New Fund Honoring Kennedy, Hopkins to Advance Diversity

An endowed fund has been established to help ensure greater diversity within the Wake Forest School of Medicine’s graduate medical education programs.

Two older African American couples stand together in a crowded room and smile at the cameraGifts from numerous donors have established the Charlie L. Kennedy, MD-Lawrence D. Hopkins, MD Fund for Graduate Medical Education. The fund honors Kennedy, who in 1967 became the first African American to complete his residency at Wake Forest Baptist, and Hopkins, a 1977 graduate of the MD program.

Kennedy spent his career working in pediatrics and serving the Winston-Salem community. Hopkins was a football star at Wake Forest who graduated in 1972 before attending medical school. In 1983, he opened an Ob-Gyn practice in Winston-Salem, where he delivered thousands of babies over the years. He died in November 2020.

The Kennedy-Hopkins Scholars Mentor Program is dedicated to improving the experience of underrepresented minority (URM) residents and fellows at the School of Medicine through mentoring relationships. Minority residents and fellows benefit from having a program designed specifically to help them navigate and thrive in their medical training by pairing them with a self-selected faculty mentor. Such mentors provide advice and guidance, positively impacting the long-term success of URM residents and fellows.