Sustained National Leadership. He is considered to be the strongest champion of community based participatory research in the U.S. He was named director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the director of the National Toxicology Program (NTP) on June 18, 1991, by Dr. Louis Sullivan, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Dr. Olden is a cell biologist and biochemist by training, and has been active in cancer research for more than four decades. He was director of the Howard University Cancer Center and professor and chairman of the Department of Oncology at Howard University Medical School in Washington, D.C. from 1985, and founding dean of the School of Public Health at the City University of N.Y. from 2008-2012. Dr. Olden has served on the editorial boards of cancer and cell biology journals, he was elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine in 1994, and was named by President George H. W. Bush to the National Cancer Advisory Board in January 1991.

 

Wilburn W. Weddington Sr., Class of 1948, profiled in the Columbus Dispatch
9/22/2014

 

Dr. Wilburn H. Weddington Sr., a Columbus living legend, turned 90 years young on September 21, 2014.  Weddington has humbly served Mount Vernon, OH residents as a primary-care doctor for 34 years.  As a part-time faculty physician at Ohio State University in 1975, Weddington helped establish the clinical department and eventually became the first African-American doctor to be promoted to full professor in OSU’s College of Medicine.

Weddington has a long list of accolades to decorate his distinguished career, but he’s always been modest when asked about them. One of his favorite sayings is, “I can only strive to obtain such noble heights.”  These are words of wisdom Weddington remembers hearing as a college student in the early 1940s from legendary Morehouse College President Benjamin E. Mays.

Weddington was mentored by scholars such as Mays, in addition to medical pioneers at Howard University’s College of Medicine: Dr. Charles Drew, the inventor of the blood bank, and Dr. William Montague Cobb, the first African American to earn a doctorate in physical anthropology. 

However, Weddington will tell you that the foundation of his life was shaped by his parents and maternal grandparents, who raised him in Hiram, Ga., during the South’s Jim Crow era.  Born to sharecroppers in 1924, he learned a firm work ethic at an early age.  Life on his grandfather’s farm taught him the biblical principle of sowing and reaping, not just in the material sense of a harvest but also in planting seeds of goodwill in others.

Although his family was poor, Weddington watched his grandmother Viola share bread and sugar with nearby white farmers in need. She also was a midwife who delivered their children, often getting up at midnight to answer their calls. The racial barriers in Hiram were not so stringent that blacks and whites could not have cordial interaction, and Weddington got his inspiration to enter the medical field from one of the town’s white doctors, Dr. George Ragsdale.

The Weddingtons did laundry for Ragsdale, and he willingly drove his “shiny red-and-black Buick Roadster through the cotton patches,” as Weddington fondly recalls, to care for Viola whenever she was ill.  It was one small gesture from Ragsdale that left an enduring impression on Weddington as a young boy.  He got to carry Ragsdale’s black medicine bag.  From this simple act of kindness, Weddington became determined that sharecropping would not be his lot in life.

Many years later, when Dr. Weddington established his family practices, the first in Marietta, Ga., in 1949, and the second in Columbus after his discharge from the U.S. Air Force in 1957, the lessons of charity and compassion he learned growing up became the building blocks of his medical philosophy in treating patients.

In many cases, he was a counselor as well as a physician.  He firmly believed that providing excellent health care was more “than prescribing the pills or applying the knife.”  Most of his patients in Columbus were poor, inner-city residents and uninsured, and Weddington made sure they were aware of services and funding from city and state agencies.  He would often reach deep into his pockets to help his elderly patients with their utility bills during the winter months and distribute meals to needy families during the holidays.

His generosity did not stop there.  Weddington never turned anyone away who could not pay their medical bills.  He lost thousands of dollars over the course of his career doing this, but he believed his principal calling as a doctor was to care for those less fortunate.

Weddington’s life is one of a rich legacy that has blessed many in Columbus. He has exemplified a most genuine form of benevolence, which he attributes to his longevity. “I have tried to do my best as a servant to my patients and to God,” he told me.  “I have no great gifts except those the good Lord has given me.”

