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New University of South Carolina program recognizes leaders

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A new program at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia is providing recognition to medical and science community leaders for legacies of service, leadership and efforts to promote diversity, equity and inclusion.

The Luminary Leaders in Medicine and Science Recognition program honored its inaugural seven-member class during a virtual ceremony Feb. 18.

“In 2019, the Women in Science and Medicine Committee accurately noted that virtually all of the images on display in the school depicted white males,” School of Medicine dean Les Hall said in a news release. “Although these individuals have made noteworthy contributions to the School of Medicine, they advocated that many women and those from diverse racial backgrounds also deserved to be honored. I completely agreed with them, and the Luminary Leaders in Medicine and Science initiative is an outgrowth of those conversations.”

The members of the inaugural class are:

  • Raymond P. Bynoe, Prisma Health-Richland trauma surgeon with Prisma Health-Richland
  • Everett Dargan, retired Columbia physician and School of Medicine faculty member
  • Everlyn Hall-Baker, the first African-American to attend the School of Medicine
  • Carol McMahon, associate dean of Diversity and Inclusion for the School of Medicine
  • Lurlene Scott, retired vocational rehabilitation counselor with the Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Alvin F. Wells, rheumatologist and international speaker
  • Patricia Witherspoon, Prisma Health assistant program director and School of Medicine faculty member

The school held the ceremony in February to recognize the individuals during Black History Month. During the tribute, plaques honoring each of the class members were unveiled.

Five more individuals will be recognized later this year, and the school will select several new inductees each year, according to the release.

“We would like to congratulate our inaugural honorees,” Hall said. “Their images and stories, which will be showcased on our recognition wall and seen by our students each day as they enter our building, will serve as an inspiration and guidepost to them as they pursue their dreams.”

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