Keith Ferdinand, MD, grew up in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans, and it was in that neighborhood where he opened his first cardiology practice more than 30 years ago. He spent decades in that office treating the community, teaching people about cardiovascular health and addressing the disparities that affect health outcomes for many of his patients. His work continues today as a professor of medicine and the Gerald S. Berenson Chair in Preventative Cardiology at Tulane University School of Medicine.
Southern University at New Orleans’ Center for African and African American Studies (CAAAS) in partnership with the Lyceum at SUNO honored Dr. Ferdinand’s diligent work with its 2023 Living Legend Award. The award acknowledges the accomplishments of local African Americans who have impacted the city of New Orleans through their dedicated work.
“We are very proud to honor Dr. Ferdinand as our 2023 Living Legend. He has completed years of research and fieldwork and devoted his life in medicine to eliminating health disparities regardless of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or gender,” Dr. Clyde Robinson, Director of SUNO’s Center for African and African American Studies.
Dr. Ferdinand’s family and friends, along with representatives from the City of New Orleans and state, honored this year’s Living Legend during a ceremony filled with stories about the doctor.
“Sometimes you get awards from national organizations or from different groups, but these are from the people I serve, the people of New Orleans,” said Ferdinand. “I was nurtured from the Lower 9th Ward. I went to public schools. My teachers, my general community, my parents did so much to make this little boy be the doctor he is today. I’m obligated, and it’s not a burden, it’s something I really get joy in working for the community.”