Young Doctors DC visit Annual Fall Festival

by Jordan Bell 

Young Doctors DC visit Annual Fall Festival

It was a beautiful sight to see last Saturday at the Melrose Library Annual Fall Festival. Many different community organizations and businesses came together to have fun, pass out candy, give vaccinations and eat some good food. From the sheriff’s department to the African drumming circle it was a well-rounded day for the community. Not only were their local organizations but a few special guests traveled from Washington D.C. 

Over 10 years ago when Dr. Malcolm H. Woodland with a friend and colleague of his started planning the Young Doctors DC program. The idea behind it was to take young African American men from the community in Southeast DC and mentor them in all aspects of life with a focus on healthcare. Dr. Woodland wanted to help to change the health disparities in the Black community and he said what better way to do that than to teach young people to be healthcare professionals and as he emphasized throughout the day “get them to college”

Through Saturday programs and a 4-week long summer academy on the campus of Historic Howard University, high school young men are trained on blood pressure and blood sugar reading. They are taught about the dietary and health risks and challenges many African American communities face. They are taught by medical students and many different healthcare professionals. In the program, different community members act as Young Doc DC mentors and site administrators. 

Local community activist Marion Ware and Cheryl Mosley contacted Young Doctor’s DC headquarters in DC just out of curiosity about the program. A few phone conversations later and the young docs were in Roanoke at the Melrose Library. Both Marion and Cheryl wanted to bring this amazing program to Roanoke for the young African American men here. They planned an entire day for Dr. Woodland and the young docs with a special presentation of the gold star by Mayor Sherman Lea to the group. Mayor Lea sporting his Virginia Union University sweatshirt of which he is an alum was proud to see young Black men with such high-minded ideals. The Young Doctors DC program in Roanoke will be the first branch of the tree built by Dr. Malcolm Woodland and his team in Washington DC. The Roanoke program will start in the fall of 2023. Currently, the program is in the planning stages and will be needing mentors and great support from everyone in the City of Roanoke by also recruiting young men for the program. If you would like any additional information please visit the young docs website and also contact Marion Ware at