News & Announcements

National Medical Fellowships to Celebrate 75 Years and Expanded Strategy to Advance Health Equity

Graphic on purple background saying Reimagining Health Care: Celebrating Equity Change Agents, November 5, Miami FL

Oct 20, 2022, 11:53 ET

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Oct. 20, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — National Medical Fellowships (NMF) will celebrate its 75th anniversary with a gala and awards ceremony to honor the organization’s legacy and recognize its ardent supporters. Reimagining Health Care: Celebrating Equity Change Agents will take place on November 5, 2022, at the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science in Miami, Florida, and virtually, and will feature an evening of inspirational words, award presentations, a fundraiser, entertainment, and more.

NMF has worked for decades to build health equity by providing scholarships to Black, Indigenous, Latine, and People of Color medical students. In recent years, it has extended its support to scholars seeking to serve in other critical roles in the health care workforce. NMF is the only organization devoted exclusively to this mission and centering its work on the health-wealth gap. To further its mission, NMF has provided over $45 million in financial assistance to more than 32,000 talented students of color who have been historically and intentionally marginalized and underrepresented in medicine.

The gala will celebrate four noted equity change agents who have made an impact in the health care industry. This year’s honorees include: NMF Corporate Imagineer Award recipient Johnson & Johnson, accepted by Vanessa Broadhurst (Executive Vice President, Global Corporate Affairs, Johnson & Johnson); NMF National Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice (President & Chief Executive Officer, Morehouse School of Medicine); NMF Corporate Innovation Award recipient Merck, accepted by Carmen Villar (Vice President of Social Business Innovation, Merck & Co.); and NMF Visionary Award recipient Paul Viviano (President & Chief Executive Officer, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles).

“These individuals and corporations have used their knowledge, resources, and influence to create equitable pathways and innovation in health care,” says NMF’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Michellene Davis, Esq. “From designating corporate support to advance diversity in clinical research, initiating policies to ensure patient care is equitable, and leading one of the country’s best pathways for future physicians, this group of luminaries are helping to revolutionize health care every day. We are privileged to shine a light on them as we celebrate more than 75 years of NMF.”

This ‘gratitude gala’ celebrates the extraordinary impact of NMF’s long-standing partners, friends, scholars, and alumni who have helped NMF usher in this impactful new chapter. Essence Magazine Editor-at-Large Mikki Taylor will serve as Emcee/Host for the evening and Miami-based WPLG-TV Evening News Anchor and Reporter Calvin Hughes will host the “Fund the Mission” segment along with Dr. Russell Ledet, who will share his amazing story of working as a hospital security guard to a career in medicine. In addition, Liliam M. López, Founder, President & Chief Executive Officer of the South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (SFLHCC) and the South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation will welcome NMF supporters and guests to Miami.

Helping to lead this fundraiser is the NMF Board of Directors and the Host Committee of NMF supporters:

  • Beverly Baker Jackson, Esq. President, Baker & Baker Management Company
  • Melissa Bradley, Founder and General Partner, 1863 Ventures
  • Dennis Charney, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • Drs. Ludlow and Ruth Creary, Co-Founders, Creary Family Foundation
  • Aisha Glover, Head of Urban Innovation, Audible
  • Larry Harrison, Chief Executive Officer, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Medical Group & NMF Board Member
  • Dee C. Marshall, Chief Executive Officer, Diverse & Engaged
  • Dr. Wayne Riley, President, SUNY Downstate Health Sciences, NMF Alumnus

For press credentials or interview requests, please contact Skai Blue Media at

About National Medical Fellowships

National Medical Fellowships, Inc. is the only private national organization devoted to providing scholarships and support specifically for students underrepresented in medicine and the health professions. Over the course of its history, NMF has provided over $45 million to more than 32,000 students and aspiring health professionals. NMF was founded in 1946 and was one of the first diversity organizations in the U.S.

Contact: Charmaine Leary
Skai Blue Media