Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine to Hold Gala

10th Anniversary Event at Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture to Benefit Underrepresented Minority Students, Honor Harlem Leaders and School Founders

Date: October 03, 2017
Dr. Hazel Dukes
Dr. Hazel Dukes
Media Contact:

Barbara Franklin
Director of Communications

New York, N.Y.Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine (TouroCOM) is holding a Tenth Anniversary Gala on December 6, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem. The Gala is celebrating the building of the school and the contributions of its founders, who opened it in 2007 with a mission to educate underrepresented minorities (URMs) and serve the underserved.

The festive occasion will honor TouroCOM’s founders and founding members of its Community Advisory Board (CAB).  The CAB has provided guidance to the school and served as a liaison between the Harlem community and the College to help TouroCOM meet its goals. Among its key accomplishments are the establishment of a scholarship fund, which has raised more than $170,000 and resulted in 15 student scholarships.  

All proceeds from the Gala will benefit the TouroCOM Underrepresented Minority Fund, to give these students the opportunity for a medical school education.

Dr. Hazel Dukes, President of the NAACP New York State Conference, is among the founding CAB members to be honored. A Harlem resident who chaired the local Community Board when the school was founded, Dr. Dukes was well aware of the health disparities in the community and the need for a successful medical school in Harlem to address them.

“They have lived up to their mission and goals for our community and made sure that TouroCOM includes students from every race and especially those from the minority communities,” Dr. Dukes said, adding, “They continue to engage the community through participation in the Greater Harlem Community Chamber of Commerce health programs and the TouroCOM Annual Health Fair.”

Commitment to Bringing Underrepresented Minorities into Medicine

Another founding CAB member/honoree, Michael Hardy, Esq., General Counsel/EVP of the National Action Network, Inc., praised TouroCOM’s commitment to bringing URMs into the medical school and profession.

Statistics show TouroCOM has been successful in pursuit of its mission. According to the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, an average of 7.86 percent of students enrolled in osteopathic medical schools between the academic years 2009-10 and 2016-17 were URMs, whereas TouroCOM enrolled nearly double that number, enrolling an average percent of 13.98 URMs during the same time period. Since its inception, the school has graduated 116 DOs (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine) who are URMs.  Additionally, close to half (47 percent) of TouroCOM’s 868 graduates who went on to residencies ended up in primary care, which includes family medicine, internal medicine, OB/GYN, and pediatrics. Of the graduates, close to 30 percent undertook residencies in underserved communities or primary care shortage areas.

“TouroCOM has provided an avenue for underrepresented minority students through both the medical school’s DO program and its master’s pipeline program, for underrepresented minority students to live out the dreams of themselves and their families,” Mr. Hardy said.

TouroCOM also mentors and conducts outreach with local high school students to instill in them an interest in math and science and to prepare them for careers in the health sciences. Last year the College received the 2016 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from Insight Into Diversity magazine. In 2015 the school received the “Spirit of the Heart” Award from the Association of Black Cardiologists for eliminating cardiovascular disease disparities in the delivery of healthcare, and received an NAACP Community Service Award for increasing the number of underrepresented minorities in medicine.

Other founding CAB members being honored at the Gala are:

Also being honored are TouroCOM’s founders:

  • Martin Diamond, DO, FACOFP, Founding Dean
  • Jay Sexter, PhD – Founding CEO
  • Thomas J. Monahan, M.A., Past Executive Secretary, N.Y. State Board of Medicine
  • Sheldon Sirota, of blessed memory, DO, FACOS
  • Bernard Lander, of blessed memory, Founder and First President, Touro College

RSVP for the event or donate to the Fund at

 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 30 campuses and locations in New York, California, Nevada, Berlin, Jerusalem and Moscow. New York Medical College; Touro University California and Touro University Nevada; Touro University Worldwide and its Touro College Los Angeles division; as well as Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, Ill. are separately accredited institutions within the Touro College and University System. For further information on Touro College, please go to: