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Dr. Gloria Wade Gayles

Virginia Davis Floyd

Visiting Scholar in Traditional Knowledge
Executive Director, PROMETRA USA

Virginia Davis Floyd, “Ginger” received her undergraduate education at Spelman College in Atlanta and Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan. She received her MD degree from Howard University College of Medicine in 1976.

Floyd completed her residency training in internal medicine at Emory/Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta in 1979, and received her Masters of Public Health from Emory University in 1987. As a National Health Service Corps (NHSC) scholarship recipient, she established a rural-based primary health care center which continues to serve as the health care nucleus for a rural Georgia community.

In 2003, Ginger was appointed as a Visiting Scholar in Traditional Knowledge at Spelman College, Atlanta, Georgia where she serves as a faculty member in the Spelman Independent Scholars (SIS) Program. She also serves as the Executive Director of PROMETRA USA, a non profit, US based organization dedicated to research and educational activities within the area of traditional knowledge systems, traditional medicine and global cross cultural experiences.

From 1997 – 2002, Ginger served as the Director of Human Development and Reproductive Health for the Ford Foundation in New York City. She provided leadership for a global team of program officers in grant making activities in the US and overseas. Her program’s funding approach utilized a focus on racial, ethnic, gender and class inequalities to address issues of economic and social marginalization, environmental sustainability and reproductive health.    

Ginger served as the Director of the Family Health Branch, Division of Public Health for the Georgia Department of Human Resources from 1984- 1997. Programs under her direction included Child and Adolescent Health, Women’s Health, WIC & Nutrition Program, Immunization, Family Planning, Children with Special Health Care Needs (Children’s Medical Services, Genetics and Children 1st Early Intervention Program). Ginger directed a staff of over 100 people and managed a budget of approximately $240 million dollars. During this period she served as a principal investigator for the World Health Organization Collaborating Center in Perinatal Care and Health Services Research in Maternal & Child Health.

In 1987, Ginger was appointed to serve as Acting Director of the Southern Regional Project by Georgia Governor Harris for the Southern Governors’ Association and Southern Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. This project coordinated infant mortality reduction activities throughout nineteen states in the Southeast region. In 1991, she was selected as one of 50 W.K. Kellogg Foundation National Leadership Fellows. During her three year fellowship she obtained hands on experience within, and an understanding of, indigenous cultures and traditional medicine throughout West Africa, the Caribbean, North and Central America. She continues working with indigenous African and Native American people in the area of traditional medicine and indigenous science through her work with the Association for the Promotion of Traditional Medicine (PROMETRA).