. Herman Ernest Memorial Health Screening Initiative - New Orleans Musicians' Clinic

Herman Ernest Memorial Health Screening Initiative

NOMAF's Herman Ernest Memorial Health Screening Initiative

Saving Lives Through Early Detection & Prevention

About the Herman Ernest Health Screening Initiative

The late “diesel funk drummer” Herman “Roscoe” Ernest greatly impacted the Tulane and NOMC medical teams who cared for him during his battle with head & neck cancer.  To honor of Herman’s wishes that awareness, prevention, and early detection spread throughout our community,  Joyce Ernest, Herman’s widow, collaborated with the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic & Assistance Foundation (NOMAF) and the Department of Otolaryngology at Tulane University School of Medicine to create The Herman Ernest Memorial Health Screening Initiative.  The ultimate goal is to save lives through early detection.

This innovative program is conducted in partnership with Healing Hands Across the Divide (HHAD),  a non-profit headed by Dr. Paul Friedlander, Herman’s surgeon at the Tulane University School of Medicine.  HHAD provides free monthly head, neck and mouth cancer screenings throughout the community, reaching out to those at greater risk for theses cancers, namely African Americans and uninsured patients whose mortality rates are respectively two and three times worse than that of their non-African American and insured counterparts.  Many patients at the NOMC meet one or both of these criteria.

The New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic and Assistance Foundation (NOMAF) officially kicked-off its Herman Ernest Memorial Health Screening Initiative on Sunday, August 7, 2011 with a special Satchmo Fest concert, although the screenings had begun in April 2011.

Monthly community head and neck cancer screenings are conducted by the Herman Ernest Health Screening Initiative together with Healing Hands Across the Divide.   Please check back for updates on upcoming screening events.  Remember, if you cannot make a community screening, you can always ask Catherine or your dentist to perform one of these quick and simple exams.

CONTACT US:  Stacey Morigeau              programs@nomaf.org



Herman “Roscoe” Ernest was an influential New Orleans funk drummer who created the genre known as “Diesel Funk” and is best known for his performances with Dr. John’s band the Lower 911 for almost 30 years. Herman was not only a well-respected musician, but he was also a role model and leader in his community. When he wasn’t on the road or in the recording studio, Herman was making the city a safer, more spiritual, and promising place. He was a deputy sheriff for the NOPD, an active member of the Greater Liberty Baptist Church on Desire Street, and a drumming instructor for children at the Louis Armstrong Summer Jazz Camp.

Even in the days prior to his tragically early death in March 2011 from cancer of the tongue, Herman was thinking of others and wished to continue to make his a community a better place. He challenged his medical team to spread awareness of head and neck cancers and promote early detection of such diseases to prevent others from falling victim to it.

Additional artists Herman Ernest has performed with: Johnny Adams, Marcia Ball, Solomon Burke, Shemekia Copeland, Jeremy Davenport, Lee Dorsey, Snooks Eaglin, Etta James, Earl King, Patti LaBelle, John Mayall, The Meters, The Neville Brothers, Anders Osborne, Earl Palmer, Maceo Parker, Wardell Quezergue, Herlin Riley, Kermit Ruffins, Irma Thomas, Allen Toussaint, Johnny Vidacovich, Phillip Walker, Junior Wells and Marva Wright.



Herman Ernest 1951-2011 / Photo donated by Nunu Zomot

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