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Press Release

St. Francis Hospital Launches New Program to Advance Diversity in Medicine

5 October, 2020
Doctor 1

ROSLYN, NY, October 5, 2020 – As the first half of 2020 unfolded in crisis, these events underscored the vital role of frontline medical professionals and a need for greater diversity in leadership across all industries. According to a recent report by the Association of Academic Medical Centers on  Diversity in Medicine, most active physicians in the U.S. today identify themselves as White (63.9%) and male (58.6%). In 2021, St. Francis Hospital will launch a new program to help advance diversity among students seeking careers in medicine or biomedical research.

The program is the brainchild of Jane Cao, M.D., Director of Research and Cardiac Imaging at St. Francis, who wanted to tailor a research experience that would advance diversity in medicine. Thanks to a $1.5 million grant from the Leonard and Sophie Davis Fund, every year two aspiring college graduates will engage in a paid research internship and clinical observership alongside top researchers and clinicians as part of the Charles and Muriel Kornheiser Clinical Scholars Program at St. Francis Hospital.

“Dr. Cao had already developed a very detailed vision of what we could accomplish in this space,” said Charles L. Lucore, M.D., MBA, President of St. Francis Hospital. “So when the Davis Fund approached us, we were more than prepared to make the most of our mutual interest and things moved along very quickly. We are so proud that St. Francis can play a substantial role in advancing the medical careers of highly-talented under-represented students.”

The transformational gift was inspired by Alan Davis’ desire to honor long-time family friend and Roslyn resident Charles Kornheiser and his late wife, Muriel Kornheiser. The Kornheisers were both longstanding grateful patients of St. Francis cardiologist Meyer Abittan, M.D., and friends and neighbors of the Davis Family.

In addition to the $1.5 million gift, Alan Davis, President of the Leonard and Sophie Davis Fund, established a challenge grant which will match contributions by other donors up to $500,000, creating the potential for an additional $1 million to extend the program’s reach.

"We wanted to honor family friends from our days in Roslyn, NY. The Kornheisers have been looked after by one of the best hospitals in the country – St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn. Our primary goal was to promote diversity in the medical field and we discovered that St. Francis just needed the resources to execute the program they'd already developed,” noted Alan Davis. “In my experience, it is rare when you find a perfect marriage of grantor and grantee purpose. We are so pleased to be able to make this gift."

For more information or to make a gift in support of the Charles and Muriel Kornheiser Clinical Scholars Program, please call (516) 563-7974.