and Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University Announce the 5th Annual Top Blacks in Healthcare Awards Gala Honorees

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15 of the Nation’s Leading Health Professionals to Receive Top-Ranked Industry Honor

These individuals have reached the highest levels in their careers, despite challenges, and is honored to celebrate their success. Their trailblazing work ensures that everyone has access to quality healthcare. (BDO), the leading online health destination for African Americans, and The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health announce the highly-anticipated list of distinguished honorees for the 5th Annual Top Blacks in Healthcare Awards Gala. This celebration of Black excellence will take place on Thursday, April 26, 2018 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Washington, DC.

The awards gala, hosted by radio and television legend Donnie Simpson, will honor 15 individuals who have made outstanding contributions to medicine and health. These highly esteemed and accomplished individuals not only maintain a demanding work/life balance, but they are also progressively moving their communities forward.

“These individuals have reached the highest levels in their careers, despite challenges, and is honored to celebrate their success. Their trailblazing work ensures that everyone has access to quality healthcare,” said Reggie Ware, President and CEO of

Delivering the 2018 keynote address is Dr. William H. Carson, President and CEO of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc. (Otsuka), a leading healthcare company developing innovative solutions for patients and care providers. Otsuka’s commitment to innovation in healthcare comes in many forms, with a focus on mental health – reinforced by their recent FDA approval for the first digital medicine – along with an emerging portfolio in digital health, oncology, and renal disease. salutes this extraordinary list of Black healthcare professionals named as the “ Top Blacks in Healthcare” 2018 award recipients:

  • Keith L. Black, MD; Chair, Department of Neurosurgery; Director, Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute; Director, Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. Brain Tumor Center; Professor, Neurosurgery Ruth and Lawrence Harvey Chair in Neuroscience, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
  • Otis W. Brawley, MD, MACP; Chief Medical & Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President, American Cancer Society; Professor of Hematology, Oncology, Medicine and Epidemiology, Emory University
  • Doris Browne, MD, MPH; President, National Medical Association
  • William H. Carson, MD; President & Chief Executive Officer, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc. (Otsuka)
  • Craig Emmitt Cole, MD; Assistant Professor- Multiple Myeloma and Plasma Cell Dyscrasia Program, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan
  • Julius B. Dixon; Commercial Business Director, Boehringer Ingelheim U.S.
  • Quita Highsmith; Head, Alliance & Advocacy Relations, Genentech
  • Keith Hopps; Director, CNS Marketing, Takeda Pharmaceuticals
  • Doxie Jordan; Vice President, Area Commercial Lead, Novo Nordisk Inc.
  • Conrod Kelly; Executive Director, US Marketing Lead, Diabetes Franchise, Merck
  • LaQuandra S. Nesbitt, MD, MPH; Director, D.C. Department of Health
  • Lisa A. Newman, MD, MPH; Director - Breast Oncology Program, Director - International Center for the Study of Breast Cancer Subtypes, Henry Ford Cancer Institute, Henry Ford Health System
  • Coleman K. Obasaju, MD, PhD; Senior Medical Director-Oncology, Eli Lilly and Company
  • Rukeyser S. Thompson, PhD; Global Hair Care Section Head Research & Development (R&D), Procter & Gamble (P&G)
  • Brian Williams, RPh; Head of U.S. Marketing-Cardiovascular Franchise, Novartis Pharmaceuticals

Award recipients will be featured on the website, its Facebook page – with more than 2 million followers - and other related media. Currently, has a total monthly audience reach of more than 40 million visitors.

Editor, Bryana Holcomb, stated, “Today, more than ever, we must tap into our personal and collective power to create the changes we need in healthcare and beyond. Celebrating our honorees and sharing their incredible accomplishments will inspire our readers to keep pushing toward their own personal greatness.”

For sponsorship and ticket information, contact Candace Brandon, Candace(at)blackdoctor(dot)org or at 312-222-1205.

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About (BDO) is the world’s most comprehensive online health resource for Black consumers. With a monthly total audience reach of 40 million, BDO is the leading producer of targeted, culturally, and clinically accurate health and editorial content on African Americans. BDO also boasts the largest online database of Black physicians and dentists as part of its free doctor search tool, and a medical expert panel including many of the most respected and accomplished experts in their field. Learn more about at and follow us on Twitter @BlackDoctor and Facebook at

About Milken Institute School of Public Health
Milken Institute School of Public Health is committed to excellence in scholarship to advance the health of the populations of our local, national, and global communities. Our mission is to provide the best public health educational experience incorporating our core values of scholarship and leadership, scientific rigor and policy analysis, and training to foster the next generation of thought leaders, practitioners, policy makers and scientists who will transform public health worldwide especially for underserved and poor populations.

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