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Press Releases

UC Health, UC College of Medicine Hosts 51st Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration

Jan. 8, 2024

CINCINNATI - The late Dr. O’dell Owens, MD to be Honored (posthumously) as 2024 Humanitarian Award Winner. 


On Friday, January 12, UC Health and the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine will host the 51st Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration. This year’s event will be held on the University of Cincinnati campus in Kresge Auditorium, 231 Albert Sabin Way, Cincinnati, Ohio, 45219. The public is invited to attend to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy and the advocacy efforts that continue in our own community.

Each year, the organizations recognize and celebrate individuals who are continuing to uplift and uphold the lessons of Dr. King through their dedication and contributions to the Greater Cincinnati community.

This year’s event is inspired by Dr. King's quote: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”.

In the spirit of these words, this year’s event will honor an individual whose legacy and outstanding life’s work in health care and the community will be felt for many years to come: The late Dr. O’dell Owens.

Michael A. Thomas, MD, physician and board member at UC Health and professor and chair of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at the UC College of Medicine will serve as this year’s keynote speaker.

“In my 35 years as a UC Family provider, I feel that I and those whose shoulders I stand on, like Dr. O'dell Owens, were born with a fire in our bellies to serve this community because we were lucky to be given the ability to heal the suffering of others, to make discoveries that will benefit our patients now and in the future, and to educate the next generation,” said Dr. Thomas. “Dr. King's question is one that gets me out of bed every morning because I know that there is more that I can do every day to improve someone's life.  And that I am adding to the quilt that was started by the many African American physicians who came before me.”

The annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day community celebration will take place in Kresge Hall on the University of Cincinnati’s College of Medicine campus, 231 Albert Sabin Way, Cincinnati, Ohio, 45219, from 10 A.M. to 11:30 A.M. on Friday, January 12th.