Health + Wellness

Dr. Ebony Jade Hilton: Blazing Trails While Standing on the Shoulders of Ancestors |

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Dr. Ebony Jade Hilton Buchholz was born the middle of three girls in the rural town of Little Africa, South Carolina. Following a family tragedy, at the tender age of 8 years old, she told her mom she wanted to be a doctor. From that day forward her mother called her “Dr. Hilton.” She attributes her entire career and the success that followed to that small gesture. She graduated from Spartanburg High School in 2000 and enrolled at the College of Charleston (CofC). In just 4 short years she graduated Magnum Cum Laude from CofC with 3 degrees: two Bachelor of Science degrees in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and a Bachelor of Arts in Inorganic Chemistry.

Ebony then began her medical studies at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and following graduation in 2008 she continued at this institution for completion of her Anesthesiology residency and Critical Care fellowship. On July 1, 2013 she became the 1st African-American female anesthesiologist to be hired at MUSC since its opening in 1824. Throughout her studies of health disparities, particularly as it pertains to race, bridging the gap between physicians and patients has been her primary focus. In addition to pioneering medicine, Dr. Hilton is a children’s book author of the Ava Series, she is a public speaker and a community activist.

Although some may think that anesthiology isn’t as needed in this pandemic, Dr. Hilton is on the front lines. Specifically, she says that kids need to know that being sad is okay. Stressful times like these can trigger a wide range of emotions from sad to mad to confused, and emotional health is just as important as physical health.

“My colleagues and I wanted to create a resource that could inform and empower kids. We wanted to show them all the different ways they can be helpful,” says Hilton.

The result of their efforts is We’re Going to be O.K., an e-book about COVID-19 aimed at helping children in vulnerable communities stay safe, healthy and optimistic. Written by Hilton, Dr. Leigh-Ann Webb and illustrated by Ashleigh Corrin Webb, the book was one of 256 entries submitted to the Emory Global Health Institute’s COVID-19 Children’s eBook Competition, and placed among the top 5 winners.

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Hilton previously collaborated with the women on a community outreach initiative called “Stayin’ Alive,” a downloadable flyer that offers tips and information for vulnerable African American communities on preparation, prevention and symptoms of COVID-19.

“We wanted to literally put this information in the hands of citizens,” says Hilton. “Our goal was to spread the message that ‘you’re not ‘stuck at home,’ you’re ‘safe at home.’ The enemy of fear is information. Medical jargon can be intimidating and cause people to disengage. Giving people digestible information empowers them to take action.”

According to College Today, Hilton has dedicated an incredible amount of time and effort toward raising awareness about

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