Dr. LaSalle D. Leffall Jr., Class of 1952, Publishes New Book
9/19/2014

Dr. LaSalle D. Leffall Jr. has published his second book, Equanimity Under Duress (Howard University Press 2014). With humility, grace, and keen insights, the book shares both its author’s victories and war wounds from a half century of combat in the fight against cancer. It offers candid perspectives on staunch allies in that battle, including former President George H. W. Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush, who volunteered their support and service to Dr. Leffall and others in the establishment of the National Dialogue on Cancer, now known as C-Change. Dr. Leffall also writes tenderly of fallen comrades such as Lena Horne, who supported his early advocacy at the American Cancer Society to bring attention to racial and ethnic disparities in cancer rates and treatment; and Zora Brown, founder of the Breast Cancer Resource Committee, an organization created to focus on the special needs of women of color for cancer treatment and prevention, who herself succumbed to the disease while battling it. Last, the book heralds future directions in cancer research and leaders such as those at the National Cancer Institute, whose ongoing work targets genetic factors associated with the more aggressive types of cancers and the development of vaccines and nanoparticle “weapons” to combat them.

The book’s title echoes one of Dr. Leffall’s favorite admonitions to his students, harkening back to the early 1900s and the book Aequanimitas by Sir William Osler, a Canadian physician and one of the four founding professors of Johns Hopkins Hospital. In his 50-plus years of teaching and practice, Dr. Leffall routinely demanded that his medical students take to heart Osler’s emphasis on maintaining a calm, courageous demeanor while confronting challenging and even chaotic patient and medical situations. The book’s five chapters likewise stress another disposition Dr. Leffall has steadfastly encouraged among, and consistently demonstrated throughout his distinguished career: an unfaltering devotion to the persons whom he believes should always be the uppermost object of surgeons’ affections—their patients.

This handsomely presented volume—replete with a DVD of an interview with the author, numerous photographs and full-color illustrations, relevant statistics, and information on cancer survivorship and advocacy groups—chronicles its author’s more than half a century of professional involvement in cancer treatment and prevention advocacy at the highest levels. Equanimity Under Duress expounds upon Dr. Leffall’s professional activities and interactions in ways that his earlier book, the autobiographical No Boundaries: A Cancer Surgeon’s Odyssey , also published by Howard, only touches upon.

With two heartfelt forewords, one by Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick, Howard University’s newest president and Dr. Leffall’s handpicked successor to his enduring surgical practice, Equanimity Under Duress lays out a replicable battle plan for physicians and other health professionals eager to take their roles as patient advocates and navigators to the next level. Dr. Frederick recalls his earliest encounters with his mentor to conclude that he, like so many others, has been the beneficiary of a brilliant and powerful legacy. The introduction by Dr. Edward E. Cornwell III, currently chair of Howard’s Department of Surgery, offers an intimate portrait of the author as a true “Renaissance Man”—in turn scholar, surgeon, savant, and humanist—well into his 80th decade.  

 

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Norrell Atkinson, Class of 2008, joins Connecticut Children's Medical Center
9/19/2014

Norrell Atkinson, Class of 2008, has joined the Suspected Child Abuse & Neglect program (SCAN) at Connecticut Children's Medical Center. Dr. Atkinson comes to Connecticut Children's from Eastern Virginia Medical School - Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters, where she completed a fellowship in Child Abuse Pediatrics. 

Dr. Valerie Callender, Class of 1986, Named President of the Women's Dermatologic Society
9/2/2014

The Women’s Dermatologic Society has announced Valerie Callender, M.D., as the President of WDS and a member of the Board of Directors. Dr. Callender joined the Women’s Dermatologic Society as a member in January of 1991 and became active through her participation with the WDS Service Committee, as it so closely reflected her passion of getting involved in the community and giving back.

