A Salute to Doctors, Physicians and Caregivers

2019 Awardees

The Salute to Doctors, Physicians and Caregivers awards ceremony recognizes doctors, physicians and caregivers from all walks of life that have made contributions in their community through personal services and sacrifices that have impacted the lives of others.  Each year these men and women are honored for their positive and lasting impacts on our communities. 


Master of Ceremony

 Senator Tonya P. Anderson

Georgia District 43

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     Dr. Foster completed her undergraduate studies at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.  She attended Mount Sinai School of Medicine and remained there for residency.  Dr. Foster completed her gastroenterology fellowship at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where additionally as a fellow in the Specialty Training and Advanced Research (STAR) program she received a Master's degree in clinical research.  Prior to joining the DeKalb Gastroenterology Associates, Dr. Foster was an assistant Professor of Medicine at Emory University where she served as the Director of Gastroenterology Endoscopy Center Memorial Hospital.  

Dr. Betty Dillon


Dr. Temitope Y. Foster

     Dr. Betty Dillon received a B.S. in Chemistry in 1986 from Southern University, Baton Rouge, LA. In 1995, Dr. Dillon received a Doctorate of Dental Surgery, (DDS), from Meharry Medical College, Nashville, TN. In that same year, Dr. Dillon became a board certified practicing dentist.  In 1997, Dr. Dillon set out to start her own practice and opened Gentle Family Dentistry P.C., in Stone Mountain, Georgia. As a result of the success with Gentle Family Dentistry P.C., Dr. Dillon felt the need to give back to the community by hosting  “Dentistry from the Heart”  which has further led to Dentistry/“Healing from the Heart” whereby Physicians and Dentists join together to deliver free healthcare to the Community.

     The sixth president of Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) and the first woman to lead the freestanding medical institution, Montgomery Rice serves as both the president and dean.  She is a renowned infertility specialist and researcher.  


     Prior to joining MSM, Montgomery Rice held faculty positions and leadership roles at various health centers, including academic health centers.  


     Dedicated to the creation and advancement of health equity, Montgomery Rice lends her vast experience and talents to programs that enhance pipeline opportunities for academically diverse learners, diversifies the physician and scientific workforce, and fosters equity in health care access and health outcomes.


Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice


Dr. Andrew Dixon

     Jo Ann Cross, a Register Nurse in the State of Georgia.  Currently the Nurse Manager and Senior Research Coordinator of Cardiology with the Morehouse School of Medicine based at Grady Memorial Hospital.  Jo Ann has been a Nurse Manager for 19 years with the Section of Cardiology which is comprised of 6 Cardiologists, 1 Nurse Practitioner and an Administrative Assistant.  Her clinical research background spans over 17 years as a Research Coordinator with protocols from coronary artery disease, heart failure, hypertension and CV registries.  

      Jo Ann is a current member of Preventive Cardiovascular Nurse Association (PCNA), the Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA), Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research (PRIM&R) and the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP). 

     Dr. Andrew Dixon, a Board Certified Nephrologist, has a private practice with Northwest Nephrology Clinic.  Dr. Dixon received his MD degree from the University of Florida. He completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Emory University, remaining there until he began his own practice.  

     He is a member of the American Society of Nephrology; Renal Physicians Association; Physician Care Clinic volunteer staff serving uninsured patients in DeKalb County; and Alpha Phi Alpha, Inc. Fraternity.

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JoAnn Cross

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Dr. Sweezer

     As a distinguished heart surgeon, Dr. Sweezer has devoted over 40 years to caring for people with heart, lung and vascular disease throughout the United States. Dr Sweezer is the personification of the American Dream—a true inspiration and hero to those he knows and to the community at large. Dr Sweezer is not only a physician, a scholar, a teacher, author, multiple patent holder and recipient of numerous humanitarian and leadership awards, but is the proverbial Renaissance Man. He rides motorcycles, holds a pilot’s license and is an excellent guitarist.


     He attended Michigan State University for Pre- Med and went on to receive his Doctor of Medicine degree from Meharry Medical College in 1977. He completed his Surgical Internship and General Surgery Residency Training at Baylor College of Medicine, Creighton University School of Medicine and Henry Ford Hospitals. Residency and Fellowship programs in Cardiothoracic and Endovascular Surgery were completed at Wayne State University and Columbia University. Dr Sweezer is triple-board-certified by The American Board of Surgery, The American Board of Thoracic Surgery and The American Board of Vascular Medicine.

     Cornelia King holds two bachelor's degrees and two master's degrees in the critical areas that have been identified, as the root causes and the most significant factors that widen the gap of health disparities in our nation today.  She received a coalition endorsement from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a foundation that recognizes communities driving local change, and ensuring that all residents have an opportunity to make healthy choices in their neighborhoods, schools, and workplaces.  Cornelia is a Consultant/Health Educator with the ACE/Healthy Heart Coalition.

Cornelia King

Dr. Kim Carr

Dr. Kimberly Carr is from College Park GA and after graduating from Westlake High School in Atlanta, GA  she attended Morris Brown College.  She was accepted into Boston University School of Medicine in her Junior year of college.  From there she went on to complete her residency at Hope Children's Hospital in Chicago.  She has been practicing for 18 years and owns a private practice, Children's Medical Central, in Conyers, GA.

Advocating her children has always been her passion.  She is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and a member of the Georgia Academy of Pediatrics.  Her special interests include pediatric obesity, global childhood immunizations, and developmental and behavioral pediatrics.  She is active in the community and has received awards from Rockdale County Schools, Delta Sigma Theta, Inc.  and Arrogressive, Inc.

     Dr. Dillon attended Alcorn State University in Lorman, Mississippi where he received his bachelors degree in biology. He went on to attend Meharry Medical College school of Dentistry where he received his DDS degree.  Upon completion of Meharry, he furthered his study at the University of Mississippi Medical center where he received a certificate in General Practice Dentistry concentrating on the treatment of the medically compromised patient.  It was here that he developed a desire to pursue the specialty of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery.

     In 1996, Dr. Dillon was accepted to Howard University's Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Residency and received his certificate in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery in June of 2000. 

     Dr. Dillon has always had a desire of helping the less fortunate. He traveled on a medical mission to Liberia with the NON-Profit group, Physicians for Peace, where he performed multiple surgical procedures.  Here in Atlanta, he and his sister Dr. Betty Dillon are sponsors of Dentistry and Healing from the Heart, an annual event, where he and others donate their time and services to the less fortunate.  

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Dr. Tracy Dillon

Dr. Sherrell Vicks-Crawford

Sherell Vicks Crawford is a native of Camilla, GA.  She is the daughter of Mrs. Claretha Smart Vicks and the late Mr. Ernest Vicks, Sr.  She is married to the Reverend Marvin L. Crawford, Sr. , and the mother of Claire and Marvin, Jr.

She graduated Mitchell County High School, attended Fisk University, Nashville; Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.; and University of Georgia, Athens, GA.  She received her B.S., Biology, Cum Laude, from Morris Brown College and her M.D. from Meharry Medical College, Nashville, TN.  Sherell performed her residence in Internal Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia, Agusta, GA and an Internal Medicine internship at the Medial College of Georgia.  She was licensed by the State of Georgia in 1989.

She practices at Hillandale Medical Associates, PC. Lithonia, GA.

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