CLOSING THE GAP—Gateway Medical Society held its annual community awareness forum in which a panel speakers spoke to the community.  Speakers and panelists, from left: Harold D. Miller, president & CEO, Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform; James L. Fawcett, senior  vice president Provider Contracting, Highmark Inc.; Candi Castleberry-Singleton, Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer at UPMC; Sandra E. McAnallen, senior vice president of Clinical Affairs and Quality Performance for the UPMC Health Plan Insurance Services Division; Dr. Alice A. Tolbert Coombs, FCCP, immediate past-president, Massachusetts Medical Society 2011-2012; Dr.  Gaspere C. (Gus) Geraci, vice president of Physician Leadership in Quality and Value, Pennsylvania Medical Society; and Dr. William Simmons, host and president of Gateway Medical Society.  (Photo by Rossano P. Stewart)


 A half-century of leadership and education in health care will be celebrated as Gateway Medical Society presents its 50th anniversary gala, Saturday, Oct. 19. A 6 p.m. reception, followed by a dinner and awards program at 7 p.m, at the Marriott City Center Hotel, 112 Washington Place, Pittsburgh will be the main event.

“Gateway Medical Society is an organization that raises a voice for physicians, nurses, and dentists of color and those of any color who cares for the socio-economically challenged and underserved patients in the greater Pittsburgh community” says Dr. William Simmons, president of the Gateway Medical Society Inc.

“Our central focus and mission is to enhance the quality of health care services by addressing racial and ethnic disparities in health care and to enhance wellness by providing health education to the community,” Simmons continues. “Many individuals in the greater Pittsburgh community lack the knowledge to question their physician to make sure that all of their medical issues are being considered and that the subscribed course of treatment is in their best interest. Through our educational community symposiums and physician networks, we are trying to better prepare our constituents to know how to be their own advocates and reduce health care disparities by having a voice in their own healthcare.”

Outstanding leaders will be honored with the “Champions of Gateway Medical Society—Making a Difference” Award, which is given to individuals who have provided Gateway Medical Society with service and resources to grow.

The 2013 honorees are: Donamarie N. Wilfong, DNP, RN, director of clinical education The STAR Human Simulation Education Center at Western Pennsylvania Health Systems; John P. Williams, MD; and Peter and Eva Safar professor and chair of the Department of Anesthesiology, UPMC.

Gateway Medical Society was formed 50 years ago by Pittsburgh physicians: Drs. Earl B. Smith, Oswald Nickens and Charles Booker. Through the years, many Black physicians have had a positive impact on the Pittsburgh community and were members of Gateway Medical Society. The organization will celebrate many of them and is invite others still be in the region to travel to come and be recognized by at the event.

Encouraging physicians of tomorrow is also a big part of Gateway Medical Society’s mission. Many meritorious medical students from the University of Pittsburgh Medical School have received scholarships from the Gateway Medical Society. During the gala, three such scholarships will be awarded.

To keep a continuous pipeline of students of color going to medical school, an award winning academic mentorship program, Journey to Medicine is administered by Gateway Medical Society to encourage the study of science, technology, engineering and math in boys from sixth grade to high school graduation.

(For tickets and more information about Gateway Medical Society and the Journey to Medicine program, call 412-281-4086 or email: administration@gateway­



Follow @NewPghCourier on Twitter
Like us at
Download our mobile app at

Also On New Pittsburgh Courier:
comments – Add Yours