LOS ANGELES - Dr. Richard S. Baker recently received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the National Medical Fellowships at the GlobeTheatre in Universal Studios Hollywood.
Dr. Baker, dean, College of Medicine at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science was honored during the Champions of Health Awards for outstanding service in focusing on the health care needs of underserved communities. His presenter, Dr. James Kyle II, vice president for medical affairs, St. Mary Medical Center in Apple Valley, also has ties to Charles Drew University. Dr. Kyle, who had won the award previously, joined the university in 1996 as chief medical officer and director of Clinical Business Development. He also was appointed administrative dean for the College of Medicine, and served as interim dean.
"I am honored to be in the company of other recipients of this award, including our current Surgeon General Regina Benjamin,” Dr. Baker said. “This award holds special significance for me as the NMF scholarship fund was available to me as a minority medical student. With the increasing costs associated with a medical school education, the scholarships provided by NMF are truly appreciated by minority medical students and provide a means for increasing the nationwide shortage of minority physicians in our country."
A spokeswoman for the New York-based nonprofit group, which has provided more than $40 million to 29,000 minority medical students since 1946, said that Dr. Baker’s award was carved from Danta wood found in Ghana, West Africa. The sculpture depicts a traditional musician playing an ancient horn, symbolizing a lifetime of mastery and achievement, the spokeswoman said.
The carving evokes the group’s commitment to quality health care for underserved people. “It is a fitting tribute,” she said.