Summer Time and The Living Is Not So Easy

August-This summer has been much different than the summers of 2020-2022. On May 5, 2023 more than three years since Covid-19 was designated as a pandemic, the World Health Organization declared an end to the global Public Health Emergency. (United Nations UN News-Global perspective Human Stories-May 5, 2023).

It was abruptly stated that the pandemic was over. Although there was much joy over this long-awaited medical proclamation, there was also concern. We were all wondering, if it was really safe to come out of our homes without a mask. And for some people across this nation, they were not ready to discard their masks with the dismal air quality reports that the wild fires in Canada might jeopardize the theme song of summer…And of course Cleveland has to deal with all the health disparities for minorities that were illuminated during the pandemic and the unfortunate prediction of a rise in violent crime over the summer by all major new networks.

Since we have all been through some tough times associated with the Coronavirus, it is almost providential that the National Wellness Month for August focuses on self-care, managing stress and promoting healthy routines. Small changes can have a big impact on your health, whether you try a new yoga pose or a different spa treatment.

According to the National Wellness Month calendar, there are numerous ways to make those simple changes:

  • Increase your water consumption.
  • Increase the amount of fruit and vegetables in your diet.
  • Monitor your sleep and make changes to improve your sleeping habits.
  • Participate in yoga, walking, or aerobics class.
  • Practice meditation. (National Wellness Month-August-https://nationaldaycalendar.com)

Health Legacy of Cleveland is proud to announce that three medical/dental students will be receiving scholarship awards for the 2023-2024 school year. Two medical students had their scholarships renewed and one first year dentistry student received a scholarship:

Health Legacy Scholarship Recipients or 2023-2024

Case Western Reserve School of Medicine
Rebekah Russell
4th Year
Meharry Medical College
Jasmine Williams
3rd Year
Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry
Maurice Thompson
1st Year

Meet Health Legacy of Cleveland’s Newest Scholarship Recipient

Maurice Thompson

Maurice Thompson will be starting as a 1st Year Dentistry Student at Meharry Medical School in the Fall 2023.  Maurice hails from Cleveland, Ohio and attended John Hay Cleveland School of Science and Medicine High School. He matriculated at Cleveland State for undergraduate school and graduated in 2022. Maurice developed an interest in dentistry while shadowing his Cleveland Orthodontist during his high school career exploration project.  Maurice was impressed to observe an African-American man in a leadership role and was engaged by the planning and precision of dentistry. Maurice stated that his own attention to detail was a talent that contributed to his interest in dentistry, with the high degree of precision and accuracy.  He listed the summer spent on campus at Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry and over 100 hours of dental shadowing as experiences that reinforced his desire to pursue a career in dentistry.  READ MORE

Health Legacy of Cleveland’s Two Other Scholarship Recipients for 2023-2024

Jasmine Williams

Jasmine Williams currently is a 3rd year Medical Student at Meharry College. She is known for her strong leadership skills, professionalism, innovation and impeccable judgement. Being inquisitive and forward thinking, Jasmine is passionate about scientific discovery. These traits have served her well as a volunteer at the Cleveland Clinic Children Hospital. As a volunteer, Jasmine promoted health for children in her community and is committed to guiding health equity in marginalized communities. With Jasmine’s intellect, motivation, independence and innovation her teachers/mentors are confident that she will contribute to the mission of Health Legacy of Cleveland, Ohio Inc.

Jasmine shared that it was her own pediatrician that attracted her to the field of Medicine. Shadowing experiences and educational opportunities further strengthened her desire to become a physician. Also, her own family did not have access to major health/medical facilities in Twinsburg, Ohio.

Jasmine has held positions as a Medical Scribe, Patient Access Representative, Emergency Medical Technician and has served in the role of Patient Assistant. She is focused on serving the underserved populations in Northeast Ohio. She wants to work towards increasing minority physicians in Northeast Ohio. Also, Jasmine desires to assist with increasing preventative measures, with her goal being to improve health equity in the Greater Cleveland area and beyond.

Due to the pandemic, Jasmine stated that her first year of medical school was completely virtual. This challenge impacted her ability to explore various specialties through shadowing. Also, Jasmine focused on how the important connections with her classmates were limited as well.

