Community Engagement

Doing our part to make medicine better and improve care for patients.

resident checking his phone

Supporting & Improving
Our Community

We are driven to continually make medicine better, and one significant way we aim to do that is by investing in doctors-in-training and expanding the ethnic and racial diversity of our profession.

Through the Panacea Financial Foundation we are committed to this cause and are funded by profits as well as donations.

The makeup of the physician workforce does not reflect the general population and it’s getting worse.

Ethnic and racial minorities are significantly underrepresented in medicine, and this problem is getting worse. For example, 14% of Americans are black yet they only represent 4% of all physicians1. Concerningly, from 1997 to 2017, the percent of students entering medical school from underrepresented minorities fell 16%. By not having a more ethnically and racially diverse physician workforce that better reflects the general population, the quality of care to patients of color and low-income individuals is limited2.

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Latino physicians are more likely to care for populations that are medically underserved.6
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Increasing the amount of black doctors can reduce black patient’s cardiovascular mortality3
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Black patients are more likely to agree to certain preventative care measures if they discussed them with a black doctor 3
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Underrepresented minority physicians are more likely to practice in underserved areas regardless of specialty 4
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Latino Physicians are more likely to care for populations that are medically underserved.6
Read More
Increasing the amount of black doctors can reduce black patient’s cardiovascular mortality3
Read More
Black patients are more likely to agree to certain preventative care measures if they discussed them with a black doctor (3)
Read More
Underrepresented minority physicians are more likely to practice in underserved areas regardless of specialty (4)

Panacea Financial works to strengthen the underrepresented ethnic and racial minority pipeline of physicians with a consistent commitment of financial and administrative support to physician-trainees, aspiring physicians, and not-for-profits with a shared mission to improve the diversity of the medical field.

What Do We Provide?

Medical School Scholarships

Resident and Fellow Grants

Donations to Partners

$5000 scholarships to underrepresented
medical students.
Applications open Spring 2021

$1000 grants to underrepresented Residents
and Fellows can be used to help you along
the way in post-graduate training.

Next application cycle opens July 2021.

We are always interested in learning more about others that are working on strengthening the underrepresented physician pipeline.
Drop us a line if you are interested in partnering!

Who is eligible to apply?
Applicants for Medical School Scholarships must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible:

  • A U.S. citizen, permanent resident or an individual granted deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) status
  • Medical Students enrolled full-time in an accredited Medical School in the United States who will be enrolled in academic year 2021-2022
  • Underrepresented ethnic or racial minority consistent with the National Science Foundation definition: African American/Black, Hispanic/Latino, Native Americans (American Indian/Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian), and Pacific Islander.

Employees of Panacea Financial, their affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising, and promotion agencies and the families of each are not eligible.

What is the program timeline?
For Medical School Scholarship: 

  • Application Open: May 1, 2021
  • Application Deadline: June 30, 2021
  • Scholarship Recipients Notified: August 31, 2021
  • Scholarship Checks Issued: Mid October 2021

Is this award renewable?
No – it is one time award. Previous winners of the medical school scholarship are not eligible to apply again for the scholarship.

Applicants from previous cycles who did not receive an award are welcome to reapply as long as they continue to meet the eligibility criteria.

How are winners selected?
For medical school scholarship are evaluated by our selection committee comprised of the board of directors (excluding Dr. Jerkins) and the Executive Director.

What are the award details?
Medical School Scholarship award winners will each receive $5,000. Five (5) scholarships will be awarded per cycle.

How and when are funds delivered?
For Medical School Scholarships:

  • Funds will be delivered via one (1) check made payable to the medical school listed on the application only. Scholarship checks cannot be made payable to the applicant or an individual. The check will be mailed to the home address so the winner can deliver it to the correct office at their respective medical school. 

What supporting documentation is need for this application?
For Medical School Scholarships applicants the following must be submitted with your application:

  • An official transcript from the applicant’s medical school is needed to validate enrollment.
  • Picture of School ID Badge.
What should be visible in my supporting documents?
All uploaded documents must show your first and last name.

What are acceptable file types to upload?
File types that are acceptable are as follows: .pdf, .tif, .png, .jpeg, .jpg, .bmp and .xps.

How will I be notified of the status of my application?
Notifications are sent through email with the listed email address on your application.

What notifications will be sent to me?

