The Daniel Hale Williams Society of the Feinberg School of Medicine was created in 2018 to create community and support for Black or African American men in the medical profession.
Daniel Hale Williams, MD, was Feinberg's first African American graduate and faculty member, and one of the most noteworthy physicians of the 20th century. He was the first Black fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the principal founder of the National Medical Association. Williams founded Provident Hospital in Chicago, the first Black-owned and -operated interracial hospital in the country in 1891. He performed one of the world's first successful heart operations in 1893 and was appointed surgeon-in-chief at Freedman's Hospital, Washington, D.C., in 1894 by President Grover Cleveland.
The Daniel Hale Williams Society has launched several initiatives to promote and facilitate career development for Black or African American men at Feinberg. The society's board members, listed below, are prominent campus leaders who provide career mentorship and guidance.
Join the Daniel Hale Williams Society
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Steering Committee Members
Daniel Hale Williams Diversity & Inclusion Award
Every year, this award is bestowed upon one student who epitomizes the vision that leaders at Feinberg embrace regarding how diversity and inclusion should manifest in the Feinberg culture.
Fourth-year medical students Precious Akanyirige and Lawrence Garcia were the recipients of the 2023 award.
Akanyirige was recognized for mentorship and advocacy of historically marginalized communities. While at Feinberg, she was an active Office of Diversity & Inclusion student ambassador. Akanyirige's excellence as a medical student is exemplified by her dual pursuit of an MD degree and a Master’s in Public Health degree. She was honored with the 2023 Excellence in Public Health award, given by the U.S. Public Health Service.
Garcia is recognized for his community engagement and mentorship. During his years at Feinberg, Garcia was an active Office of Diversity & Inclusion student ambassador and community engagement coordinator for the Latino Medical Student Association.
Caitlin Jacobs was recognized for her service and advocacy for the Native American community. She is the founder of the Association for Native American Medical Students (ANAMS) chapter at Feinberg. She has also served as an active Office of Diversity & Inclusion student ambassador, a medical student interviewer for the Feinberg MD Admissions Office and a mentor for incoming Native American students as they matriculate to Feinberg.
One of the many reasons fourth-year medical student Elsy Compres was recognized was for her mentorship, service and advocacy of underserved communities, both nationally and abroad.
Fourth-year medical student Patricia "Oby" Ekwueme, '20 MD, '20 MPH, was recognized for her service and advocacy for Chicago’s youth as well as for her efforts in shaping their paths towards careers in healthcare. While at Feinberg, she was an active Office of Diversity & Inclusion student ambassador and former secretary of the Student National Medical Association.
Ekwueme’s excellence as a medical student is exemplified by her dual pursuit of an MD degree and a Master’s in Public Health degree. She matched for residency in psychiatry at Yale-New Haven Hospital.
Fourth-year medical student Javier Suarez received the 2019 award in recognition of his service and advocacy for the Latino community. During his years at Feinberg, Suarez was an active Office of Diversity & Inclusion student ambassador and a member of the Latino Medical Student Association, serving as a strong advocate for medical Spanish as an important part of medical education. He worked closely with Chicago’s youth, teaching and tutoring underserved high school students through Feinberg’s partnership with Chicago Youth Programs and has been involved with the Northwestern Medicine Scholars Program by participating in panels, anatomy lab guided tours and personal statement workshops for college applications.