Two Christiana Care physicians were honored for their contributions in health care and in their communities by the Pennsylvania Diversity Council at the 7th Annual Philadelphia Diversity & Leadership Conference, Sept. 1.
Velma Scantlebury, M.D., associate director of the Kidney Transplant Program at Christiana Care, and LeRoi Hicks, M.D., MPH, vice chair of the Department of Medicine, both received awards. Dana Beckton, director of diversity and inclusion from the Office of Health Equity at Christiana Care was a panelist for one of the breakout sessions titled “Diversity Is About Who’s on the Team, Inclusion Is About Who Gets to Play.”
Dr. Scantlebury was honored with a Most Powerful & Influential Women award, alongside female senior leaders from the medical, financial, technology, law and science fields.
Dr. Scantlebury has a special interest in increasing organ donation in the African-American community through education and awareness. She has served as a national spokesperson for Linkages to Life, an initiative to address the shortage of African-American organ donors. She became the nation’s first African-American female transplant surgeon in 1989. In her career, she has performed more than 1,000 kidney transplants.
In a panel discussion, Dr. Scantlebury shared with the group that she had to be determined and persistent to follow her dream of becoming a surgeon in the face of professors telling her she’d never make it.
Dr. Hicks received the Multicultural Leadership award for his work in eliminating health care disparities. His background and related work in the area of diversity and inclusion includes serving as the former co- director of the Health Disparities Research and research faculty to the Community Health Innovation and Research (CHIRP) programs for the Harvard Catalyst. His research has been related to three areas:
- The effects of patients’ racial and cultural background on the treatment and clinical outcomes of chronic disease.
- The development and assessment of interventions aimed at improving quality of medical care and the reduction of disparities in care.
- Community-based participatory research to identify and address health care disparities.
He currently serves as mentor to the University of Delaware Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students and travels to provide lectures on health care disparities.