Since 2004, Dr. Callender has chaired multiple service events for WDS’s national sun-safety campaign, “Play Safe in the Sun,” to conduct free skin cancer screenings for event participants and the public.   Dr. Callender and WDS partnered with other organizations, such as La Roche-Posey, the Ladies Professional Golf Association, Susan G. Komen, The Links and the Congressional Black Caucus.  She also organized local community service events through the WDS Coast-to-Coast and Dove Self-Esteem programs. Dr. Callender’s contributions to WDS also include serving as the WDS Secretary from 2010-2013, Board of Directors 2006-2013, WDS Fundraising Committee Co-Chair from 2011-2013, WDS Long Range Planning Committee Chair from 2013-2014, and mentoring several dermatologic residents through the WDS Mentorship Award Program. 

The Women's Dermatologic Society, founded in 1973, and is dedicated to helping dermatologists fulfill their greatest potential and assisting them in making a contribution to our specialty and society. To achieve this goal, the Society relies on the active participation of its members, who represent a diverse cross-section of professional subspecialties. Currently there are approximately 1,500 national and international members while the numbers rise daily.
 
The mission of the Women's Dermatologic Society is to support dermatologists by striving to promote leadership, development of relationships through mentoring and networking, demonstrate a commitment to service through community outreach and volunteerism, provide a forum for communications and research relevant to women’s and family issues, advocate excellence in patient care and education and promote the highest ethical standards.

Dr. Valerie Callender is an internationally recognized Board Certified Dermatologist, who is known for her sensitive and cutting-edge approach to management of hair loss in women, the treatment of pigmented disorders and is also a prolific contributor to the dermatology literature. She has co-edited a textbook on Treatment for Skin of Color and has written 18 textbook chapters and more than 45 peer-reviewed articles for academic journals. Dr. Callender is a frequently invited speaker to national and international meetings, where she has made more than 160 presentations, including presentations in Australia, Brazil, Canada, the Czech Republic, Germany, India, Portugal, South Africa, United Kingdom, and many others. Dr. Callender has been a Visiting Professor at many dermatology programs, including the Mayo Clinic, Brown University, Boston University, Tufts University, The State University of New York, University of Maryland and the Henry Ford Health System. 


Dr. Callender has conducted and participated in over 40 research studies and clinical trials for both therapeutic and cosmetic products and is a consultant for some of the world’s leading cosmetic and consumer brands. She is the medical director of the Callender Dermatology & Cosmetic Center, which combines medical and surgical dermatology, clinical research, medical skin care, and aesthetics procedures in a relaxing spa environment.  Dr. Callender received her medical degree from Howard University, where she also did her residency and currently serves as an Associate Professor of Dermatology.

Dr. Eloise Skelton, Class of 1977, Joins Barstow Health Partners
9/2/2014

Dr. Eloise Skelton, Class of 1977, has joined Barstow Health Partners, a 4,200-square-foot clinic, offering primary care and specialty physicians to Barstow, CA residents. The clinic is owned by Dr. Rao Daluvoy, who also serves as its medical director. Daluvoy, a vascular and general surgeon with a 36-year history of caring for patients including over 13 years in the High Desert, said the opening has been smooth and the clinic is looking forward adding an internal medicine physician this fall. Daluvoy said he feels local specialty health care services are important to the economic viability and health care infrastructure in the Barstow area. “We’re very pleased to be in our beautiful, newly refurbished offices,” Daluvoy said. “With Dr. Eloise Skelton joining the team and an internal medicine physician expected to join us later this fall, it’s exciting to see my plans coming to fruition of putting together a team of physicians who are focused on treating patients well while making it as convenient and easy as possible for them to get their health care needs taken care of locally.”


Dr. Skelton joins the clinic from Martin Luther King Jr. Hospital in Los Angeles. She is an obstetrician and gynecologist. Dr. Skelton said she is looking forward to the transition from the big city to Barstow. “Working in a small community like Barstow is something I’ve done in the past,” Dr. Skelton said. “It is so valuable having a physician close to home. Years ago I worked in Iowa in a city with a population of 9,000. One of my patients was pregnant with triplets, and her hospital was about 150 miles away from the town. She went into labor and I advised her not to go to the local hospital on her own.”The patient went to the clinic and Dr. Skelton told her she was not transportable and the babies had to be delivered at the clinic, she said. “We made it clear she wouldn’t make it to the hospital and we ended up delivering three babies,” Dr. Skelton said. “The babies are now in kindergarten and the mother is doing well. But can you imagine if she didn’t have access to the clinic in her town? Imagine if she had her babies on the freeway as she drove to the hospital?”


Dr. Skelton said her duties will include prenatal care, delivery, taking care of ob/gyn problems, performing surgery and conducting annual women’s exams. She said she is committed to taking care of people in small communities and feels it is important to be able to get specialized health care in the community. Her belief is despite Barstow being a small city, its residents still have “big health issues.” Barstow Health Partners accepts most insurance plans, including Medicare, Medi-Cal, PPOs, and HMOs and offers comprehensive care services, including routine and preventive care and treatment for serious conditions. The clinic’s physicians are also members of the medical staff at BCH.


Barstow Community Hospital CEO Steven Foster called Dr. Skelton’s training, background and years of experience with women’s health issues a wonderful asset to the Barstow community.“(Skelton’s) gynecological patients will benefit from our Surgical Service Department, which is outfitted with all new equipment and some of the latest technology, and her expectant mothers will feel safe and comfortable in our home-like maternity wing,” said Foster.

Howard Hospital Receives $11 Million for Sickle Cell Research
8/25/2014

Howard University Hospital’s Center for Sickle Cell Disease last week announced the receipt of $11 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health for sickle cell research.

The grants will support a focus on continuing research of sickle cell patients who show a resistance to the HIV virus. Funds will also support scholarship and research support to medical students at the university.

“These grants put Howard University in the forefront of advanced research,” said Sergei Nekhai, Ph.D., virologist and professor in the College of Medicine. “Howard has strong expertise which allows us to expand HIV and sickle cell research.”

Wayne A.I. Frederick, Class of 1994, Named Howard's 17th President
7/22/2014

Wayne A.I. Frederick, Class of 1994, has been named 17th President of Howard University. Frederick has served as the University’s interim president since October 2013. A respected scholar, surgeon, researcher and administrator, he previously served as Howard’s Provost and Chief Academic Officer, charged with oversight of Howard's 13 schools and colleges, as well as its health sciences enterprise. “I am deeply honored to be selected by the Board of Trustees to lead this great University,” Frederick said. “Howard University has been an unparalleled catalyst since its founding, opening doors and expanding opportunity for untold individuals while driving research, innovation, service, and excellence. On the cusp of our 150th anniversary, I could not be more humbled to accept the mantle of leadership and embrace the sacred trust of our motto, Truth and Service.” Frederick enrolled at Howard University as a 16-year-old from Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, to pursue his dream of becoming a physician. He earned a dual B.S./M.D. degree program at 22, and went on to enter a surgical residency at Howard University Hospital. He completed a post-doctoral research fellowship and a surgical oncology fellowship at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Howard’s School of Business. 

Derek J Robinson nominated to the Howard University Board of Trustees
7/21/2014

Dr. Derek Robinson, Class of 2002, has been nominated for the Howard University Board of Trustees as the Alumni Trustee. Dr. Robinson is currently a member of the executive leadership team at the Illinois Hospital Association, where he serves as the Executive Director of the Institute for Innovations in Health Care and Quality. He is also the Associate Director of the Kappa Leadership Institute Chicago, a volunteer-based organization that mentors more than 100 minority male high school students. Dr. Robinson is an active contributor to HUMAA, speaking as part of the Alumni Speaker Series, chairing the Budget, Finance and Audit Committee, and working in the role of Vice President. Voting takes place throughout July. To vote for Dr. Robinson, go to www.howard/alumni/vote

Stephen Geller, Class of 1964, publishes first novel
7/7/2014

Dr. Stephen Geller, Class of 1964, has written his first novel. Dr. Geller, a pathologist with a special interest in liver diseases, focuses his novel in familiar territory - an accomplished pianist, Marcia, with a young son who has a rare liver disease and will need a liver transplant. Marcia immerses herself in her music while rediscovering her strength for dealing with life-changing decisions.

