Black History Through the CUMC Lens

Columbia University Medical Center students, faculty, and graduates have contributed individually and collectively to efforts to increase the diversity of America’s health care workforce and eliminate health disparities.

The medical center salutes these individuals and programs. Through links to articles in publications, news media articles, enewsletters, and library exhibits, learn more about these efforts. Here are a few individuals you will read about: W.V. Cordice Jr., a surgeon at Harlem Hospital who operated on Martin Luther King Jr. after he was stabbed in 1958; CDM graduate Bessie Delaney, the second African-American dentist in New York City, who with her sister was the subject of a newspaper article, book, Broadway show, and TV movie; and Mary T. Bassett, P&S graduate and current public health faculty member recently named New York City health commissioner. Many more examples are listed; undoubtedly many others could be cited as evidence of ways in which our medical, dental, nursing, and public health schools have advanced the causes celebrated during Black History Month.

Faculty important in black history

Alumni important in black history

Continuing quest for diversity

Resources

 

Faculty important in black history

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Carolyn Britton, MD, former president of National Medical Association
Bernard Challenor, MD, MPH, former acting dean of Mailman School of Public Health
Alwyn Cohall, MD, Harlem Health Promotion Center director
W.V. Cordice Jr., MD, surgeon who helped save Martin Luther King Jr. after stabbing
Charles Drew, MD, MSD, blood bank pioneer
Charles P. Felton, MD, leader in TB treatment
Mindy Fullilove, MD, Mailman urban renewal expert
Robert E. Fullilove, EdD, Mailman associate dean for community and minority affairs
Hilda Hutcherson, MD, diversity dean who increased minority enrollment at P&S
Marlene Klyvert, EdD, director of dental school’s Science and Technology Entry Program
Dennis Mitchell, DDS, College of Dental Medicine senior associate dean for diversity and founder, Community DentCare Network
Gerald Thomson, MD, a lifetime of Columbia roots
Anne Taylor, MD, expert in faculty mentoring and cardiology research
Vivian Taylor, EdD, first associate dean for diversity and cultural affairs at Columbia Nursing

Alumni important in black history

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Mary Bassett ’79 MD, current New York City health commissioner
Kenrick Cato, PhD nursing student
Samuel Daniel ’78 MD,
former president and CEO of Harlem’s North General Hospital
Elizabeth Davis ’49 MD,
first director of psychiatry at Harlem Hospital and authority on psychiatric care in an inner-city setting
Bessie Delany ’23 DDS, second African-American dentist in NYC and subject of a book, Broadway show, and TV movie, “Having Our Say”
Caswell Evans ’70 DDS, prominent dental education leader and executive editor of landmark 2000 U.S. Surgeon General report on oral health in America
Ken Forde ’59 MD, alumnus, surgeon, teacher, CU Trustee
Agnes Griffin ’23 MD, Columbia medical school’s first black female graduate
Vera Joseph ’36 MD, an inspiration to many
Margaret Morgan Lawrence ’40 MD, noted child psychiatrist
Holly Phillips ’00 MD, CBS News medical contributor
Velma Scantlebury ’81 MD, first African-American female transplant surgeon in United States
Albert Thompson ’60 DDS, Ivy League athletic star who qualified for the 1956 U.S. Olympic trials

Continuing quest for diversity

Opening More Doors of P&S to Minority Students (article from Winter 2006 P&S magazine)
Pride and Prejudice (article from Winter 2000 P&S Magazine)
CUMC Programs Guide Promising Students into Health Careers
The Biostatistics Enrichment Summer Training Diversity Program (BEST)
Programs to Increase Diversity Among Individuals Engaged in Health-Related (PRIDE)
Initiative for Maximizing Student Development
The ICAP Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Fellowship

Resources

Archives and Special Collections’ Civil War exhibit
Malcolm X assassination
Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs
The Black and Latino Student Organization