  • Application submission success (immediately after an application is submitted).
  • Application is incomplete/ineligible (within two-four weeks of submitted application).
  • Selection Results (per the aforementioned dates per award program).
  • Funds Disbursed (immediately upon disbursement of award).
If I am selected as an award winner what are my responsibilities?
Basically, to continue to be an amazing medical student with the continued drive to make medicine better and improve communities. We will be promoting our winners after selection and would like (with your permission) to use your picture, name, and any supporting bio (written by you).
 
If I am selected as an award winner what are my responsibilities?
In the United States, scholarship fund used exclusively for the payment of tuition and textbooks are normally not taxable but would advise talking to your tax adviser for more information.

Who is eligible to apply?
Applicants for Resident and Fellow Grants must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible:

  • A U.S citizen or an individual granted deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) status
  • A resident or fellow in an ACGME accredited residency or fellowship program
  • Underrepresented ethnic or racial minority consistent with the National Science Foundation definition: African American/Black, Hispanic/Latino, Native Americans (American Indian/Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian), and Pacific Islander.

Employees of Panacea Financial, their affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising, and promotion agencies and the families of each are not eligible.

What is the program timeline?
For Resident/Fellow Grants below is the tentative timeline: 

  • Application Open: January 15, 2021
  • Application Deadline: March 15, 2021
  • Grant Recipients Notified: April 30, 2021
  • Grant Checks Issued: Mid May, 2021

Is this award renewable?
No – it is one time award. Previous winners of the resident/fellow grant are not eligible to apply again for the grant.

Applicants from previous cycles who did not receive an award are welcome to reapply as long as they continue to meet the eligibility criteria.

How are winners selected?
For resident/fellow grant are evaluated by our selection committee comprised of the board of directors (excluding Dr. Jerkins) and the Executive Director.

What are the award details?
Resident/Fellow Grant award winners will each receive $1,000. Approximately twelve (12) grants will be awarded per cycle. The grants can be applied to research, professional-related travel, professional memberships, study materials, medical journals, board examinations, or equipment.

How and when are funds delivered?
For Resident/Fellow Grants:

  • Funds will be delivered via one (1) check made payable to the applicant that will mailed to your home address that was listed on the application.

What supporting documentation is need for this application?
For Resident/Fellow Grants applicants the following must be submitted with your application:

  • Letter from Program Director or Associated Program Director from your residency or fellowship indicating trainee is in “good standing”.
  • Picture of Work/Hospital ID Badge.
What should be visible in my supporting documents?
All uploaded documents must show your first and last name.

What are acceptable file types to upload?
File types that are acceptable are as follows: .pdf, .tif, .png, .jpeg, .jpg, .bmp and .xps.

How will I be notified of the status of my application?
Notifications are sent through email with the listed email address on your application.

What notifications will be sent to me?

  • Application submission success (immediately after an application is submitted).
  • Application is incomplete/ineligible (within two-four weeks of submitted application).
  • Selection Results (per the aforementioned dates per award program).
  • Funds Disbursed (immediately upon disbursement of award).
If I am selected as an award winner what are my responsibilities?
Basically, to continue to be an amazing physician with the continued drive to make medicine better and improve communities. We will be promoting our winners after selection and would like (with your permission) to use your picture, name, and any supporting bio (written by you).
 
Are resident/fellow grants taxable?
It can depend on how the winner uses the grant award. We provide a 1099 and suggest winners speak with a personal financial accountant for more guidance. Below is some additional information regarding taxable scholarship/grants.

What Do We Provide?

Medical School Scholarships

$5000 scholarships to underrepresented
medical students.
Applications open Spring 2021

Resident and Fellow Grants

$1000 grants to underrepresented Residents
and Fellows can be used to help you along
the way in post-graduate training.

Donations to Partners

We are always interested in learning more about existing not-for-profits that are working on strengthening the underrepresented physician pipeline.
Drop us a line if you are interested!

What Do We Provide?

Medical School Scholarships

$5000 scholarships to underrepresented
medical students.
Applications open Spring 2021

Resident and Fellow Grants

$1000 grants to underrepresented Residents
and Fellows can be used to help you along
the way in post-graduate training.

Donations to Partners

We are always interested in learning more about existing not-for-profits that are working on strengthening the underrepresented physician pipeline.
Drop us a line if you are interested!

Who is eligible to apply?
Applicants for Medical School Scholarships must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible:

  • A U.S. citizen, permanent resident or an individual granted deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) status
  • Medical Students enrolled full-time in an accredited Medical School in the United States who will be enrolled in academic year 2021-2022
  • Under-represented minority consistent with the National Science Foundation definition: African American/Black, Hispanic/Latino, Native Americans (American Indian/Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian), and Pacific Islander.

Employees of Panacea Financial, their affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising, and promotion agencies and the families of each are not eligible.

What is the program timeline?
For Medical School Scholarship: 

  • Application Open: May 1, 2021
  • Application Deadline: June 30, 2021
  • Scholarship Recipients Notified: August 31, 2021
  • Scholarship Checks Issued: Mid October 2021

Is this award renewable?
No – it is one time award. Previous winners of the medical school scholarship are not eligible to apply again for the scholarship.

Applicants from previous cycles who did not receive an award are welcome to reapply as long as they continue to meet the eligibility criteria.

How are winners selected?
For medical school scholarship are evaluated by our selection committee comprised of the board of directors (excluding Dr. Jerkins) and the Executive Director.

What are the award details?
Medical School Scholarship award winners will each receive $5,000. Five (5) scholarships will be awarded per cycle.

How and when are funds delivered?
For Medical School Scholarships:

  • Funds will be delivered via one (1) check made payable to the medical school listed on the application only. Scholarship checks cannot be made payable to the applicant or an individual. The check will be mailed to the home address so the winner can deliver it to the correct office at their respective medical school. 

What supporting documentation is need for this application?
For Medical School Scholarships applicants the following must be submitted with your application:

  • An official transcript from the applicant’s medical school is needed to validate enrollment.
  • Picture of School ID Badge.
What should be visible in my supporting documents?
All uploaded documents must show your first and last name.

What are acceptable file types to upload?
File types that are acceptable are as follows: .pdf, .tif, .png, .jpeg, .jpg, .bmp and .xps.

How will I be notified of the status of my application?
Notifications are sent through email with the listed email address on your application.

What notifications will be sent to me?

  • Application submission success (immediately after an application is submitted).
  • Application is incomplete/ineligible (within two-four weeks of submitted application).
  • Selection Results (per the aforementioned dates per award program).
  • Funds Disbursed (immediately upon disbursement of award).
If I am selected as an award winner what are my responsibilities?
Basically, to continue to be an amazing medical student with the continued drive to make medicine better and improve communities. We will be promoting our winners after selection and would like (with your permission) to use your picture, name, and any supporting bio (written by you).
 
If I am selected as an award winner what are my responsibilities?
In the United States, scholarship fund used exclusively for the payment of tuition and textbooks are normally not taxable but would advise talking to your tax adviser for more information.

Who is eligible to apply?
Applicants for Resident and Fellow Grants must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible:

  • A U.S citizen or an individual granted deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) status
  • A resident or fellow in an ACGME accredited residency or fellowship program
  • Under-represented minority consistent with the National Science Foundation definition: African American/Black, Hispanic/Latino, Native Americans (American Indian/Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian), and Pacific Islander.

Employees of Panacea Financial, their affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising, and promotion agencies and the families of each are not eligible.

What is the program timeline?
For Resident/Fellow Grants below is the tentative timeline: 

  • Application Open: January 15, 2021
  • Application Deadline: March 15, 2021
  • Grant Recipients Notified: April 30, 2021
  • Grant Checks Issued: Mid May, 2021

Is this award renewable?
No – it is one time award. Previous winners of the resident/fellow grant are not eligible to apply again for the grant.

Applicants from previous cycles who did not receive an award are welcome to reapply as long as they continue to meet the eligibility criteria.

How are winners selected?
For resident/fellow grant are evaluated by our selection committee comprised of the board of directors (excluding Dr. Jerkins) and the Executive Director.

What are the award details?
Resident/Fellow Grant award winners will each receive $1,000. Approximately twelve (12) grants will be awarded per cycle.

How and when are funds delivered?
For Resident/Fellow Grants:

  • Funds will be delivered via one (1) check made payable to the applicant that will mailed to your home address that was listed on the application.

What supporting documentation is need for this application?
For Resident/Fellow Grants applicants the following must be submitted with your application:

  • Letter from Program Director or Associated Program Director from your residency or fellowship indicating trainee is in “good standing”.
  • Picture of Work/Hospital ID Badge.
What should be visible in my supporting documents?
All uploaded documents must show your first and last name.

What are acceptable file types to upload?
File types that are acceptable are as follows: .pdf, .tif, .png, .jpeg, .jpg, .bmp and .xps.

How will I be notified of the status of my application?
Notifications are sent through email with the listed email address on your application.

What notifications will be sent to me?

  • Application submission success (immediately after an application is submitted).
  • Application is incomplete/ineligible (within two-four weeks of submitted application).
  • Selection Results (per the aforementioned dates per award program).
  • Funds Disbursed (immediately upon disbursement of award).
If I am selected as an award winner what are my responsibilities?
Basically, to continue to be an amazing medical student with the continued drive to make medicine better and improve communities. We will be promoting our winners after selection and would like (with your permission) to use your picture, name, and any supporting bio (written by you).
 
Are resident/fellow grants taxable?
It can depend on how the winner uses the grant award. We provide a 1099 and suggest winners speak with a personal financial accountant for more guidance. Below is some additional information regarding taxable scholarship/grants. https://scholarshipamerica.org/blog/wait-what-scholarships-are-taxable/

Panacea Financial Foundation Leadership

Jeral Self, PhD, MPH

Ray Bignall, M.D.

Advisory Board Member

Ludwig Francillon, M.D.

Advisory Board Member

Javier Baez, M.D.

Advisory Board Member

Latoya Brathwaite, M.D.

Advisory Board Member

Megan Gunn, M.D.

Advisory Board Member

1. Talamantes E, Henderson MC, Fancher TL, Mullan F. Closing the gaps – making medical school admissions more equitable. N Engl J Med. 2019; 380:803-805.

2. Jolly P. Diversity of US medical students by parental income. AAMC Anal in Brief. 2008 January; 8(1).

3. Alsan M, Garrick O, Graziani G. Does diversity matter for health? Experimental evidence from Oakland. Am Econ Rev. 2019; 109(12):4071-4111.

4. Xierali IM, Nivet MA. The racial and ethnic composition and distribution of primary care physicians. J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2018 Mar 28; 29(1):556-570.

5. Greenwood BN, Hardeman RR, Huang L, Sojourner A. Physician-patient racial concordance and disparities in birthing mortality for newborns. PNAS. 2020 September 1; 117(35):21194-21200.

6. Grumbach K, Odom K, Moreno G, Chen E, Vercammen-Grandjean C, Mertz E Physician Diversity in California: New Findings From the California Medical Board Survey. March 2008 San Francisco, Calif University of California, San Francisco, Center for California Health Workforce Studies”

Eligibility Requirements

Resident or Fellow Grant Eligibility

FAQ for Scholarship applications

Who is eligible to apply?

Applicants for Medical School Scholarships must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible:

Employees of Panacea Financial, their affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising, and promotion agencies and the families of each are not eligible.

What is the program timeline?

For Medical School Scholarships:

Is this award renewable?

No - it is a one time award. Previous winners of the medical school scholarship are not eligible to apply again for the scholarship.

Applicants from previous cycles who did not receive an award are welcome to reapply as long as they continue to meet the eligibility criteria.​

How are winners selected?

For medical school scholarship are evaluated by our selection committee comprised of the board of directors (excluding Dr. Jerkins) and the Executive Director.

What are the award details?

Medical School Scholarship award winners will each receive $5,000. Five (5) scholarships will be awarded per cycle.​

How and when are funds delivered?

For Medical School Scholarships

What supporting documentation is needed for this application?

For Medical School Scholarships applicants the following must be submitted with your application:

What should be visible in my supporting documents?

All uploaded documents must show your first and last name.

What are acceptable file types to upload?

File types that are acceptable are as follows: .pdf, .tif, .png, .jpeg, .jpg, .bmp and .xps.

How will I be notified of the status of my application?

Notifications are sent through email with the listed email address on your application.

What notifications will be sent to me?

If I am selected as an award winner what are my responsibilities?

Basically, to continue to be an amazing medical student with the continued drive to make medicine better and improve communities. We will be promoting our winners after selection and would like (with your permission) to use your picture, name, and any supporting bio (written by you).

Are medical school scholarships taxable?

In the United States, scholarship funds used exclusively for the payment of tuition and textbooks are normally not taxable but would advise talking to your tax adviser for more information.

Jeral Self, PhD, MPH

Executive Director of the Panacea Financial Foundation

Jeral Self is the Head of Community Engagement at Panacea Financial where she executes the organization’s mission and goal of providing ongoing support, both financially and through mentorship, to under-represented minorities within the physician workforce. Jeral has over nine years of experience in health policy research, with much of it focused on building and using integrated data from multiple public service systems for the purposes of evaluation. Recently Dr. Self has been involved in a number of evaluation projects for the State of Arkansas and their healthcare financing reform initiative. The results of this work have informed the development of Arkansas’ episodes of care payment models, as well as behavioral health and long-term service health home models. Most importantly, her work on the Arkansas Section 1115 demonstration waiver evaluation has been used in steering the national conversation about the future of state-led Medicaid expansion effort. Dr. Self has a PhD from Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and a Masters in Public Health from Boston University School of Public Health.

Ray Bignall, M.D

Advisory Board Member

O. N. Ray Bignall II, MD, FAAP is Director of Kidney Health Advocacy and Community Engagement in the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. A graduate of Howard University and Meharry Medical College, Dr. Bignall completed his general pediatrics residency, clinical fellowship in nephrology, and NIH post-doctoral research fellowship at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. 

As a physician-advocate, Dr. Bignall’s work addresses the social determinants of child health, kidney disease, and transplantation through community-based scholarship, engagement, and advocacy. He serves as a member on the national policy and advocacy committees of the American Society of Pediatric Nephrology, the American Society of Nephrology, and the National Medical Association. Dr. Bignall is a recipient of the American Academy of Pediatrics Community Access to Child Health (CATCH) Award; a John E Lewy Fund Advocacy Scholar of the American Society of Pediatric Nephrology; and was named a 40 Under 40 Leader in Minority Health by the National Minority Quality Forum and the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust.

Twitter: @DrRayMD

Ludwig Francillon, M.D

Advisory Board Member

Dr. Francillon is an Obstetrician/Gynecologist in private practice in Birmingham, AL. He is originally from Haiti and his family relocated to the United States when he was a child eventually settling down in Montgomery, AL. He received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Alabama. Prior to pursuing a career in medicine, he worked in banking and sales. Later he went on to graduate from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine, where he also completed my residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology. After completing his residency, he moved back to Alabama and joined a private practice OB/GYN group in Birmingham.

Javier Baez, M.D

Advisory Board Member

Dr. Javier Baez is of Puerto Rican descent and from Cleveland, OH. He is a proud alumnus of St. Ignatius High School and advocate in the Jesuit teaching “Men for Others.” For undergraduate studies he attended The Ohio State University. He completed a master’s degree in Medical Sciences with a focus on Anatomy at the University of South Florida. He obtained his medical degree from New York Medical College. He attended internal medicine residency at the University of Cincinnati, where he was selected chief medicine resident. During residency he was awarded the “Herbert C. Flessa, MD Physician’s Physician Award” and “Resident as Teacher Award.” Currently, he is an primary care physician with UC Health, Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine and Associate Program Director with the University of Cincinnati internal medicine residency program with a special interest in resident recruitment and medical education.  

Latoya Brathwaite, M.D

Advisory Board Member

Dr. Latoya Brathwaite is a staff Nephrologist, Associate Program Director for Nephrology fellowship and Assistant Professor of Medicine at University of Cincinnati Medical Center and College of Medicine. She was born and raised in the United States Virgin Islands where she received her undergraduate education at the University of the Virgin Islands. She completed her medical education at Howard University College of Medicine, internal medicine residency and nephrology fellowship at University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Her interests include general nephrology, extracorporeal therapies, and medical education.

Megan Gunn, M.D

Advisory Board Member

Dr. Gunn is an Internal Medicine physician in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Medicine, Health and Society from Vanderbilt University and completed her medical degree at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. She then ventured to the City of Brotherly Love to complete her residency in Internal Medicine at Temple University Hospital. While there she served as a chief resident. She later earned her Masters of Arts in Urban Bioethics at Lewis Katz School of Medicine. She is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine in the division of Hospital Medicine and affiliated faculty with the Urban Bioethics Department. She currently serves as core faculty with the Internal Medicine residency program where she leads the urban bioethics track. She is passionate about social determinants of health and health equity issues. She enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and one-year-old son.