Authenticity in Healthcare: The Path Forward

9th Annual Top Blacks in Healthcare Awards Gala and Thought Leadership Symposium

April 18, 2024 – The Ritz Carlton, Washington, DC

About Top Blacks in Healthcare

The list of noteworthy honorees is selected from over 250 of the most accomplished Black healthcare professionals in America by a panel that includes editors and key individuals from partner organizations such as the National Medical Association and The George Washington University.

2024 Honorees

Katie Williams
Chief Marketing Officer & Member of the Executive Team - Haleon

Katie Williams is the US Chief Marketing Officer at Haleon. In this role, she works to shape the future of consumer experiences with our iconic portfolio of Haleon brands like Advil, Sensodyne, Tums, and Centrum. She is a leader in CPG marketing with extensive experience and proven success in delivering growth, creative courage, digital transformation, and employee development.

Negelle Morris
Senior Vice President, Head of US Cardiometabolic Sales - Novo Nordisk

Negelle leads the field facing commercial business for Novo Nordisk’s diabetes, obesity and CV portfolio. Known for her business impact and deep appreciation for the inherent value of people, Negelle has championed leadership, diversity and inclusion focusing on the development of others and healthcare disparities as a national executive board member in various employee network groups and non-profit boards.

Dr. David Carlisle
President - Charles Drew School of Medicine

Dr. David M. Carlisle has been President and Chief Executive Officer of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in the Watts-Willowbrook area of Los Angeles County since 2011. Dr. Carlisle is a published author in health policy, quality of care, medical education diversity and eliminating health disparities. A board-certified Internal Medicine specialist, President Carlisle received his BA from Wesleyan University, his MD from Brown University and his MPH and PhD in Health Services from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.

Yolanda Lawson, M.D.
President - NMA

Yolanda Lawson M.D, Board Certified Obstetrician- Gynecologist, is the founder of MadeWell OBGYN in Dallas, Texas, and an Associate Attending at Baylor University Medical Center. She is the medical director of Abounding Prosperity, a community-based organization that addresses HIV disparities in target, Black communities. Dr. Lawson is also principal investigator of one of twenty-one sites for the EBONI study which is investigating Black women interested in reducing HIV by using PREP.

Rashad Burgess
VP Advancing Health & Black Equity - Gilead

Rashad Burgess is the Vice President for Advancing Health and Black Equity, leading Gilead Science’s strategy to tackle Health Equity and systemic issues of structural racism around the world, with a particular focus on Black communities in the United States. As a key member of Gilead’s leadership team, he contributes to overall strategy for the business unit and is a strategic and trusted partner in helping community and sales professionals, as well as those in the larger healthcare industry, make their vision a reality.

Rose Blackburne, MD, MBA
VP, Global Head General Medicine - Thermo Fisher Scientific

Dr. Rose Blackburne is Vice President and Global Therapeutic Area Head of General Medicine Clinical Research at PPD, a Thermo Fisher Scientific company. In her role, she has strategic input and oversight for a portfolio of pharmaceutical and medical device product development opportunities across therapeutic areas, including Women’s Health, Gastroenterology, Nephrology, Dermatology, Urology, Cardiovascular and Metabolic diseases.

Julie S. Washington
SVP, Chief Marketing, Communications & Customer Officer - Trinity Health

Julie Spencer Washington is Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing, Communications & Customer Experience Officer at Trinity Health, a $21B Catholic health care delivery system in the US.  Mrs. Washington is the strategic leader of marketing, communications, customer experience, and philanthropy.  She is a seasoned leader bringing experience and results in strategic marketing, brand building, demand creation, stakeholder engagement, and developing high performing teams.

Richard Allen Williams
ABC Founder - ABC and Minority Institute
Charles Henderson
CEO - American Diabetes Assc
Edrice Simmons
VP of US Oncology - Abbvie
Darrell M. Gray II M.D.
President & CEO - Wellpoint Maryland
James Earl King Hildreth MD
President - Meharry Medical College
Mike Edmondson
VP Performance Optimization - Amgen
Howard Reid
Global Head/SVP Global Public Health & Social Impact - Johnson & Johnson

Our program recognizes distinguished African American healthcare executives for their contributions to the industry and shines the spotlight on them as role models to other minority healthcare leaders and the Black community overall.

Reggie Ware


Reggie Ware speaking at podium

Thought Leadership Summit

The 8th Annual Thought Leadership Summit consisted of four panels of experts discussing current issues impacting Black health today. The in-person panels were streamed virtually and reached nearly 250,000 viewers, in total.

Hosted by Donnie Simpson

Donnie Simpson

Donnie Simpson has been called an icon, trailblazer and a media legend. He is a Washington D.C. radio icon, as well as an international television and movie personality. Over his career, which has spanned 50 years, he has entertained listeners from WJLB in Detroit to WKYS and WMMJ in Washington, and on television as host of BET’s Video Soul, and TV-One’s Donnie After Dark. He is considered one of the nation’s first video jockeys.

He hosted The Donnie Simpson Morning Show in Morning Drive for over 30 years. In 1988, Donnie was recognized as both the best top radio personality and top program director in the nation by Billboard Magazine, the world’s most influential music industry publication.

He received both Billboard’s prestigious Radio Personality of the Year and Program Director of the Year awards. These two distinguished awards placed Donnie in an elite group of nationally popular and highly respected Radio Personalities and Radio Station Program Directors that very few in the industry have been able to achieve. Certainly not both at the same time. Donnie’s consistent No. 1 ratings success and reputation have earned him “Icon” status among his peers and millions of fans worldwide.

He retired in 2010, but returned to radio and TV in 2015. This time, as the afternoon drive host on WMMJ, Majic 102.3 in Washington D.C., and nationally on TV-One with Donnie After Dark. On October 22, 2017, Donnie Simpson celebrated 40 years on D.C. radio with an All-Star gala at the Warner Theater.

Donnie says the greatest compliment people give him is when they say “I feel like I know you.” He says, “They do know me. I’m the same dude all the time. 24/7, I’m Donnie.”