Urban League of Broward County’s Signature Red Gala Takes a Health Focus Honoring the Shirley Family and Other Advocates

September 17, 2013



Bonnie Strouse Sobrino
Donor Relations & Communications Manager


Urban League of Broward County’s Signature Red Gala Takes a
Health Focus Honoring the Shirley Family and Other Advocates

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL. (September 17, 2013) – Almost 600 people will come together this Saturday to celebrate the Urban League of Broward County’s signature event, the Red Gala, which will pay tribute to those who, like the Urban League, are dedicated to improving the lives of families and children living in Broward County. Held at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, this year’s lavish “party with a purpose” has taken a unique twist as it will honor four prominent community leaders and highlight the remarkable impact they have had on the healthcare industry in Broward County.

Among the evening’s recipients of the 2013 Margaret Roach Humanitarian Award is the Shirley Family, honoring the late Dr. Calvin Hylton Shirley and his daughters Dr. Carmen Shirley and Jasmin Shirley, a family who is known for their tireless efforts and service to the community. Presented by AutoNation, Inc., a longtime supporter of the Urban League, this award will pay tribute to the work of Dr. Calvin Hylton Shirley, Broward's first black ob-gyn, who spent the majority of his life meeting the medical needs of Fort Lauderdale’s African American community. Aside from his extensive list of awards and accomplishments, Dr. Calvin Hylton Shirley is acknowledged as a local medical pioneer. It is estimated he delivered a career total of over 6,000 infants and in 1996, the City of Fort Lauderdale honored him with the name changing of Northwest 22nd Road to “Dr. Calvin H. Shirley Road.”

His youngest daughter, Dr. Carmen Shirley, a family practitioner with twenty years of experience, made history in 1993 when she began the Family Practice residency program at Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Florida.  She was the first black woman accepted and she completed the Family Practice residency program in 1996 opening the doors to women of color at this institution.  As the Vice President of Community Health Services for Broward Health, Jasmin Shirley oversees the day-to-day operations of Community Health Services division. She has more than thirty years of experience in health administration and due to her tenacity, Broward County receives more than $136 Million of continuous funding annually to support a network of comprehensive prevention and treatment services for HIV/AIDS. 

U.S. Congressman Alcee L. Hastings, the evening’s fourth recipient will be honored as this year’s 2013 Diversity Champion Award, presented by Tripp Scott, P.A.  This award will recognize him for his ongoing leadership and compassion to all human beings in the areas of social justice, race relations and community service. Elected from Florida since the post-civil war period, he has been an outspoken advocate for Floridians and our nation as a whole and has even championed affordable healthcare and civil rights for women, senior citizens, children and immigrants.

The Red Gala’s “Love Boat” event is presented by this year’s title sponsor, also known as the “Captain,” Sunshine State Health Plan (Sunshine Health), one of the largest Medicaid and Long Term Care health plans in Florida. Sunshine Health CEO and Urban League of Broward County Board Member Chris Paterson will serve as this year’s Red Gala Chair along with Sunshine Health Board Chairman Nelson L. Adams, M.D., who is president and CEO of Metro-Miami Ob-Gyn Associates and well-respected for his work in the medical community.  Complementing the healthcare focus, the Urban League has even solicited help from selected healthcare professionals, also known as Trailblazers, who have demonstrated a commitment to making our community a better place and volunteered their time to making this year’s Red Gala a success. This year’s Trailblazers are: Michelle Binns, ARNP; Wilfred McKenzie, M.D.; and Khadra Osman, M.D. with the McKenzie Group as well as Venessa Walker, D.C. with Notre Dame Chiropractic Center.   

For more information about the Urban League or Saturday’s event, please call (954) 584-0777, or visit us at www.ulbroward.org.


About the Urban League of Broward County

The Urban League of Broward County is a not for profit, community based organization founded in 1975.  We empower communities and change lives.  Our mission is to assist African Americans and other disenfranchised groups in the achievement of social and economic equality.  Programs/services include affordable housing development and redevelopment, youth development, diversion, employment and training, education and community empowerment, and civic engagement.



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Urban League of Broward County

560 NW 27th Avenue             P: (954) 584-0777
Fort Lauderdale FL. 33311