Geraldine Ferraro will be the guest speaker for the 25th Annual Lecture and Dinner Meeting of Wright State's Academy of Medicine on April 24 at the Dayton Marriott Hotel.
Ferraro is a former member of Congress, a vice presidential nominee in 1984, a former U.N. ambassador, and was co host of CNN's Crossfire. Ferraro was invited because of the significance of her career and because of her personal experience with multiple myeloma, a crippling bone-marrow cancer discovered in a routine physical.
Ferraro made national news when she opted for an experimental treatment that combines infusions of bone-strengthening drugs and thalidomide, the drug pulled from the market after being linked to serious birth defects in the1960s.
The Academy of Medicine was formed to support the medical school shortly after its founding. The group, composed of area physicians, faculty and friends of the school, provides low-cost student loans and scholarships and recognizes outstanding medical students, medical residents, and faculty. The Academy has circulated close to $2,000,000 in student loans. As the average medical student debt nears $100,000 by graduation, these loans provide a vital service to our students.
The Academy of Medicine was the brainchild of five area physicians, Drs. John Beljan, the first dean of the Wright State University School of Medicine, Richard DeWall, Frank Shively, Sylvan Weinberg, and Raymond Kahn. All five of these individuals will be in attendance and honored at the dinner.
A local surgeon, Dr. Christopher Danis, is the current president of the Academy. Danis, who also holds an MBA, is impressed by the economics of the Academy of Medicine. "I think the Academy was a great concept twenty-five years ago and reflects an enormous amount of vision. It has a two-pronged approach that both celebrates academic achievement and meets the needs of medical students through a self-perpetuating funding system."
Danis is also the first Wright State School of Medicine alum (Class of 1982) to hold the Academy's leadership position. "It reflects a certain maturation of the school," says Dr. Howard Part, dean of the school of medicine. "Wright State is a nationally recognized school because of the incredible support it has received from the community over the years. It is gratifying to see one of our own graduates leading the Academy of Medicine."