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Give to Support Minority Future Physicians and Dentists Practicing in the Greater Cleveland Area


The End Of Year Is An Important Time For Giving

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

Again, I would like to express what a pleasure it is to serve as the President and Chair of the Board of Directors of Health Legacy of Cleveland, Inc.

At this time of year, Health Legacy of Cleveland is counting on all of our supporters to step up and give a donation on Giving Tuesday on November 28, 2023. 

We can receive your donation on this Website by connecting through one of our GIVE NOW LINKS.

Or you may select to send your donation to:

Health Legacy of Cleveland Headquarters at PO Box 201519 Shaker Heights, Ohio 44120

Please remember the important pivotal role Health Legacy of Cleveland, Inc. has played 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 continuing our process of expanding our mission to also become more active in our approach to healthcare needs and disparities.  This effort will be accomplished by connecting the medical expertise of our Board  Members to the ongoing health care challenges that are being experienced by the Black community during this post pandemic area and beyond.  Additionally, this year we are welcoming new talented Board of Members to carry the mission and traditions of Health Legacy into the future

We invite your involvement, ideas and continuing support of our efforts. I look forward to working with you more in 2024.

Health Legacy of Cleveland, Inc. is honored by your past generosity and appreciates your ongoing support of our fundraising efforts to close the health disparity gap for minorities in Cleveland.

Sincerely Yours,

Dr. Bessie House-Soremekun

President and Chair, Board of Directors

Health Legacy of Cleveland

Health Legacy of Cleveland is proud to announce that three medical/dental students have received scholarship awards for the 2023-2024 school year.

One first year dentistry student received a scholarship and two medical students had their scholarships renewed for the 2023-2024 school year.

Health Legacy of Cleveland Scholarship Recipients:

Maurice Thompson
Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry
1st Year

Jasmine Williams
Meharry Medical College
3rd  Year

Rebekah Russell
Case Western Reserve School of Medicine
4th Year

Maurice Thompson

Maurice Thompson has started 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.

To help prepare for his career path, it was stated that he gained an understanding of dental procedures and patient care through shadowing.  He also referred again to the Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry experiences.  In this internship he worked with dental students and professionals and found the mentoring valuable.

In the future, he wants to give back to the community by focusing on the underrepresented and inspiring children.  Maurice mentioned a desire to provide care at community health events or free clinics.  Lastly, Maurice finished his essay responding to our new question about the coronavirus.  He stated that the pandemic has solidified his decision to pursue dentistry, because of the significant role oral health plays in overall health.  He stated that the pandemic has shown that it is even more important for more healthcare professionals to protect public health.

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

Jasmine Williams

3rd Year Medical student at Meharry College of Medicine

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

4th Year Medical Student at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine

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. 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 was fortunate enough to be exposed to mentors that supported me and further validated that I had what it takes to become a physician.

My ability to see and experience the world from multiple perspectives is an important characteristic. 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.  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 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.

Archive Photo from Board of Directors’ Recognition Dinner

Zanzibar Restaurant July 27, 2022 6:30 p.m.

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