Health Remains High On Our Wealth Agenda

For nearly four decades, a consistent objective of the BLACK ENTERPRISE mission has been to communicate that without investing in the quality of our health, and that of our families and communities, it is all but impossible to create sustainable, multigenerational wealth. That’s why we have consistently underscored our presentation of business, career, and financial success strategies with a foundation of health coverage. For us, it’s about extending our peak earning years, so we can sustain the highest possible levels of productivity, job satisfaction, and income during our working lives. It’s also about making preventive health choices that increase our quality of life while shielding our hard-earned assets from the skyrocketing costs of medical care. A major objective and potential benefit of wealth is the ability to enjoy the best possible health outcomes. And conversely, the more zealously we guard our health, the better positioned we are to create lasting wealth.

The life of my father was cut short at the age of 48 by a heart condition that was likely both preventable and treatable. As a result, I have always had a keen appreciation for the mutually reinforcing values of health and wealth. One of the ways I demonstrate that appreciation is by investing my business experience and acumen in support of some of our nation’s most illustrious and innovative healthcare providers and stakeholders. For example, I currently serve on the board of directors of Aetna, an industry leader in healthcare, dental, pharmacy, group life, and disability insurance. I also serve on the board of directors of the Steadman-Hawkins Research Foundation in Vail, Colorado-known throughout the world for research into the causes, treatments, and prevention of orthopedic disorders-and on the board of advisers for the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

However, the area of healthcare that I’ve always been most passionate about celebrating is the professionalism, achievements, and excellence of our nation’s black physicians. This issue marks the third time we’ve published our unparalleled; listing of “America’s Leading Black Doctors.” However, I am vested in this subject not just as a matter of business, it is of intensely personal importance to me and my family. Beyond celebrating the accomplishments of black physicians in BE, I have demonstrated my faith in the quality of these doctors by entrusting my health-and indeed, my life-to their care. For example, when I faced prostate cancer four years ago, Dr. Arthur Burnett II, an outstanding urologist and one of the brilliant surgeons featured in this issue, performed the successful surgery.

Later this month, I will be honored and privileged to participate in the 24th commencement progam of the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, where I will be presented with an honorary degree by the president of the school, Dr. John E. Maupin Jr. My late mother, in particular, would be pleased to know that her oldest son will then hold honorary degrees from all four of our nation’s historically black medical schools, including Nashville Tennessee’s Meharry Medical College, Howard University College of