issue Fall 2020

Diversity in Our Professional Ranks Is Key to Improving Health Care, Population Health and Health Outcomes

Here are three recently announced scholarships that help demonstrate the commitment of RFU and its leadership to this goal.

The Fannie H. Emanuel, MD, 1915 Memorial Endowed Scholarship

This scholarship was endowed in February 2020 by retired U.S. Army Major General Elder Granger, MD, a member of the RFU Board of Trustees, and his wife Brenda. Driven by a longstanding interest in supporting students from at-risk populations, they created this scholarship to inspire others to provide similar forms of assistance. With this in mind, an institutional commitment of $50,000 was made to the Emanuel Scholarship endowment from RFU’s Chicago Medical School (CMS) and Strategic Resource Allocations Committee.

The scholarship takes its name from one of the first African-American women to graduate from CMS. It’s designed to provide financial assistance to African-American students who are accepted into or enrolled at CMS, and also exemplify Dr. Emanuel’s dedication to civic leadership as demonstrated by their commitment to health equity, community-based care and/or interprofessional care.

The Presidential Diversity Scholarship

This scholarship was established by RFU President and CEO Wendy Rheault, PT, PhD, FASAHP, FNAP, DipACLM, to address inequity in health care. This award will be open to RFU students from underrepresented backgrounds, and the intent is that it will receive financial support in the years to come from future university leaders.

“We must break down barriers to educational access if we hope to train compassionate, culturally competent healthcare practitioners who reflect the communities they will serve,” Dr. Rheault said of this scholarship. “Diversity in our professional ranks is key to improving health care, population health and health outcomes.”

Agnes D. Lattimer, MD ’54 Memorial Endowed Scholarship

This scholarship, which will see an inaugural award in the 2021–22 academic year, was established by CMS Dean Archana Chatterjee, MD, PhD, and Samar Gogoi. Driven by the need for diversity in the physician workforce identified by overwhelming research, it will help financially support students from groups underrepresented in medicine who are accepted into or enrolled at RFU and CMS.

The remarkable story of Dr. Lattimer’s pursuit of a career in medicine truly inspired this scholarship. She entered CMS in 1950 as one of only two women and the only African American in her class, and she worked as a housekeeper in Chicago for 18 months to earn enough money to attend CMS. After graduating, she embarked on a long career in pediatrics that culminated with her appointment as medical director of Cook County Hospital in 1986.

Please note, any group photo that does not feature physical distancing or mask wearing was taken prior to the State of Illinois issuing such guidelines. RFU has policies in place that require these and many other safety measures.