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Otho S. A. Sprague Memorial Institute Awards Black and Latino Male Medical & Dental Student Mentoring Grant to the The Institute of Medicine of Chicago

10 Jan 2022 4:36 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

CHICAGO— The Otho S. A. Sprague Memorial Institute awarded the Institute of Medicine of Chicago (IOMC) a two-year grant to develop and manage a Black and Latino Male Medical and Dental Student Mentoring Program.  The overall mentoring program objective is to elevate and support Black and Latino male medical and dental students for greater graduation success and foster their participation in caring for underserved communities. Also, one of the goals of the mentoring program is to advocate for more significant health equity and disease prevention in Chicago. 

The Black and Latino Male Medical & Dental Student Mentoring and Networking Program is a relationship-based, nonpolitical program where currently enrolled in an accredited medical school will learn, experience, and build a network to build more Black and Latino male physicians in more totality in the US. We will focus on currently enrolled Black and Latino male medical & dental students in the Chicago area.  

President Cheryl Rucker-Whitaker, MD, MPH, FACP, of the Institute of Medicine of Chicago stated, "IOMC is pleased to be part of this initiative to foster Black and Latino male medical and dental students in these important fields, medicine, and oral health. We appreciate the support of this grant from Otho S. A. Sprague Memorial Institute to develop this specific mentoring program. These are rewarding, impactful careers and can foster building diversified, multidisciplinary professionals to solve some of our most complex healthcare and public health problems facing Chicago and its communities."

The Otho S. A. Sprague Memorial Institute was founded in 1911 as a non-profit foundation with a mandate to pursue "the investigation of the cause of disease and the prevention and relief of human suffering in the City of Chicago, County of Cook, State of Illinois."

The medical and dental students will interact with the Fellows of IOMC and its colleagues to build relationships in a learning and collaborative networking environment. There has been an increase in female medical and dental physicians in the past several years. This increase is good news as diversity and equity programs work effectively. However, there has been a decline in Black and Latin male physicians and oral health professionals for the past five years.

IOMC is a 106-year-old independent, non-profit organization with a long history of promoting health care and wellbeing equity. As a leader in the healthcare landscape, IOMC collaborates and creates change to foster equal opportunities for all in healthcare and public health. Its initiatives are diverse as its members are multidisciplinary professionals in healthcare, oral health, and public health. 

Some of IOMC's many past initiatives include:


  • IOMC promoted fair housing for the homeless and improved safety conditions for workers due to the Great Depression (1930). 


  • IOMC recruited doctors to care for wounded soldiers as the US entered into World War II (1941).


  • IOMC advocated and persuaded the City of Chicago to develop broader, more accessible, emergency public ambulance services. It started with 14 ambulances with restricted use and then expanded to transport sick people (1945).


  • IOMC established the African-American Health Commission to improve access to care in African-American neighborhoods (1949). 


  • IOMC co-authored and disseminated the 'Integration of Medical Care Report' with the Chicago Commission to promote and ensure hospitals hire African-American physicians (1954).  


  • IOMC hosted its first 'State of the Health of Chicago' Conference to identify the challenges and barriers impacting the area's health in 2011. IOMC completed its 8th convening on the State of Health of Chicago last month. IOMC will be presenting a summary report session this month.  More>

More details about the mentoring program will be available soon.

The Institute of Medicine of Chicago (IOMC), since 1915, is an independent non-profit organization of distinguished leaders in the health field who collaborate to improve the health of the public. Drawing upon the expertise of a diverse membership and other regional leaders, the IOMC addresses critical health issues through a range of interdisciplinary approaches, including education, research, communication of trusted information, and community engagement. With the public's health at its core, IOMC is building new programs and services to meet better the needs of its members and the Chicago, Counties and the State of Illinois community. 501c3 non-profit organization. Visit www.iomc.org.  



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