ATLANTA, October 25, 2022 – According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, only 7% of medical students, 6% of medical school graduates, and 5% of physicians are Black. In an effort to address this disparity, the American Heart Association (AHA), the leading public health nonprofit devoted to a world of healthier lives for all, announces that 52 students from 23 institutions across the country will participate in the Association’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Scholars program. With support from Quest Diagnostics, the six Atlanta area scholarship recipients include:

  • David Totty and Jalen White at Morehouse College;
  • Spirit Williams and Asia Castrillon-Watts at Clark Atlanta University; and
  • Raven May and Gabrielle Ford at Spelman College.

The students were selected based on their GPA, a completed application which included an essay, and a recommendation from their school. During the program year, they will be paired with a mentor, participate in a leadership development program, and be awarded a $7,000 scholarship.

“The American Heart Association HBCU Scholars program meets the call for the urgent need to increase the number of African American students majoring in biomedical and health science,” said Marcus Brown, M.D., Northside Hospital cardiologist and president of the Metro Atlanta American Heart Association.

“It is imperative that the African American community is represented in the science and health industry to help close the gap in health disparities and achieve health equity in our country.”

Since 2015, the HBCU Scholars Program has been changing the impact and trajectory of 63 historically underrepresented students, ensuring that the pipeline of dedicated and talented biomedical and health science professionals remains open.

Sophomores, juniors and seniors from historically underrepresented communities with a 3.0 GPA or higher, who are currently enrolled in an HBCU and seeking a professional degree in biomedical and health sciences are eligible for the program. More about the HBCU Scholars program can be found here.


About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on, Facebook, twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.   


For Media Inquiries:

Erin Thomas,

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)