Dr. Leo Moore was born on June 11. He is a physician, philanthropist, and entrepreneur who is focused on helping others live their best lives.
Leonard Jamison Moore was raised in Mobile, Alabama, one of nine children born to the late Lannie Moore, an electrician and general contractor, and Gwendolyn Moore, a registered nurse. He attended Dunwoody High School in Dunwoody, Georgia, where he received the Ray Kroc Award for being the most improved student.
Despite the honor, Dr. Moore admits that he lacked focus in his freshman and sophomore year, and recalls being told by a guidance counselor that he would never become a physician because of his low grades. “I used that conversation to prove her and everyone else wrong,” Dr. Moore told the Ubuntu Biography Project. “During the winter break of my sophomore year of high school, I read Ben Carson’s book, ‘Gifted Hands,’ and it changed my life.” Moore went on to improve his grades dramatically, and was awarded the Georgia Hope Scholarship, which would cover tuition and fees for his undergraduate degree.
Dr. Moore’s road to becoming a physician continued at Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia (Magna Cum Laude with a BS in Biology with a concentration in Pre-medicine), the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia (Doctor of Medicine degree), the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut (a residency in internal medicine), and the University of California, Los Angeles (a Master of Science in Health Policy and Management).
In addition to becoming a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity’s Theta Beta chapter at Columbus State, Dr. Moore sat on the university’s Student Government Association and was Speaker of the Senate, was named Homecoming King, and implemented the first-ever World AIDS Day observance at the school in 2006—a tradition that continues today. That same year, he was inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society.
Honors bestowed by the Morehouse School of Medicine include the 2009 Margie & Reed Tuckson Scholarship (Association for Minority Health Professions Schools), the 2010 Outstanding Medical Student in Volunteerism & Advocacy (American College of Physicians), the 2010 Future Leaders of Preventive Medicine (American College of Preventative Medicine), and the 2011 Leonard E. Tow Humanism in Medicine Award (Arnold P. Gold Foundation).
In 2016, Dr. Moore completed the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars program, a health policy and community-based participatory research fellowship at UCLA. His current role is associate medical director, clinical prevention specialist, and chief of the Provider Support and Quality Assurance Unit for the Division of HIV and STD Programs at the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health. His work focuses on raising awareness about HIV and STDs, as well as ensuring that funding and services are directly aligned for communities most affected by HIV and STDs in Los Angeles County: Black and Latino men who have sex with men, transgender persons, and Black and Latina heterosexual cisgender women.
“The thing I like most about my work is being able to connect with people in the community and truly hear their concerns,” Dr. Moore told the Ubuntu Biography Project. “I chose to work at the local level in order to ‘stay connected to the ground.’ I spend a substantial amount of time listening to community stakeholders, and translating their stories and experiences into new programs, initiatives, or opportunities for improvement of existing services. I also appreciate that my department is supportive of naming racial/ethnic health disparities, and dedicating resources and efforts to bridge the gaps. Our work is driven by a focus on health equity at all levels of leadership.”
Dr. Moore was recently interviewed by “HIV Plus” magazine about his work in increasing awareness of PrEP and access to PrEP services in Los Angeles County. “I hold this interview in high esteem because I was transparent about the needs of my community. We have to shift the narrative,” said Dr. Moore.
Dr. Moore also dedicates his time to guiding first generation pre-medical students like him to help give them a competitive edge to medical school matriculation. He is a mentor through the Male Success Alliance at California State University, Dominguez Hills, and is on the steering committee for the Columbus State University Competitive Pre-Medical Studies Program. Moore also recently made a donation to Columbus State to name a part of the science building the Dr. Leonard J. Moore Student Engagement Area, and he is the first alumnus of the university’s College of Letters and Sciences to name a space.
Dr. Leo Moore lives in Los Angeles, where he enjoys catching up on his favorite TV shows, reading, exercising, doing home improvement projects, traveling (he plans to visit Vietnam, Thailand, Greece, and South Africa this year), and spending time with friends and family. Moore is also in the final stages of creating a men’s retail brand. He remains steadfast in his commitment to communities of color, particularly those which identify as LGBTQ.
“The Black SGL/LGBTQ community is important to me because I have experienced firsthand the challenges that lie at the intersection of my Blackness and queerness,” Dr. Moore told the Ubuntu Biography Project. “Black SGL/LGBTQ people are magic. We are creative, innovative, compassionate, and deep thinkers who are often subjected to racism and prejudice at the intersection of our various identities. We are resilient and constantly saving others, when truth be told, they would probably let us perish if the shoe were on the other foot. As a physician, I recognize how the weight of our intersectionality and associated stress can affect our health and increase health disparities. I’m committed to identifying ways to bridge the gap.”
We thank Dr. Leo Moore for his numerous contributions to the world of medicine, his advocacy against health disparities, his mentorship, and his support of our community.