Southington resident Curtis Robinson has achieved a lot in his life, but now the 62-year-old has a few more national recognitions to add to his already impressive resume after winning the Scroll of Merit Award from the National Medical Association last weekend and the Rosa Parks Lifetime Achievement Award in late June.
Robinson, co-founder of the Curtis D. Robinson Men’s Health Institute and a St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center Board member, received the award during the NMA annual convention and scientific assembly in New Orleans on July 30.
The Scroll of Merit Award is the highest honor conferred by the NMA and is given in recognition of unique exceptional achievement in medicine, science, education, or public service.
The Rosa Parks Lifetime Achievement Award is bestowed on distinguished individuals who have personified the leadership legacy of Mrs. Parks through acts of courage, innovation and empowerment of underserved communities in the United States.
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“Curtis Robinson truly deserves to be recognized in a national forum,” said Christopher Dadlez, President and CEO of St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center. “His tireless work as co-founder of the Curtis D. Robinson Men’s Health Institute at Saint Francis has put the spotlight on the healthcare risks and disparities facing African-American men regarding prostate cancer. More importantly, the Institute is helping save lives.”
Life wasn’t always so wonderful who Robinson, who first came to Connecticut from Alabama in 1958. Then just 18-years-old, Robinson was on his way to Boston when he got off the bus in Hartford by mistake and from there, history was made.
Robinson had nothing but a couple suitcases and spent his first night on a park bench in Bushnell Park. He went on to take a job as a grocer, saving his money and buying the grocery store within a year for $7,500. That was the start of many property acquisitions that eventually allowed Robinson to retire at the age of 35.
Since then, he founded C & R Development Company, the largest minority-run construction management company in the east, building schools, prisons and currently operating eight stores at Bradley International Airport.
But the men’s institute is the one thing he is most proud of, .
“The institute is the biggest thing that 'I’m proud of," Robinson said. "The worst thing to me is someone coming to ne and saying they have cancer but they don't have the money to get treated. I don't want anyone to die as along as I have a dollar."
Founded in 2010, the Institute has reached thousands of men and women with its message, specifically providing prostate education to 897 men, conducting 779 PSAs and 559 DREs. This outreach has resulted in 110 follow-up appointments, 32 biopsies and treatment for 26 men diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Robinson personally pays for surgery for people diagnosed with prostate cancer, and while he knows that he won’t be able to help everyone, he said he would not stop trying.
The long-time Southington resident is also the former president of the Hartford Lions Club. His numerous charitable contributions also include the Urban League of Greater Hartford, The Doc Hurley Scholarship Fund, the NAACP, the Sickle Cell Anemia Association, The Ace Mentoring Program of Greater Hartford, the Gen Yeshiva School, Greater Hartford Academy of Arts, and many more.
He also quietly assists individuals with medical and hospital care, donating buses to churches and schools, and adopting a homeless shelter for displaced children. Robinson serves on the Board of Regents at the University of Hartford. He is also on the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Hospital Association whose membership includes all 28 hospitals in the state of Connecticut.
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