Emcee Fritz Coleman of KNBC-TV receives a plaque from Dean Carmen A. Puliafito to commemorate the event.

Emcee Fritz Coleman of KNBC-TV receives a plaque from Dean Carmen A. Puliafito to commemorate the event.

Almost 300 people were on hand March 7 at Town & Gown of USC to celebrate and raise funds for medical scholarships at the Keck Scholarship Gala. The event raised $290,000.

Carmen A. Puliafito, MD, MBA, dean of the Keck School of Medicine of USC, told those in attendance that their donations enable exceptional students to pursue medical studies, conduct research and assist with hands-on patient care regardless of their socio-economic circumstances.

“We can only compete to attract the best and brightest students —  men and women who will ultimately become our future residents, faculty, physicians and researchers — by offering full and partial scholarship,” Puliafito told the crowd. “Your generosity will impact not only the excellent training of our talented medical students, but also the lives of the many patients they will help throughout their careers.”

The event’s emcee was Fritz Coleman, longtime weathercaster for KNBC-TV in Los Angeles. Coleman has been active in charitable causes throughout his 32-year career as a local on-air personality.

Emeritus Professor Shaul G. Massry, MD, was awarded the Distinguished Faculty Award during the festivities. Massry is the former chair of nephrology at the Keck School of Medicine and president of the Meira and Shaul G. Massry Foundation, which awards the Massry Prize to recognize outstanding contributions to the biomedical sciences and the advancement of health.

Receiving the Alumni Service Award was Antonio T. Alamo, MD, a 1991 graduate of the Keck School of Medicine. He runs an in­ternal medicine practice in Las Vegas and chairs Nevada’s gaming commission.

The recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Merit Award was J. Mario Molina, MD, who earned his medical degree from USC in 1984. He is president and CEO of the Fortune 500 company Molina Healthcare, Inc.

During the event, 31 Keck School scholarship recipients were recognized by Henri R. Ford, MD, MHA, vice dean of educational affairs.

The gala also included a cocktail reception in Town & Gown’s courtyard and foyer. Sponsors of the event included Keck Medical Center of USC, the USC Institute of Urology and the USC Office of Diversity, plus several Keck School departments.