The Ray Charles Foundation recently donated $1 million to Cedars-Sinai Hospital to fund The Ray Charles Foundation Scholars Fund in Neurosurgery. Under the leadership of internationally acclaimed neurosurgeon and scientist, Dr. Keith Black, the program will promote diversity in science and medicine with a focus on students from historically black colleges and universities (HBCU). “This generous gift allows us to create a program that will help us invest in the future,” Black said. “The goal is to create a training pipeline that helps shape the careers of future leaders in the field of neuroscience.”

The Ray Charles Neurosurgery Scholars will come to Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles where they will receive a paid salary, be matched with faculty/staff, intense in-depth training, shadow neurosurgery and clinical partners. They will also attend a conference for professional development, network, and prepare and submit research papers and publications. The program will accept one or two MD or PhD students each year who will then be matched with a principal investigator who will provide mentorship, guidance and career-development advice. Scholars will also be able to access the day-to-day resources and training that they need as they carry out their research projects. “The knowledge and insight these scholars will gain through this experience will help prepare them to serve as the healers, scientists and thought leaders of tomorrow and hopefully, one of the Scholars will find a cure for brain cancer,” Black said.

“It is an honor, on behalf of The Ray Charles Foundation and its board of directors, to partner with Cedars-Sinai and Dr. Black in shaping the future for the next generation in science and medicine through The Ray Charles Foundation Scholars Fund in Neurosurgery,” said Valerie Ervin, president of The Ray Charles Foundation.

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Founded in 1986, The Ray Charles Foundation continues in the legacy of its founder by supporting philanthropic programs in music, education and healthcare.

For more information about The Ray Charles Foundation Scholars Fund in Neurosurgery, or to make a donation to support important programs and research led by Black, contact KC Miller 323.866.6748 or email

Los Angeles Sentinel

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