Loretta Jones, CEO of Los Angeles’ Healthy African American Families II and recipient of the NAACP’s 2009 “W. Montague Cobb Award” stands with Dr. Keith C. Norris, CDU Interim President.

Dr Norris And Loretta Jones

Loretta Jones, the CEO of Healthy African American Families II, was honored recently by the National Health Committee of the NAACP Board of Directors as this year’s W. Montague Cobb Award recipient for her work in Los Angeles County.

Each year, the NAACP selects a recipient for the W. Montague Cobb Award in recognition of special achievement in social justice, health justice, health education, health promotion, fundraising and/or research.

In announcing the award, Karen Boykin-Towns, chair of the NAACP Health Committee, said Jones has “demonstrated unparalleled dedication to the NAACP and the community through service in the field of health disparities and health policy.”

Jones was honored at the NAACP Health Advocacy Luncheon earlier this month at the NAACP’s convention in New York City, where the civil rights group marked its historic 100th anniversary.

“She’s very dedicated to the issue of health care and the Black family,” said Willis Edwards, a member of the NAACP National Board who recommended Jones for the Award. “She was one of the firsts.”

Healthy African American Families (HAAF) is a non-profit, community serving agency with the mission of improving the health outcomes of the African American and Latino communities in Los Angeles County.  HAAF is committed to enhancing the quality of care and advancing social progress through education, training, and collaborative partnering with community, academia, researchers, and government. HAAF services all of South Los Angeles and Service Planning Area 6 in particular. HAAF is widely regarded in the community as an advocate voice, and source of education and training around disparities and research, for the local community. HAAF regularly disseminates research to community in its major yearly events. HAAF’s partners include Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, UCLA, RAND, and over 150 community based organizations.

W. Montague Cobb (1904-1990) was a great American scholar: a medical doctor trained in anatomy and the first black American Ph.D. in physical anthropology. As a scientist, he refuted the myths of physical and mental differences between the races. In his positions as chair of the anatomy department at Howard University's College of Medicine and president of the NAACP, he fought for racial integration of health care and medical education, becoming a major figure in the civil rights movement of the mid-twentieth century. Cobb was instrumental in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the establishment of Medicare in 1965. At Howard he built one of the world's foremost collections of human skeletons for the study of comparative anatomy and he introduced creative new teaching methods. In addition he is recognized as the first major historian of American blacks in medicine.

John L. Mitchell
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