Rebekah Russell

I began my pursuit of medicine before the beginning of the 2019 pandemic, however the pandemic changed my experience during my first year of medical school. My first year of medical school was completely virtual which impacted my ability to explore various specialities through shadowing and my ability to make connections with classmates. Despite that experience, the pandemic reinforced the disparities faced by minority populations across the world. I became more empowered to focus my career on addressing the social and health inequity as a result of the pandemic.

I have always wanted to be a physician and have never lost my interest despite facing obstacles. I think my initial interest came from my pediatrician who really demonstrated the importance of building relationships with your patients. Even though I was a child, I could feel that she was trustworthy and someone who would take care of me. My interest in medicine was further developed when I completed my 7th grade Body’s System Project and could not stop talking about the brain and the heart. While in high school, I pursued opportunities that allowed me to experience science and medicine. I was fortunate enough to be exposed to mentors that supported me and further validated that I had what it takes to become a physician.

A gift that I believe has and continues to help me in my pursuit of becoming a physician is my ability to see and experience the world from multiple perspectives. I think this characteristic is important because the art of medicine is being able to build relationships with people in order to maintain health. My high school experience made me aware of this talent, because I was able to navigate the cultural, racial and economic differences between my peers, myself and the community for which I was accustomed to in East Cleveland, Ohio. After high school, I continued to cultivate my talent by taking advantage of opportunities to expose myself to different cultures by studying abroad, joining dance groups while in undergrad and volunteering with organizations that allowed me to use the Spanish language.

I was afforded the opportunity to begin preparing for a career in medicine while in high school. I began by doing research and shadowing physicians. This exposed me early on to the rewards and demands of a career in medicine. While in undergrad, I prepared for a career in medicine by taking leadership roles in my sorority and other organizations on campus. During my graduate education, I developed and completed my own research projects and began the publication journey by presenting at conferences. In addition, I have prepared for my career by staying active in volunteer opportunities, as medicine is a career of giving oneself to others.

I intend to serve the Cleveland community by being aware of the social challenges to health and taking active efforts to reduce those barriers for patients. Cleveland is a city that, despite the numerous healthcare institutions, still suffers from poor health outcomes. Many of these poor health outcomes are tied to the social landscape of the city which is plagued by racial and economic segregation, poverty, and community violence. I plan to use my research to show these associations between social factors and health and then advocate for policy changes that will help to improve social barriers. I began taking steps towards these goals by finding a 2021 summer placement at Circle Health which allowed me to learn more about the social barriers that individuals face in Cleveland. Also, how those barriers impact these individuals in terms of staying healthy and accessing medical care.

Mid-Late Summer Safety Tips:

It is also important to remember protective/preventive practices to safeguard against the risk of drowning for children and adults. And to be hypervigilant with small children around bathtub, pool, pond, lake, and ocean waters.

Everyone should wear safety equipment available for the sport they are participating.  For example, helmets should be worn for all bicycle rides.

Cordelia Harris PhD -2023 (Former -Water Safety Instructor-and Physical Education and Health Director for the Cleveland Metropolitan Schools)

August is the Time to Take Charge of Your Health


It is important that everyone that a few moments over the summer and look at health screenings:

According to the Cleveland Clinic:

A physical exam checks your overall health.  Your healthcare provider will evaluate the basic function of your organs, address any concerns, update your vaccinations and help you get healthy or maintain good health. The CCF recommends that everyone should have a physical exam each year.


According to John Hopkins:

For most adults, depending on age, doctors will recommend a screening schedule that includes regular physical exams, body mass index, skin checks, cholesterol and blood pressure screening, eye exams, immunizations and screening for sexually transmitted diseases.


According to Family Practice Center:

Basic vitals including height, weight, hearing, vision, blood pressure, heart rate, body mass index, and ears, nose and throat check.  Screenings for certain types of cancer including prostate exams for men and breast exams for women.  Also, Blood testing is important to gauge cholesterol levels, and for potential diseases like diabetes and thyroid issues.


Greetings from President and Chair of Health Legacy of Cleveland Ohio Inc.

