OUR LEGACY, OUR FUTURE
The Provident Foundation provides access to education, mentorship, and scholarship opportunities for underrepresented Chicago area youth pursuing careers as next generation doctors, nurses, and other health professionals in keeping with the historical legacy of Provident Hospital and Training School and its founder Dr. Daniel Hale Williams.
African American medical students are more than twice as likely as white students to express the intention to work in high-poverty, minority communities. However, according to American Association of Medical Colleges and U.S. Census data, only 6.2% of medical school graduates are African American despite accounting for 13.4% of the population. Furthermore, only 5.3% of medical school graduates are Hispanic relative to more than 18.3% of the population. We are committed to improving and increasing the number of healthcare providers giving back and transforming our community.
MEET PROVIDENT SCHOLAR, CAYRA WILLIAMS, A FUTURE DERMATOLOGIST
Cayra Williams, is completing her freshman year studies at Emory University where she is pursuing a Bachelors of Science degree majoring in biology on a pre-med track. She plans to pursue an MD/PhD in order to become a physician scientist with a focus on clinical research in the field of dermatology. When Cayra joined our scholars program, she explained her passion for this career path. She feels Black and Latinx people have lost trust in the healthcare system and experience health and healthcare disparities at a higher frequency than any other race, often as a result of implicit racism many physicians express towards this population. Cayra stated, "The only way to have minorities trust medicine is by embedding individuals who prioritize the pain and emotional vulnerability we have by being minority, and actively realizing the distrust. Modern physicians need to be committed to changing this current environment surrounding minorities and medicine; this will be me."
Cayra has learned that the largest organ of the human body, the skin, is also the first line of defense against bacteria and injury, and directly impacts an individual’s social identity and standing. Ms. Williams’ dream of becoming a dermatologist is based on her personal experience as expressed by her - "It reflects overall health and can have a huge role on self-esteem and confidence. Before my senior year of high school, I was bullied relentlessly due to my skin, it was unbearable. I visited many dermatologists and tried many medications, but nothing worked. The dermatologist of my dreams would have pushed to find a solution. My acne journey made things difficult for me, but it has also motivated me to excel in my career field and combat the racism within it." Motivated by these personal experiences, Cayra established a student organization designed to assist others in their navigation of both skin and hair concerns.
BE A PART OF THE FUTURE
When you give to the Provident Foundation you become a part of the solution by addressing racial disparities in the healthcare system, and by providing mentoring and on-going support to our scholarship recipients throughout their undergraduate and pre-med studies continuing into their medical careers.