Herman Gray, M.D., gives keynote address at CUNY White Coat Ceremony

Herman Gray, M.D., M.B.A., chair of the Wayne State University Department of Pediatrics, gave the keynote address at the Aug. 10 White Coat Ceremony for the Class of 2025 at the CUNY School of Medicine at the City College of New York.

The ceremony was the first in which the CUNY’s third-year medical students participated. The event marks the completion of their undergraduate education and formally welcomes them to the medical profession as student doctors. The Class of 2025’s ceremony, which was to take place in 2020, was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


“We are honored to have such a tremendous advocate for children, families and health care equity who has done legendary work and led humanitarian efforts supporting pediatric health care and specialty care for children with special needs,” said Carmen Renée Green, M.D., dean of the CUNY School of Medicine. “As the former chief medical consultant for the Michigan Department of Community Health – Children’s Special Health Services and as vice president and medical director of Clinical Affairs for Blue Care Network, Dr. Gray understands the myriad challenges that are facing health care systems and the clinical training required to educate our future doctors and researchers in fully understanding and helping to change health disparities and health care inequities.”

In recognition of his efforts, Dr. Gray received the CUNY School of Medicine Social Mission Award.

“As chair of the Pediatrics department at Wayne State University, I strive to ensure that medical students understand and advocate for the needs of diverse children and families and that they work to help end health care inequities, Dr. Gray said. “I applaud the CUNY School of Medicine and Dean Green for their shared commitment and continued mission to address health care inequities in New York City, especially for children and the most vulnerable, and to increase diversity and representation in medicine.”  

Dr. Gray is a former president and chief executive officer of the Detroit Medical Center Children’s Hospital of Michigan.

Dr. Gray’s history with Children’s Hospital of Michigan dates to the late 1970s, when he served as chief pediatric resident. While with CHM, he also served as vice president of Graduate Medical Education, pediatric residency program director, chief of staff and chief operating officer. Under his leadership, the residency program developed several innovative programs and successfully recruited a significant number of minorities.

He was named president and chief executive officer of CHM in 2005. He left that position in September 2015 to become president and chief executive officer of United Way for Southeastern Michigan.

A child and family advocate, Dr. Gray has been honored numerous times for his humanitarian efforts related to pediatric health care, particularly with children with special needs. He has served on a variety of state and national committees and organizations, and is one of the founding commissioners on the U.S. Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission.

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