It is my pleasure to serve as the President and Chair of the Board of Directors of Health Legacy of Cleveland, Inc. This organization has played a pivotal role in highlighting health care disparities between the African American community and other communities in the United States and has also provided ongoing scholarship support to ensure that more minorities attend medical and dental schools so that the pipeline of minority physicians and dentists is secure.

We are in the process of expanding our mission to also become more activist in our approach to healthcare needs and disparities by connecting the medical expertise of our Board members to the ongoing health care challenges that are being experienced by the Black community during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. We invite your involvement, ideas and continuing support of our efforts. I look forward to working with you more in upcoming days ahead.

Sincerely Yours,

Dr. Bessie House-Soremekun
President and Chair, Board of Directors
Health Legacy of Cleveland

The Charge of Health Legacy

Health Legacy of Cleveland has been committed to bridging the gap of healthcare disparities for well over 25 years. For the past two and a half years, the pandemic has illuminated the myriad of health disparities for minorities. Because of the economic and social landscape of this country it has been reported by the Centers for Disease Control and others, that African-Americans with asthma, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes were at a greater risk than other populations for contracting Coronavirus. Furthermore, minorities are more at risk for suffering from more serious complications from Coronavirus.

The Association of American Medical Colleges and others document that about 5 percent of practicing physicians in the U.S. are black. Health Legacy of Cleveland’s mission becomes even more pressing, since the Association of American Medical Colleges data shows that black patients have better outcomes when treated by black doctors.

According to the Cleveland Council of Black Colleges Alumni Association more than 70 percent of African American dentists and physicians earned degrees at HBCUs . Therefore, according to Dr. Bessie House-Soremekun-President/Chairperson of Health Legacy of Cleveland, Ohio Inc. and the Board Members… it is imperative that more funds are raised to provide scholarships and mentoring for student doctors and dentists to bring more of them into the “Cleveland Healthcare Corridors” to better manage the healthcare of minorities.

Board Members and Executive Officers

2023 Board Members

Karen Ashby, MD

Billy Brown, MD

Cordelia G. Harris, PhD

Liz Hilton, Esq

Bessie House-Soremekun, PhD

Andre Mickle, DDS, MSD

Charles Modlin MD

Maposure T. Miller, DDS

Lateef Saffore, PhD

Maurice Soremekun, MD

Giesele Robinson Greene, MD…..Board Member Emeritus

2023 Executive Officers









Spotlight on Three Health Legacy of Cleveland Ohio Doctors

Spotlight on Dr. Billy Brown

January 30th, 2023|

Billy Brown enthusiastically practiced Internal Medicine in the African-American community for over 35 years before retiring. He chose to maintain a practice in East Cleveland while serving as a member of the medical staff at Huron Hospital, a Cleveland Clinic Hospital. Dr. Brown was elected by his peers to serve as Chief of Staff of Huron Hospital from 2000-2002. As an internist, Dr. Brown had special interests in the care of patients with diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular [...]

Honoring Board Member Dr. Andre K. Mickel

April 19th, 2022|

Health Legacy of Cleveland  is proud to highlight Dr. Andre K. Mickel as an outstanding Board Member.  He has been one of the pillars of Health Legacy for over 20 years.  He has given his time and talent richly to our organization. It is no secret that Dr. . Andre K. Mickel is a leading Endodontist in Cleveland specializing in the most difficult and highly complex root canal cases. When he is not treating patients [...]

Recognizing Dr. Charles Modlin – One Of Our Own Health Legacy Of Cleveland, Ohio Board Member

December 29th, 2021|

This month, Health Legacy of Cleveland is proud to recognize one of our long serving Board Members, Charles Modlin, MD.  He has had a brilliant career in the medical field, bridging the health disparity gap for minorities.  Recently, he has joined MetroHealth after more than three decades at the Cleveland Clinic, where he was Executive Director of Minority Health. Dr. Modlin is MetroHealth’s first Medical Director for Inclusion, Diversity and Equity.  In this role, he is part of the [...]

Or Mail your check to:

Health Legacy of Cleveland

PO Box 201519

Shaker Heights, Ohio 44120 (enclose email address)

Special Acknowledgements for Homepage Updates:
*Dr. Cordelia G. Harris
*Support Team from MoDuet


Phone 216.621.1933


PO Box 201519

Shaker Heights, OH 44120-8108


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