J. Steven Blake, DO, has pledged $1,000,000 to establish “The J. Steven Blake, DO ’89 Scholars Society” at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM). In addition to providing full tuition for African American students based on need and academic performance, Dr. Blake made the pledge, he says to “encourage other alumni to be generous in helping future young doctors.” This will be the first time in the school’s 113-year history that it will be able to offer a full scholarship.
Dr. Blake’s philanthropy reaches beyond PCOM. In 2006 he created The East Coast Cultural Enrichment Tour, which brings honor students from his alma mater, Coahoma Agricultural High School in Clarksdale, Mississippi, to the east coast for an all-expense-paid trip to Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Dr. Blake doesn’t just foot the bill, he travels with the students and their chaperones, takes them to Broadway shows and arranges receptions with a variety of professionals in different states.
“Reflecting on my own life, and the difference coming to Philadelphia made to me, I wanted to do that for students,” he says. “It’s so important for students to see a world outside their regular environment. My goal is to expose, excite and encourage the students.”
Dr. Blake is chair, president and CEO of Blake Gastroenterology Associates, LLC, in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia, where he fulfills his personal mission of providing accessible treatment while creating jobs in his community. As a physician, he mentors untold numbers of students throughout Philadelphia. As a leader, he honors a select group of graduating PCOM medical students with an end-of-year reception, honorarium and life-time membership to the PCOM Alumni Association.
“I’m humbled to be where I am,” continues Dr. Blake. “My vision was to be a family doctor in a small town in Mississippi not a gastroenterologist in one the greatest cities on earth. I was not afraid to take a risk and step up to the plate; I want others to be able to do likewise. I am where I am today because someone sat down at the admissions table and said ‘yes.'”
Dr. Blake graduated from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1989 with a doctorate of osteopathic medicine and is board certified in internal medicine and gastroenterology. He was appointed to the PCOM Board of Trustees in 2007, and serves as chair of the Board’s development committee and is a member of the Board’s student and academic affairs committee. He earned his bachelor’s degrees in zoology and chemistry from The University of Mississippi.