LOS ANGELES (Feb. 22, 2012) – Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, presenting Keith L. Black, MD, with one of the city's highest honors – the Hope of Los Angeles award – said the neurosurgeon's innovative care and research efforts bring hope to patients throughout the region and the world.
Villaraigosa praised Black's commitment to education, his scientific discoveries that are changing the way brain diseases and disorders are treated, and his dedication to offering hope where little exists. The comments came in a Feb. 3 City Hall ceremony launching the city's annual African-American Heritage Month celebration.
Black remarked: "Today, I had the honor of accepting the Hope of Los Angeles Award. But every day I have the privilege of serving the people of this great city, working in a patient care and medical research organization – Cedars-Sinai Medical Center – that has grown with the Los Angeles community for more than a hundred years."
On the subject of educating the next generations of scientists, he said, "The hope of tomorrow starts in the homes and schools of Los Angeles. We have a duty to help every child – from every neighborhood – dream of doing big things. But dreaming isn't enough. We must give them the tools and teach them the skills they need to achieve their goals, reach their dreams, and make Los Angeles and the world a better place to live. I believe it is important that we view every child, and every child's mind, as the vital natural resource that it is."
He also addressed young people themselves, saying, "Science isn't always easy, but learning, exploring and discovering is tremendously exciting."
"The hope of our city and our world is within the hearts and minds of our youth, just waiting for us to ignite it," concluded Black, chair and professor of the Department of Neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai and the Ruth and Lawrence Harvey Chair in Neuroscience, who founded the Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute in 1997 and the Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. Brain Tumor Center in 2007.
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