Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Day In L.A...

at the Ebony Repertory Theatre

I received an email invitation to An Evening With Dr. Keith Black from Bro. Wren T. Brown, Founder/Producer of the Ebony Repertory Theatre. The evening was one of the best that I've ever experienced. Thank you Bro Wren! and co-sponsor, the National Black MBA Association, Inc., Los Angeles Chapter.

Dr. Black, a renowned neurosurgeon, recently released his new book, Brain Surgeon: A Doctor's Inspiring Encounters with Mortality and Miracles.

He spoke at length with the audience about what inspired him to be a brain surgeon and how good parenting made a difference in his life. Despite his tight schedule, Dr. Black took questions and greeted as many people as he could during the post reception in his honor. I enjoyed a lot about tonight, but what warmed my heart was his humility and the time he made for the community. I mean, a top expert in his field was here and accessible. And get this: general admission was just $20 and that included his book!

Dr. Black answered my Three Point Probe during his reception - see below - and look for more on why he wrote the book, his perspective on the health care debate, and his passion for the brain in the Final Call Newspaper soon!

Three Point Probe with Dr. Keith Black

Sis. Charlene: You talked about how on your journey, you persevered by turning negative energy that came your way into a positive for you. What has been your biggest challenge on your journey?

Dr. Black: When my research when I moved to UCLA (the University of California at Los Angeles) wasn't working and I really had to understand why, and thinking that basically my career in research would be over. But the persistence of trying to understand that answer actually led to another discovery which opened up another door, which led now to our ability to another discovery, which opened up another door which led now to our ability to improve delivery of chemotherapeutic drugs to patients with brain tumors.

Sis Charlene: What do you make of recent news reports that some 45,000 people die annually because they don't have health insurance?

Dr. Black: I'm not really familiar with those statistics, but I the problem in this country is not really a lack of health care, it's really a lack of health insurance. If someone has an emergency and they go to the emergency room, then the emergency room will treat you. But it's really the chronic disorders, making sure that one has good control of the high blood pressure, the diabetes, getting screening for prostate cancer, getting screening for breast cancer, those are the other areas where I think we can do a better job and improve the quality of care.

Sis Charlene: What do you love most about your career?

Dr. Black: There are a number of things I really like about it. One is I wake up every day and I know that I have the potential of helping someone. That is very gratifying. I have the potential of making a new discovery, which can improve the lives of people. And I work in an area, that I think is extremely fascinating and with the most incredible organ in the universe and that's the human brain. I just feel very blessed and very lucky.

Sis. Charlene: Thank you.

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