LCMC Health announced a $1.5 million gift to Xavier University of Louisiana to create and retain a diverse physician workforce in Louisiana. This gift will support select undergraduate students and medical school residents with direct financial assistance, making an immediate impact on the diversification of Louisiana’s healthcare workforce.
According to the National Academies, the number of Black students in science, engineering, and medicine in the United States has remained disproportionately low over the past several decades. Several factors, including financial barriers, have contributed to these low numbers. By providing direct financial assistance to Xavier students and alumni, LCMC Health will help address this disparity.
“LCMC Health has a strong history of supporting our communities with the best possible care, which includes investing in the healthcare leaders of tomorrow,” said Greg Feirn, CEO of LCMC Health. “Since our inception, we’ve been committed to taking on an active role in preparing young talent to become the future of healthcare. Building on our longstanding relationship with Xavier University’s College of Pharmacy, our medical pathways program will expand our partnership efforts, allowing us to address inequities that exist in the physician workforce and increasing access to high-quality education and opportunities for students and young professionals.”
LCMC Health has dedicated this gift in honor of Xavier University’s president emeritus, Norman C. Francis, JD, a civil rights leader who is renowned in the world of higher education.
During Francis’ 47 years as president of Xavier, his alma mater, the school’s enrollment nearly tripled. The nation’s only Black Catholic university became the leading producer of Black undergraduates who complete medical school and ranked first nationally in the number of Black students earning undergraduate degrees in biology and life sciences, chemistry, physics, and pharmacy. Francis is a U.S. Army veteran and the first Black graduate of Loyola University School of Law. As a civil rights leader, he showed moral courage and vision by housing the Freedom Riders at Xavier in the 1960s and representing civil rights activists as a young lawyer. During his four-decade tenure as Xavier’s president, Francis advised eight U.S. presidents and earned more than 40 honorary degrees. As a civic leader, he co-founded Liberty Bank, where he remains chairman of the board. Francis also co-chaired the Louisiana Recovery Authority after Hurricane Katrina, while also leading Xavier’s hurricane recovery efforts.
With this donation, Xavier University and LCMC Health continue the work of Francis with groundbreaking programs that eliminate barriers and create pathways to success.
“Xavier’s continued success is best achieved with partnerships and the financial support of extraordinary and committed institutions like LCMC Health,” said Dr. Francis. “When organizations like LCMC Health step up in such a meaningful way, Xavier students will have an immediate benefit that will make it more financially feasible for them to enter and graduate from two prestigious medical schools – Tulane and LSU – a pathway for Xavier students who are committed to practicing medicine in Louisiana.”
“We are thrilled and grateful that LCMC Health has honored Dr. Francis, and we are so excited for the talented pre-med students at Xavier who are beneficiaries of this extraordinary gift. We look forward to a continued relationship with LCMC Health,” said Justin Augustine, Chairman of Xavier University’s Board of Directors.
LCMC Health’s gift will support three initial programs:
$500,000 for the LCMC Health Medical Pathways Program which will provide $15,000 to $20,000 in scholarships to support outstanding students who may not otherwise choose a Pre-Med track.
$500,000 for the LCMC Health Medical Pathways Fellowships to provide $10,000 to $20,000 in graduate fellowships to exemplary Xavier Pre-Med students who have expressed intention to attend and complete medical school in Louisiana, and ultimately practice in the state.
$500,000 for the LCMC Health Medical Pathways Home Stipends aimed at supporting Xavier alumni who have completed medical school in the U.S. and have been accepted into a residency program with either LCMC Health, LSU School of Medicine, or Tulane School of Medicine.
Xavier University of Louisiana is a nationally ranked Historically Black College and University (HBCU) that has a rich history of guiding and nurturing students from undergraduate studies to graduate programs. LCMC Health is a growing healthcare system that provides exceptional patient-centered care at world-class facilities, including academic medical centers in partnership with LSU and Tulane University.