Morehouse School of Medicine Raises Record $1.3M to
Advance Health Equity

Gloster Society Celebration Honors Former First Lady, Kaiser Permanente, Supporters

Bill Doughty

ATLANTA – April 20, 2018—Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM)’s annual Hugh Gloster Society Celebration raised a record-shattering $1.32 million in support of student scholarships and the institution’s mission of improving diversity and equity in healthcare.

Held Thursday, April 19, the sold-out gala featured several transformational gifts, including $400,000 from the Ridgeview Institute, presented by founder and chief executive Robert Fink. The funds will be used to establish endowed scholarships for MD students interested in psychiatry and will be named in honor of Quentin "Ted" Smith, MD, vice chair and professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at MSM and a Ridgeview board member.

Another came from Michael Wilkes of the medical practice development firm Alpha7Medical, who gave $70,000 in scholarship support.

In her remarks, MSM President and Dean Valerie Montgomery Rice, MD, paid tribute to former First Lady Barbara Bush, who passed away the day before and whose special relationship with MSM spanned more than three decades. Mrs. Bush was a faithful trustee from 1983 to 1989 and, with her husband, established the George H.W. and Barbara P. Bush Endowed Professorship in Neuroscience here.

MSM founding president Louis W. Sullivan, MD, and his wife Ginger further recognized Mrs. Bush’s contributions, presenting $25,000 to establish the Barbara Bush Endowed Scholarship. Dr. Sullivan served as U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary during her husband’s presidency.

Kaiser Permanente received this year’s Louis C. Brown Vanguard Award, honoring individuals and organizations whose pioneering spirit and demonstrated leadership have reduced health disparities. Jim Simpson, president of Kaiser Permanente of Georgia, accepted on behalf of the managed care consortium, which in 2016 gave a $3 million grant to create the Undergraduate Health Sciences Academy at MSM.

Pedro Cherry, executive vice president of customer service and operations at Georgia Power, and Ted Decker, executive vice president of merchandising for The Home Depot co-chaired the event. Emmy-winning actor Keith David served as master of ceremonies. Curated experiences offered attendees an inside look at MSM’s various education, clinical and research opportunities.

“Health equity is achieved by giving people and communities the level of service and access to resources they need to reach an optimum level of health,” Dr. Montgomery Rice said. “We will continue to build upon that foundation as we increase our class size across all the degree programs, enhance our pipeline efforts, focus our research enterprise, and expand our patient care services, building a bridge between healthcare and health.”

Named for the school’s founder, the late Dr. Hugh Gloster, the society’s donations have been used to improve overall health and well-being, diversify the health and scientific workforce, and improve primary health care, with an emphasis on people of color and the underserved urban and rural populations of Georgia, the nation and the world.

To learn more about MSM’s mission and how you can get involved, visit