WASHIGNTON, D.C. (Sept. 11, 2017) -- Legendary surgeon Dr. LaSalle D. Leffall Jr. was recently honored with the Howard University College of Medicine Distinguished Alumni Award at the 2017 National Medical Association annual convention in Philadelphia.
Dr. Leffall’s professional life has been devoted to the study of cancer, particularly among African-Americans. As national president of the American Cancer Society, he launched a program on the challenge of cancer among Black Americans in 1979. Dr. Edward Cornwell, Chairman of the Department of Surgery presented the award at the College of Medicine Alumni dinner on July 31.
Dr. Leffall is the Charles R. Drew Professor of Surgery in the College of Medicine. He was born May 22, 1930, in Tallahassee, Fla. In 1948, at the age of 18, he was earned a bachelors of science degree from Florida A&M College. In 1952 he earned a medical degree from Howard University College of Medicine and completed his surgical training at Freedmen’s Hospital (the forerunner of Howard University Hospital). Dr. Leffall has been awarded 14 honorary degrees from universities across the United States.
“Dr. Leffall is certainly deserving of the Howard University College of Medicine Distinguished Alumni Award,” said Howard University President Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick. “I attribute many of my successes to his unparalleled support, leadership, and mentorship. His numerous awards and accolades only begin to highlight his extraordinary contributions to the field of medicine.. Dr. Leffall is a true son of Howard and a loyal exemplar of the University’s motto: Truth and Service.”
The Howard University Press published Dr. Leffall’s memoirs, No Boundaries – A Cancer Surgeon’s Odyssey in 2005 and a second 2014 book, Equanimity Under Duress: Calmness and Courage In the Battle Against Cancer. He co-authored this year’s Education, Excellence and Exemplars with Drs. Frederick and Cornwell.
Dr. Leffall has lectured at more than 200 medical institutions across country. A Washington Post article noted that Dr. Leffall has taught more than 6,000 medical students and trained more than 300 surgical residents. Dr. Leffall retired from performing surgery nine years ago. He remains on the faculty as a lecturer and resource at Howard University.
About Howard University
Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University has produced four Rhodes Scholars, 10 Truman Scholars, two Marshall Scholars, over 80 Fulbright recipients, 22 Pickering Fellows and one Schwarzman Scholar. Howard also produces more on-campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit the University’s website at www.howard.edu