Future Leaders

Promoting Diversity to Achieve Better Outcomes

Many people of color are at greater risk for poor health outcomes, in part because of the low number of Black, Hispanic and Latino doctors in the United States. UB’s Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences is taking a bold approach to equity in healthcare, including partnering with donors to attract more underrepresented students.

See why representation in healthcare is so important, and how UB and donors are changing lives in Buffalo and beyond.

Help Improve Equity in Medicine

In the United States, more than 30% of people are Black, Hispanic or Latino—but only 11% of doctors are.

Continued impact on diversity in healthcare requires philanthropic investments. Will you help us make a difference?

Investing in a Healthier Community

UB is empowering the next generation of doctors to raise the standard of care in Western New York, nationwide and around the world

In 1880, UB’s first Black graduate received his medical degree. Today, UB continues to make progress toward a more diverse medical school (we’re above the New York State average), but there is still more to be done. That’s why we’re proud to offer scholarships to help attract underrepresented students, bring more voices to the medical community, and transform the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

Local, National, Global Impact

Scholarships for medical school students of color will offer a wealth of long-lasting benefits

A hand and heart representing better care.

Better Care

Patients who share a cultural background with their doctor are more likely to see them and do what is recommended.

UB grads can be found all over the world.

More Qualified Students

Scholarships help attract the best and brightest from around the country—and the world.

UB grads stand out amongst the rest.

More Diverse Faculty

Many medical school students choose to stay in Western New York, where they often help teach and train future generations.

Removing Obstacles for Students

We Are Boldly Buffalo explores the development of UB's One World Cafe, and how it brought together students, faculty, staff and grads.

UB medical student Katherine Foote shares how scholarships make medical school more attainable

Katherine Foote always knew she wanted to be a physician, partly because, “I had a doctor who looked like me.” But the high cost of medical school (and the resulting loans) was overwhelming. The Vazquez scholarship, says Foote, “helps take away some of the burden to even get into medical school, and then to get through it.” Now, Foote is working toward her dream of becoming a doctor and building a practice built on trust, where all patients are welcomed, cared for and respected.

Donor Support Continues a Legacy of High-Quality Care

Karen Gerhardt shares her story of why she supported the development of One World Cafe.

Hear why Raul and Toni Vazquez created a scholarship to help minority students succeed

As the owners of Urban Family Practice, Raul and Toni Vazquez have spent decades providing high-quality healthcare to nearly 15,000 people of color in Buffalo. They’ve gone above and beyond to address social determinants of health—for example, offering free transportation to the doctor. Now they’re ensuring their legacy continues through the Vazquez Family Scholarship, which supports historically underrepresented UB medical school students who intend to practice in primary care within New York State.

Invest in the future

Your investment in UB will make a difference for a cause that matters to you: whether you make a gift to the UB Fund, support a scholarship for one UB student, sustain the work of a professor who will inspire thousands, or fund a cancer cure that saves the lives of millions. Every gift counts!

Together We Support Providing Opportunity to all Students

At UB, we are committed to providing the experiences, places, and opportunities for all students to work towards their dreams. Together, across boundaries, schools, and organizations, we are creating an environment for students from all backgrounds can thrive. Explore some of the other ways people have invested in the diversity at UB that has provided a variety of opportunities for our students.

Finding Equity Through Opportunity

It’s an issue not enough people are talking about. Students from underrepresented backgrounds don’t have equal access to higher education. Nor do they graduate with the same frequency.  We’re amping up efforts at UB to increase diversity and making sure students of all backgrounds have the same ability to achieve and succeed. Our early efforts are showing progress. The class of 2023 is our most diverse yet, and our graduation rates are continuing to rise.

Investments like those form Tilmon Brown and his family have helped move the needle. “Education is a critical door-opener for the future,” he says. “And if our contribution helps these students improve their lives, that’s an obligation we can’t ignore.”

Engineering the Future of STEM

Though it is changing, there is also a historic disparity in the fields women and men pursue, as well as the number of females in corporate leadership positions. At UB, we are taking actions to send cracks across that glass ceiling. Consider STEM—Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Women are underrepresented in these professions—especially in the U.S.—comprising only 25% of the industry, while being paid 20% less, for doing the same jobs.

To support our students, our graduates, like Gina Hammond, have created scholarships designed to help women pursue an education in STEM. "Back in the seventies, Computer Science was not the discipline it is today," Hammond said. "Females today who are in this field are, in some respects, rebellious."

Fostering Innovation

The Social Impact Fellows internship program takes students from the schools of management, social work and arts and sciences, assigning them to a different organization in Western New York where they can enact social innovation. Teams work together to create different and better solutions, learning how to work toward social change, how to pitch and create buy in. It shows students that we have to come together to make this work.

Our entire community benefits from this structure, from students, who are learning to solve problems and collaborate, to community organizations, that benefit from programs designed to meet their needs. UB understands that a broader lens is required to find bold solutions and the Social Impact Fellows program tasks graduate students from different schools to work together and put ideas into action.