Nation's Black Doctors Give CDU a Standing Ovation 

First came the applause, then the standing ovation. The National Medical Association, the nation's oldest and largest organization representing African American doctors, was excited to hear about the progress being made at the University.

Speaking at an open meeting of the organization's top leadership, David M. Carlisle, M.D., Ph.D., gave a presentation at the group's annual convention that included the University's "Legacy" video, a five-minute film that describes CDU's heritage over the years through present day.

CDU's president also described the University's improved accreditation status. The result? A standing ovation from those attending the session. "There were 200 people, all happy to hear that things are working out well here," Dr. Carlisle said.

Held in Washington D.C., Dr. Carlisle broke away from the convention to meet with California's U.S. Senate delegation. He spoke with staff representing Sen. Barbara Boxer and Sen. Dianne Feinstein. "They were quite happy to hear about our higher level of accreditation," he said.  

CDU leaders (from left to right): Richard S. Baker, provost and dean, College of Medicine; Keith C. Norris, M.D., executive vice president research and health affairs, David Carlisle, M.D., Ph.D, president; Arthur Fleming, M.D., Professor Emeritus of Surgery. (Photo by Espie Pasigan)

CDU's Annual Reception Draws an Overflow Crowd  

The University held what is annually its largest reception for alumni, faculty and friends at the 2011 National Medical Association's Annual Convention & Scientific Assembly. 

Typically, the event draws 150 people but even more turned out this year for the fundraiser. While reconnecting and engaging with alumni nationwide, those attending also heard
David Carlisle, M.D., Ph.D., the University's president; Richard S. Baker, provost, dean,
College of Medicine; and David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D., the former U.S. Surgeon General and
former interim dean at CDU. 

Among those attending were Louis W. Sullivan, M.D., President Emeritus 
of Morehouse School of Medicine and former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services; and State Assemblyman
Isadore Hall III (D-Compton).  

President David Carlisle, M.D., Ph.D. talking with a guest at the reception. (Photos by Espie Pasigan)

Corneilius Hopper, M.D., vice-chair, Board of Trustees, and wife, Barbara att the reception.

Richard Baker, M.D., provost and dean, College of Medicine, welcomes alumni, faculty, friends and guests at the reception.


David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D., spoke at the reception, with
CDU President David Carlisle standing near him.

The CDU contingent that planned events (from left to right):
Espie Pasigan; Jackie Brown; Ken Wolf, M.D.; Edna Yohannes; David Carlisle, M.D.; Keith Norris, M.D.; Kim Norris and
Richard Baker, M.D.





Dr. Norris Receives National Honor at Convention

Keith Norris, M.D. receives the organization's Meritorious Achievement Award. (Photos by Espie Pasigan)

Dr. Norris delivering his acceptance speech.

Keith C. Norris, M.D., FACP, executive vice president for research and health affairs, was presented with the Meritorious Achievement Award at the National Medical Association in Washington D.C.

Dr. Norris has been named one of the “America’s Leading Doctors” by Consumers’ Research Council of America annually since 2005. He is the Principal Investigator for numerous National Institutes of Health grants and has been responsible for nearly $150 million in research funding at the University over the last 15 years. He has been ranked among the top 25 investigators in the nation in terms of funding at the National Institutes of Health with over $20 million per year from 2009 through 2011.

His research interests focus on hypertension and chronic kidney disease  in African Americans. Other areas include the role of Vitamin D and oxidative stress in health disparities, and enhancing community-academic partnerships.

From 1992 to 1996 Dr. Norris was the chairman of the Nephrology Section of the National Medical Association and for the past 10 years, he has been a member of their Journal Editorial Board. 

Dr. Norris has received numerous awards and honors, including induction into the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame (Science) in 2003 for his work in hypertension and chronic kidney disease. He has published over 225 peer-reviewed articles and textbook chapters, and is the editor of the international journal Ethnicity and Disease.

The following transcript was presented last month to the largest and oldest national group representing African American physicians.

Dear National Medical Association Leadership, Board of Trustees, Honored Guests, Friends and Family. I would like to take a moment to recognize Mrs. Lillian Mobley - a community leader and icon who passed away earlier this week. She played an instrumental role in bringing health, education and social justice to the Compton and Watts Communities including, but not limited to the opening of both the MLK Jr. Hospital and Charles Drew University. She inspires me everyday to bring excellence with compassion to my life’s activities.

Receiving this recognition today is especially meaningful, being alongside Dr. Lasalle Leffall, Jr. under whom I trained, and this being the 100-year anniversary of the 1911 NMA conference, during which my great grandfather Dr. Austin Curtis, then chair of surgery at Howard University, began his term as NMA president.

I believe it is important for us at times like these, to reflect upon the unique common bond of support and inspiration we share as members of the NMA family. While, the NMA may bestow select honors (and we are each proud to be recognized here today), such honors will never more than touch upon the commitment, the effort, and the love that being a member of the NMA provides each of us in its mission to provide outstanding medical education, unparalleled networking opportunities and camaraderie, and stellar professional support to health providers of color so that regardless of our chosen appointment, we can contribute positively to our collective community.