Dr. Harry Leon June
6/18/2014

Dr. Harry Leon June, 56, husband of Terri White, died Saturday, June 7, 2014, at the home of his sisters, Elizabeth J. Newkirk and Deana June, 203 Ashley River Road in the Lake subdivision of Myrtle Beach.

Born Oct. 3, 1957, in Greeleyville, he was a son of the late William June and Sarah Whack June. He attended Sunday school and worship services at Greeleyville Mission AME Church in his youth. He was a 1975 graduate of C.E. Murray High School. He received a bachelor of science degree from South Carolina State College and a master of arts degree in clinical psychology from the University of D.C. and a second master’s degree and Ph.D. from Howard University.

He was employed at The University of Maryland School of Medicine and Howard University as a faculty member in the medical school doing research and obtained his own research lab.

Survivors besides his wife of Sparrows Point, Md., include two sons, Harry Leon June Jr. of Baltimore, Md., and James Franklin June of Indianapolis, Ind; two daughters, Shannon White and her partner, Elissa McDonald, of Arlington, Va. and Serrita Francois of Germantown, Md.; four grandchildren; five sisters, Mamie (Remus) Smalls of Greeleyville, Deana June and Elizabeth J. Newkirk, both of Myrtle Beach, Barbara A. Carr of Bladensburg, Md., and Katherine Billups of Lane; three brothers, William June of New York, N.Y., Franklin (Geraldine) June Mitchellville of Maryland and Harry Paisley of Dale County, Fla.

 
 
 
 
 
Clark McClurkin M.D., Class of 1984, joins Silver Cross Medical in Illinois
6/18/2014

Clark McClurkin, M.D., nephrology and board certified internal medicine physician, has joined the Silver Cross Medical Staff. Dr. McClurkin attended medical school at Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C. He completed an internal medicine residency at Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids, MI; and a nephrology fellowship at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, MI. His office is located with Associates in Nephrology and Offices of Deepak Bakane, S.C. at 100 Batson Ct., Ste. 204, New Lenox.

 
Seawright Wilbur Anderson M.D., Class of 1950
6/18/2014

Dr. Seawright Wilbur Anderson died Wednesday, June 4, 2014, in Laguna Niguel, California.  He was born in Washington, D.C., on March 6, 1927, to Seawright W. and Iola Ward Anderson.  Dr. Seawright was a scholar student and graduate of Howard University, internship at USC-LA County General and residency at Camarillo State Hospital in coordination with the University of California at Los Angeles.  He received his board certification as well.  Dr. Anderson had taught medicine and directed clinics in several countries including Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Zambia.  Aside from living in those countries for periods of time, he gave back to health of African countries through physician group travels. Dr. Anderson had resided in Orange County and Los Angeles, where he had an adult and forensic medical practice, including specialized psychiatric services in California-Riverside County, medical director of several skilled nursing facilities and served as a special consultant to the Anderson Health Information Systems practice.  Dr. Anderson had most recently resided in Laguna Niguel and at the ‘Anderson farm’ and ‘Washington domicile’.  He was a major in the Army.

The service was held in Charleston, Arkansas with the Rev. Chuck Coffelt officiating under the direction of Smith Mortuary in Charleston.

Dr. Anderson is survived by his wife of 38 years, Rhonda McGee Anderson; two daughters, Carolyn Anderson of Los Angeles and Sylvia Anderson of Castro Valley, California, one son, Seawright Wilbur Anderson III of Baltimore, Maryland; three grandchildren, Anton and Joshua Anderson of Washington and Khaleelah Horton of Riverside, California; and one great-granddaughter, Khalahni Horton.

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