Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science President Dr. Susan Kelly Named Woman Of The Year For 52nd Assembly District in California Legislature Ceremony

Selection by Assembly Member Mervyn Dymally honors Kelly’s “leadership, energy, and results-orientation” for expanding health sciences school dedicated to reducing health disparities in underserved communities

Los Angeles, California – Dr. Susan Kelly, President and CEO of Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU), has been named “Woman of the Year” for California’s 52nd Assembly District, selected for the special recognition by Assembly Member Mervyn M. Dymally. The honor was recently bestowed in the chambers of the California Assembly, where Dr. Kelly was recognized with other notable women from throughout the state.

Dr. Dymally said, “Dr. Kelly has brought a new level of leadership, energy, direction and results-orientation to Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science. Not only did she quickly earn the respect of the community and the faculty and staff, she also set the University on a course of growth and expansion while facing what to others appeared to be insurmountable odds and adversity.”

The “Woman of the Year” celebration, sponsored annually by the California Legislative Women’s Caucus, begins with the selection by each Assembly Member of one woman in their district who has “significantly contributed to her community.” In a floor session as part of the ceremony, Dr. Kelly was escorted by Dymally to the Assembly Desk where Speaker-Elect Karen Bass presented her with the award recognition.

Receiving the honor, Dr. Kelly said, “I am humbled to have been selected California Woman of the Year for the 52nd District. Charles Drew University is a jewel in south Los Angeles -- it makes a lasting contribution to the health and welfare of our local community and across California with a special mission of serving the chronically underserved. Although this was my day of honor, we owe so much of our success -- now and in the future -- to the tireless and heroic efforts of our advocate of over 40 years, Mervyn Dymally. No one could have done more.”

Bart H. Williams, Esq., CDU’s board chairman, stated: “We are extremely proud that Dr. Kelly was chosen as California Woman of the Year for the 52nd District. Dr. Kelly and Assemblyman Dymally have formed a formidable team on behalf of Charles Drew University by improving our relationship with the community, the Governor’s Office, the State of California, the University of California and national leaders in the heath care field. We feel that Susan’s keen intellect, passion, and indomitable spirit will help Charles Drew University flourish in the years to come.”

As a part of its mission, Charles Drew University’s graduates continue to provide urgently needed healthcare services to millions of medically underserved residents of the poorest communities, especially in Los Angeles County. Named in honor of the brilliant African-American physician, whose pioneering work in blood preservation has saved a billion lives in 60 years, Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science was born in a fire, the Watts Rebellion of 1965. A high price of death, injury and destruction was paid, but in its aftermath a strong, vibrant and resilient institution was created, committed to the ideal that health is a human right. Through excellence in education, clinical practice outreach and research that makes a tangible difference, the university continues four decades later to proudly serve people in the greatest need in the largest underserved urban area in the nation — and others like it everywhere. Additional data concerning Charles Drew University may be found on its website at