ACAP Recognizes Deborah Fadoju with 2022 Sylvia B. Kelly Medical Scholarship for Health Equity

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Jeff Van Ness, (202) 204-7515


WASHINGTON—Today, the Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP) presented its first annual Sylvia B. Kelly Medical Scholarship for Health Equity to Deborah Fadoju, a medical student at the Ohio State University. Fadoju was recognized for her demonstrated commitment to combat and ameliorate the Black maternal mortality gap.

Fadoju was born in Lagos but was raised in West Baltimore. Growing up, she was acutely aware of the way systems of oppression affected her community, and more specifically, her education. Recognizing the ways that Baltimore’s segregation affected her upbringing motivated Fadoju to pursue a career in medicine to confront a system that that has historically led to unequal—and poorer—outcomes for Black people.

Fadoju is responsible for co-creating and institutionalizing a course at the Ohio State School of Medicine that helped to shed light on medical racism in the field of gynecology. She also mobilized her medical student community to testify for the passage of an Ohio State Senate resolution that would declare racism as a public health crisis. In 2022, Fadoju was awarded six thousand dollars to implement a project that addressed maternal outcomes for underserved populations. For one month, Fadoju held focus groups centering Black and Hispanic women to better understand how racial discrimination can impact maternal healthcare. Deborah then collaborated with stakeholders to provide recommendations informed by the concerns of mothers from underserved communities.

“Undoubtedly, the Black maternal mortality gap is a national crisis that needs to be urgently addressed” said ACAP CEO Meg Murray. “Deborah embodies the ideals of the Kelly Scholarship. Throughout her education, she has taken strides to confront the issue of disparities in maternal mortality such that it is a thing of the past.”

The Sylvia B. Kelly Medical Scholarship is a $25,000 grant given to a rising fourth-year medical student in an effort to improve health equity by focusing attention and resources on the significant disparities in maternal health outcomes among Black women.

The scholarship is administered by the National Medical Fellowships (NMF), which has provided scholarships and support for underrepresented minority students in medicine and the health professions since 1946. NMF alumni serve tens of millions of patients every year.

About ACAP:
ACAP represents 74 health plans, which collectively provide health coverage to more than 20 million people. Safety Net Health Plans serve their members through Medicaid, Medicare, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the Marketplace and other publicly sponsored health programs. For more information, visit

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