Association of Black Cardiologists Honors Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine with “Spirit of the Heart” Award

Date: October 07, 2015
Executive Dean Robert Goldberg, DO, left, with Gala emcee, actor and American Heart Association spokesperson Lamman Rucker at the Association of Black Cardiologists' 6th Annual Awards Gala.
Executive Dean Robert Goldberg, DO, left, with Gala emcee, actor and American Heart Association spokesperson Lamman Rucker at the Association of Black Cardiologists' 6th Annual Awards Gala.
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New York, N.Y. – The Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC) honored the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine (TouroCOM) with its prestigious “Spirit of the Heart” award, bestowed at the organization’s 6th Annual Awards Dinner.

The Award and presentation honored individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to cardiology and advancement in health equity by eliminating cardiovascular disease disparities in the delivery of healthcare.

ABC’s annual awards event serves as a celebration of life with proceeds supporting community outreach, heart disease prevention, and education of underrepresented minorities.

“We are so proud to salute Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine with the ABC ‘Spirit of the Heart’ Award,” said Dr. Icilma V. Fergus, president of ABC, director of the Mount Sinai Heart Center for Cardiovascular Disparities, and a member of TouroCOM’s Community Advisory Board.

“TouroCOM’s high regard for applied knowledge and discovery are what we need to develop diverse students who are equipped to lead in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, and health sciences. I am proud to be a member of their Board,” Dr. Fergus said.

Founded in Harlem in 2007, an integral part of TouroCOM’s mission is to train osteopathic physicians with an emphasis on practicing medicine in underserved communities and to increasing the number of underrepresented minorities in medicine.

Executive Dean Robert Goldberg, DO, said: “I am honored for the TouroCOM faculty, who not only believe in our mission, but who live it every day. I am so proud that their energy and impact go well beyond the borders of our school. It is recognition from groups like ABC that help us realize that each one of us is making a difference in this world.”

Dr. Goldberg cited bleak statistics on the numbers of blacks in medical school today and called the situation “deplorable.” He said in 1907, blacks accounted for fewer than four percent of medical students and today the number has risen to about six percent, citing data from U.S. News & World Report, while African Americans make up approximately 14 percent of the population, according to U.S. Census Bureau data reported by  Without the handful of medical schools that admit predominantly black students, the numbers would plummet even further, the Dean said.

Dr. Goldberg said he was proud that TouroCOM has graduated more than 68 underrepresented minority physicians – over 10 percent of the student body – since graduating its first class five years ago.

“That number will grow as we learn how to better focus our recruitment efforts and pour energy into systems that help students thrive,” the Dean said, adding, “It is through partnerships with people who strive together, such as Dr. Icy Fergus and ABC that we know we will succeed long term.”

Other individuals and organizations represented at the evening’s ceremonies included North Shore-LIJ Health System; Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine; Novartis; Aetna Foundation; and NYU Global Institute of Public Health.

Founded in 1974, ABC has taken a leadership role in promoting the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease including stroke in blacks and other minorities and achieving health equity for all through the elimination of disparities in all people of color. Its international membership of 1,500 health professionals, community lay members, corporate and institutional members are dedicated to this cause.

About the Touro College and University System

Touro is a system of non-profit institutions of higher and professional education. Touro College was chartered in 1970 primarily to enrich the Jewish heritage, and to serve the larger American and global community. Approximately 18,000 students are currently enrolled in its various schools and divisions. Touro College has branch campuses, locations and instructional sites in the New York area, as well as branch campuses and programs in Berlin, Jerusalem, Moscow, and Paris. New York Medical College, Touro University California and its Nevada branch campus, as well as Touro University Worldwide and its Touro College Los Angeles division are separately accredited institutions within the Touro College and University System. For further information on Touro College, please go to: