New York College Of Health Professions Announces Barbara Ross-Lee, D.O., As Its 2013 Commencement Speaker

First-Ever Female, African-American Medical School Dean Will Address This Year's Graduates and Receive Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters

May 02, 2013, 10:07 ET from New York College of Health Professions

NEW YORK, May 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- New York College of Health Professions, a 30-year pioneer in holistic health care and education, is pleased to announce that Barbara Ross-Lee – the first African-American woman to serve as dean of an American medical school, and the current vice president for health sciences and medical affairs at New York Institute of Technology – will be the keynote speaker at its 2013 Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 11th at 11 am at the Melville Marriott Long Island. Dr. Ross-Lee joins a notable series of speakers including Shirley MacLaine, Al Roker, Jerry Vale, Don King, Nick Bolletieri, and other well-known celebrities. She will also receive an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the College.

"New York College is extremely proud to have Dr. Barbara Ross-Lee as our esteemed commencement speaker this year," stated Lisa Pamintuan, President of New York College. "Dr. Ross-Lee led the way at a time when both women and minorities faced extreme obstacles towards entering the medical field. A true inspiration to all of our students, she is not only a pioneer in women's health and medical education, but also in holistic health as a family medicine physician."

She added, "Like Dr. Ross-Lee, the College shares a vision to set new standards in holistic health care and quality education. In line with our mission to provide a curriculum that values integrative medicine – offering professions that emphasize treating the whole person and not just the disease – Dr. Ross-Lee has dedicated her career in education to fostering a relationship between doctors and patients that promotes the overall health and wellbeing of the patient. She specializes in family medicine, and the emphasis that her practice places on the relationship between the structure and function of the body by employing manual, drug-free and non-invasive techniques to promote health is a seamless bridge between Western and holistic medicine."

Dr. Ross-Lee stated, "Healthcare has never been more professionally inclusive. We all share in the provision of services designed to achieve health and wellness in the populations we serve."  

Dr. Ross-Lee, the older sister of Diana Ross, began her career as a pre-medical major at Detroit's Wayne State University in 1960. Discouraged from becoming a physician due to her female status, Dr. Ross-Lee joined the National Teaching Corps upon graduating from college in 1965. She completed the program in 1969 and then revisited her dreams of becoming a doctor by applying to the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. Graduating in 1973, she opened up a family practice in 1984 and then joined the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, consulting on education in the health professions.

In 1993, she became dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine of Ohio University until 2001 – the first African-American female to serve as the dean of a U.S. medical school. During this time, she completely revamped the curriculum, putting the focus on collaboration between teachers and students and developing a special curriculum for women. In 2001, Dr. Ross-Lee became vice president for health sciences and medical affairs at New York Institute of Technology, and in 2002, was appointed to dean of New York Institute of Technology's New York College of Osteopathic Medicine.

She has been on a number of boards and received numerous accolades over the years, including the "Magnificent 7" Award presented in 1993 by Business and Professional Women/USA; the Women's Health Award from Blackboard African-American National Bestsellers for her contributions to women's health; the Distinguished Public Service Award from the Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine; and an honorary doctorate of science from New York Institute of Technology.

About New York College of Health Professions

Chartered by the New York State Board of Regents, New York College of Health Professions, a not-for-profit institution located in Syosset, Long Island, with three additional sites in New York City, offers institutionally accredited undergraduate and graduate-level degree programs in Massage Therapy, Acupuncture, Oriental Medicine and Herbal Medicine, and Certificate programs in Holistic Nursing for Registered Nurses and The Science of Self Improvement. New York College maintains a 30-acre modern medical facility in Luo Yang, The People's Republic of China. The College has grown remarkably in the past several years and will continue to develop new educational programs as well as expand into many new areas. For more information about New York College of Health Professions visit

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SOURCE New York College of Health Professions