The field of medicine and medical research has been an extremely rewarding journey for me. My path has afforded me the pleasure to care for thousands of patients and to cultivate the art of medicine, the opportunity to do exciting research to advance the science of medicine, and the privilege to work with many partners in the South Central Los Angeles community, striving to bring the hope of medicine to the largest medically underserved community in the nation.

As a faculty at Charles Drew, I am also inspired by an aphorism attributed to the late Dr. Drew - “Excellence of Performance Will Transcend Artificial Barriers Created by Man.” A reminder for each of us of the important legacy of the NMA, creating a special place of support for physicians of color for over 100 years, when no others would.

To the National Medical Association leadership, again, I am deeply grateful for this recognition, the opportunity to share it with family, friends and colleagues, but equally important, this honor is an indelible reminder of the moral imperative for the work that lies ahead to ensure that future generations have the opportunity and the support to carry on the NMA legacy and to attend to our appointed duties with excellence and with compassion.

In closing, the late John Wooden said “You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.” Let me say that once more, “You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.”

To the NMA, I want to thank you for allowing me to be a part of this particular perfect day. And I wish everyone here a wonderful 2011 NMA convention.


Keith Norris, M.D., (pictured top left) with other award winners at the convention.

News in Brief

Provost to Speak at  Upcoming Conference

Richard S. Baker, M.D., the University's provost and dean, College of Medicine, is scheduled to give the opening remarks at the National Association of Medical Minority Educators. The event runs Thurs., Sept. 15 through Sun., Sept. 18. The conference, held this year at the Ritz-Carlton in Marina del Rey, has been themed, "A New Era in Health Care: Collaborating for Success."

Student Orientation

A Discover CDU Orientation will be held on campus Aug. 9, 10 and 11 for new students entering the College of Science and Health. The session is led by the University's Office of Admissions.  

Unity Day Planned for Last Saturday in Aug.

In celebration of the University's recent news on accreditation,
the 1st Annual Unity Day has been set for Aug. 27 from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event, filled with food, fun and games for children and adults, is designed to bring together the University's staff, faculty, students, alumni, family and friends. Lunch will be served, but feel free to bring a favorite dish to share, or enter the a bake-off competition. The gathering takes place at El Dorado Park, 2760 Studebaker Rd., Long Beach, 90815. (Enter through the park's west side entrance.) If you would like to be a volunteer, please contact
Please make reservations by Aug. 24 by calling 323-563-5827 or by sending an email to  


Summer Lecture Series Continues

Ka'imi A. Sinclair, Ph.D., MPH of the University of Hawai'i at Manoa will speak Tues., Aug. 9 during the summer lecture series. His talk, presented by the University's MedGis Lab is titled, "Neighborhood Characteristics and Diabetes Incidence in the Hawai'i Multiethnic Cohort Study." The discussion runs from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and will be held in the Augustus Hawkins Building, 1720 E. 120th St., Room 3071. Refreshments will be served. Please contact Cambria Broadway by phone 310-761-4703 or by email for more information.


A Challenge for High School Students

The College of Science and Health is accepting applications for the upcoming pre-college enrichment program called College Bound Prep Plus, starting in September. Applications are due Mon., Aug. 1.

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Urban Public Health Program Evaluation

The Urban Public Health (MPH) Program at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science is being formally evaluated for accreditation by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).

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Good News Radio

"Good News Radio Magazine," created by CDU's Division of Community Engagement, can be heard Wednesdays beginning at 1 p.m. on KTYM 1460-AM. Co-hosted by Nell Forge, Ph.D. and Charles McWells through the university's Division of Community Engagement, the program is designed to promote holistic health and research outcomes. The program also can be heard on the internet at


Become a Mission Maker Today

The Mission Maker campaign has raised just over half of its $50,000 goal. If you would like to donate to the campaign, which supports the university, its mission and its students, then please contact Blanch Ross. She can be reached at 323-563-4992, or at  


Please send news items or comments by email to, or call 323-563-4983.


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Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, 1731 E. 120th St., Los Angeles, CA 90059

Phone: (323) 563-4800

Charles Drew University is a private, nonprofit, nonsectarian, minority-serving medical and health sciences institution.  Located in the Watts-Willowbrook area of South Los Angeles, Charles Drew University has graduated more than 550 medical doctors, 2,500 post-graduate physicians, more than 2,000 physician assistants and hundreds of other health professionals.The only dually designated Historically Black Graduate Institution and Hispanic Serving Health Professions School in the U.S., CDU is recognized as a leader in translational and health inequities research. Recently, the CDU/UCLA medical program was named “best performer” in the University of California System with respect to producing outstanding underrepresented minority physicians, according to the Greenlining Institute.