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White Plains Hospital Hosts Youth Summit to Inspire Young Students of Color to Pursue Careers in Medicine

October 25, 2022

White Plains, N.Y. (October 25, 2022) – White Plains Hospital hosted New York state’s first Youth Summit in partnership with Black Men in White Coats, a national organization that seeks to increase the number of black and brown individuals in the field of medicine. The full-day summit was held on Saturday, October 22, 2022, at the Sonesta White Plains Downtown hotel.

More than 200 middle and high school students, educators, parents, physicians, and community leaders attended the day of hands-on activities, educational panels, and networking with healthcare professionals from diverse backgrounds, all with the mission of helping young people discover the opportunities available to them in healthcare.

“Our goal in partnering with Black Men in White Coats is to inspire Westchester’s young people of color and show them that a career in medicine is exciting, rewarding and also achievable,” said Master of Ceremonies Dean Akbar, Senior Director of Human Resources and Talent Development and Chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee at White Plains Hospital. “Being it starts with seeing it, and a key theme we heard from our speakers is the vital part that relatable mentors and role models play in young people’s career development and aspirations.”

Following opening remarks from the Honorable Ben Boykin of the Westchester County Board of Legislators, as well as by Westchester County Executive George Latimer, Dr. Mill Etienne delivered the keynote address, sharing his experience in healthcare and the importance of representation in the field. Dr. Etienne serves as Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion, Associate Dean for Student Affairs, and Associate Professor of Neurology and Medicine at New York Medical College.

In breakout learning sessions, middle school and high school students participated in hands-on demonstrations, including Basic First Aid and CPR and “Stop the Bleed” training, while parents, educators and healthcare professionals attended a panel discussion, “How to Raise a Doctor,” offering perspectives from parents, medical professionals and students. The afternoon included a talk entitled “A Day in the Life of an Emergency Medicine Physician,” delivered by Dr. Rondalph Taylor, Attending Emergency Physician at White Plains Hospital. The event closed with a panel discussion, “Black Men in White Coats,” focused on overcoming the barriers to increasing representation in healthcare. In addition, during lunch, students were seated with mentors in the healthcare field, including several medical students from Albert Einstein College of Medicine and physicians from Montefiore Medical Center.

“Our goal for every event is for the students and their parents to come away with an expanded view of the possibilities for their future,” said Dr. Dale Okorodudu, Founder of Black Men in White Coats. “We were delighted to bring this inspiring program to New York for the first time through our partnership with White Plains Hospital, and were overwhelmed by the community’s enthusiastic response.”

About White Plains Hospital

White Plains Hospital is a proud member of the Montefiore Health System, serving as its tertiary hub of advanced care in the Hudson Valley. The Hospital is a 292-bed not-for-profit health care organization with the primary mission of providing exceptional acute and preventive medical care to all people who live in, work in or visit Westchester County and its surrounding areas. Centers of Excellence include the Center for Cancer Care and The William & Sylvia Silberstein Neonatal & Maternity Center. The Hospital’s Flanzer Emergency Department is the busiest in Westchester County. White Plains Hospital performs lifesaving emergency and elective angioplasty in its Joan and Alan Herfort, MD, Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory and Marie Promuto Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory and in 2021, the Hospital formally launched its cardiac surgery program with its first-ever open-heart surgery in partnership with world-class cardiac surgeons from Montefiore Einstein. White Plains Hospital has outpatient medical facilities across Westchester, including multispecialty practices in Armonk, New Rochelle, Somers and Yorktown Heights; and Scarsdale Medical Group locations in Harrison and Scarsdale.

The Hospital is fully accredited by the Joint Commission and earned its recognition as a Top Performer for Key Quality Measures® in 2019. In 2022, White Plains Hospital received a 5-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) — the highest distinction offered by the federal agency. In addition, the Hospital received Magnet® designation three times, most recently in 2021 from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and has been rated 5 Stars from CMS for Quality. The Hospital recently received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® Gold Achievement Award for its treatment of patients who suffer severe heart attacks in its Emergency Department and Cardiac Catherization labs and its mortality rate is amongst the lowest in the country according to the National Cardiovascular Data Registry (NCDR). The Hospital has been reaccredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer for providing high-quality, patient-centered cancer care to their patients and the community. It has earned a three-year accreditation from the National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer (NAPRC), one of 60 hospitals in the nation, and the Hospital’s Bariatric Surgical Center is accredited as a Comprehensive Center under the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP). White Plains Hospital has received full accreditation for its breast cancer program four times from the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) and The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP®) recognized White Plains Hospital as a top 10% performing hospital for achieving meritorious outcomes for surgical patient care in 2019. In 2022, White Plains Hospital received the Outstanding Patient Experience Award from Healthgrades® for the 7th time, and in 2022 became the only Hospital in Westchester to be awarded with an A Safety Grade from the Leapfrog Group for the 8th time.

About Black Men in White Coats

In 2013, the Association of American Medical Colleges released an alarming report informing the nation that the already low number of black men applicants to medical school was decreasing. Since then, Black Men in White Coats has sought to increase the number of black men in the field of Medicine through exposure, inspiration, and mentoring. Black Men in White Coats works closely with medical schools, high schools, and physicians to provide inspiration and mentorship to youth who may be interested in healthcare as a profession. The organization focuses on showing young people of color that there are people who look like them in the healthcare field, and if they can do it, so can you.