Encouraging health care careers: Scholarship helps launch grads

Orthopedic surgeon Daryll Dykes, MD, PhD, JD, was the first Potts Prize recipient.

Orthopedic surgeon Daryll Dykes, MD, PhD, JD, was the first Potts Prize recipient.

The most recent recipient is pediatrician Windy Grant, MD.

The most recent recipient is pediatrician Windy Grant, MD.

Six are working in New York state, including one (Daryll Dykes, MD, PhD, JD) at Upstate. Many are at hospitals or private practices in the Northeast, although one is in California and three are in Houston. One (Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD) is the director of the Rhode Island Department of Health.

What they have in common: When each graduated from Upstate’s College of Medicine, he or she received a $500 prize established in honor of James L. Potts, MD, the first African-American member of Upstate’s clinical faculty.

After completing his cardiology fellowship, Potts joined Upstate in 1972. He directed the cardiac catheterization laboratory and initiated the echocardiography program, in addition to taking care of patients and teaching students. He left in 1994 to become chief of cardiology at his medical alma mater, Meharry Medical College in Nashville.

“He was an important role model for all students and residents,” Harold Smulyan, MD, said of Potts. Donations from cardiology fellows and hospital staff funded the Potts Prize.

The first award 25 years ago went to Dykes, an orthopedic surgeon who grew up in Syracuse and earned his medical degree and a doctorate at Upstate. Dykes went to the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis for further training in orthopedic, spine and trauma surgery and later joined the faculty there. He returned to Upstate as a faculty member in 2018.

The most recent winner, this year, was Windy Grant, MD, who is starting a pediatrics residency at Yale New Haven Hospital. She intends to care for children in her homeland, Haiti.

list of Potts Prize Winners

Upstate Health magazine fall 2019 coverThis article appears in the fall 2019 issue of Upstate Health magazine. Click here for the full online version of the magazine.

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