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HE&R Commemorates Black History Month

This email was sent to all Hershey Entertainment & Resorts team members at the start of the Black History Month celebration.  Learn more about our company's diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts on our website.  Throughout the month, we will profile team members on our @HersheyJobs Instagram channel. 

Today marks the start of Black History Month, and Hershey Entertainment & Resorts (HE&R) will be celebrating the culture and achievements of Black Americans throughout February. Since 1976, Black History Month has been observed after being endorsed by President Gerald Ford. 

The 2022 theme of Black History Month is Black Health and Wellness and ‘acknowledges the legacy of Black scholars and medical practitioners in Western medicine.’ As co-founder of the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness, Dr. Patricia Bath was the first Black American to complete a residency in ophthalmology in 1973. Shortly thereafter, she was named the first female faculty member in the Department of Ophthalmology at the Jules Stein Eye Institute, University of California Los Angeles. In 1986, Dr. Bath invented the Laserphaco Probe that offered patients a less painful treatment for cataracts and reversed blindness in some people. 

William G. Coleman Jr., a pioneer in research, was a prominent figure at the National Institute of Health (NIH). He became the first permanent African-American scientific director in the history of the NIH Intramural Research Program when he was appointed to direct the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities intramural research program in January 2011. His research continues to inform medical professionals today. 

When she was named the fifteenth Surgeon General of the United States in 1993, Joycelyn Elders was the first African American and only the second woman to hold that position. A researcher and professor of pediatric endocrinology at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Dr. Elders was also the head of the Arkansas Department of Health from 1987-1992. 

And, very relevant to today’s healthcare environment, Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett was the Scientific Lead of the Coronavirus Team at the National Institute of Health’s Vaccine Research Center. Dr. Corbett’s research on spike proteins and mRNA encoding as a means of triggering an immune response led to a partnership with Moderna, ultimately leading to the development of one of the early COVID-19 vaccines. She has also spent a lot of time educating members of the Black community about the vaccine, recognizing that many are hesitant to take the vaccine due to safety concerns and historical contexts around medical research and vaccinations. 

We are fortunate to have exceptional Black leaders in the medical field who continue to lead and innovate in healthcare while also working to address and prevent racial healthcare disparities that exist through education, research, and advocacy.  

Thank you.