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Cream City Medical Society: African Americans In Medicine 1895 – 2007

Cream City Medical Society has been around for eighty years, serving the health care needs of African Americans and advocating for their health rights. At the CCMS 80th anniversary celebration in November, Dr.Waymon Parker, an OB/GYN, was presented with the Doctor of the Year Award for his dedication and service to our community. Dr. Parker has taken on the responsibility of opening a free Clinic at Holy Redeemer Church of God in Christ on Mother Daniels Way (35th & Hampton). One of his most recent patients came up to the podium and gave a spontaneous tribute to Dr. Parker, after he had received his award. {mosimage} Dr. Janine James also offers services to those uninsured persons at her clinic, Cromwellness, at 3353 North Dr. Martin L. King Drive. Many other CCMS physicians volunteer a portion of their services which gives our community access to quality medical care. Dr. Rene F. Settle-Robinson is the current president of The Cream City Medical Society. Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee, Vice-President of Health Services and Medical Affairs at the New York Institute of Technology was the keynote speaker at the CCMS celebration. The highlight of her address was the lack of adequate health care for African Americans and other people of color and what must be done to close the gaps. Dr. Ross-Lee is the elder sister of former Supreme, Diana Ross and aunt of Tracy Ross of the television show, “Girlfriends.” The CCMS was founded in 1927 by Dr. Richard Herron, a second-generation Black physician, and is the nation’s oldest association that represents African American physicians and other health care professionals. When CCMS first began, meetings were held in the members’ homes. This created an environment for camaraderie, networking and support. In the 1970s the organization began to hold meetings in concert with pharmaceutical manufacturers in order to focus on continuing education. In addition, CCMS is a chartered memberof the National Medical Association.Presently it represents over 100 doctors of general and specialized medicine, including students and residents. CCMS is out front when it comes to advocating for and addressing the health needs of our community. CCMS has the intent of closing the gap and raising the bar of equal access to health care for the entire community. The society’s members also participate in several task forces that focus on health issues. Why is the name Cream City? Cream city bricks where used in the early years of Milwaukee’s development to construct many of its buildings. All around the city one can see homes and businesses containing these historic bricks, which illustrates strength, beauty and the ability to weather many, many storms. These qualities exemplify and define the CCMS membership. One of the society’s major functions is to encourage and support medical students. To date over $100,000 has been raised and contributed through the Dr. Terrance Thomas Scholarship Fund to aid and support future black doctors. Their major concern is to provide adequate health services to the uninsured and underinsured, which include many African Americans and other people of color.

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