Wharton Gladden & Company, a Greensboro-based real estate investment banking firm, will partner with Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center to present an annual lecture series on diabetes research and prevention. The announcement came at the company’s 10th anniversary party on Friday, Nov. 1 at the Piedmont Club in Winston-Salem.
The $10,000 grant to fund the Irene Wharton Diabetes Lecture Series comes from the Power of One Fund, the charitable fund that Wharton Gladden established in 2009. The fund is administered by the National Christian Foundation in Raleigh.
Wharton Gladden Managing Director Algenon Cash was joined by Alanna Linden, president of the National Christian Foundation’s Raleigh branch, in presenting a check for $10,000 to Dr. Ronny Bell, director of the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and Dr. Donald Bowden, director of the medical center’s Center for Diabetes Research. Dr. Bowden will present the series’ first talk in November as a seminar for the school’s faculty. A public lecture by Dr. Bell is planned for next year.
The medical center has earned national recognition for its focus on diabetes treatment. Cash said that the series is named in honor of Irene Wharton, who died from diabetes complications in 1999. Cash named his firm after Irene Wharton and Franklin Gladden, who largely inspired and mentored him.
“Our center focuses on trying to reach underserved populations because diabetes impacts minorities, people in rural areas and low-income people,” said Dr. Bell. “We want to provide state-of-the-art understanding of these issues. We want to use these funds to engage people who are involved in the research process, but also to engage the community.”
Dr. Bowden agreed, adding, “We are thrilled because contributions to research (on diabetes) is even more critical and essential in the world we live in. And this is perfect timing for this gift because November is National Diabetes Month. These funds will help underwrite Wake Forest’s growth in diabetes and obesity research.”
In addition to the announced gift, Cash reminded guests that the Power of One Fund also supports community-wide innovative solutions to three primary issues: homelessness, domestic violence and substance abuse. In the past, the Fund has partnered with the Bethesda Center, Winston-Salem Rescue Mission, Family Services and Salvation Army.
Dr. Eboni Ellis, who recently relocated to Winston-Salem, was one of many attendees to make donations to the Power of One Fund.
“I always want to give to the community, and Algenon provided me so much information on the areas in Winston-Salem where I could make a difference,” she said. “There are so many things that the Fund does to help the homeless, and I just want to help any way I can.”