Dr. Ernest A. Bates is a neurosurgeon, veteran, philanthropist, father, and role model. Now in his 80s, he currently resides in San Francisco, and continues to practice as a neurosurgeon. Best known for his involvement in the health field, he is also the CEO, founder, and chairman of American Shared Hospital Services.His other executive roles include acting as chairman of GK Financing, LLC, and founder of the winery Black Coyote Chateau, LLC.
Dr. Ernest Bates grew up in Mount Pleasant, New York. While living there, he separated himself from the crowd early on with his education. Fighting continuous discrimination, he obtained a bachelor’s degree from Johns Hopkins University in 1958, which made him the first African American to graduate from the Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. Shortly thereafter, in 1962, Bates received his second degree from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, one of the top 40 medical schools in the United States. With two degrees under his belt, Bates completed a transitional year-long internship at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx Municipal Hospital Center in New York.
In addition to his rigorous training in the medical field, he served three years in the United States Air Force, fighting in the Vietnam War. Concluding his education in 1971, Dr. Bates completed his neurosurgery residency at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center, thus making him one of the first of three African American board-certified neurosurgeons. Dr. Bates has been an outstanding leadership role model because of his commitment to his country and to education.
Throughout his career, Dr. Bates has been a member of various professional organizations and has held many leadership positions on the corporate boards of directors. In 1983 his career continued to flourish after founding the American Shared Hospital Services, a public healthcare LLC that provides cutting-edge medical equipment and innovative technology to South America, North America, and parts of Eastern Europe. He has served on the University of California, San Francisco School of Nursing Board of Overseers, as well as the Board of Governors for the California Community Colleges.
Dr. Ernest A. Bates is a neurosurgeon, a veteran, a philanthropist, and an entrepreneur.
Dr. Bates has also earned numerous distinctions and honors and also serves on the boards for many prestigious organizations. In 2003, Dr. Bates was honored with the Heritage Award, granting him trustee emeritus status at Johns Hopkins University. In 2005, he was elected to the California Commission for Jobs and Economic Growth. As an active leader, he spent two decades as a trustee for the University of Rochester. He is also a cabinet member of The Meliora Challenge: The Campaign of the University of Rochester. He is a School of Medicine and Dentistry National Council member, and also the Capital Campaign Chairman and board member of the Museum of African Diaspora in San Francisco. He also serves as a board member of the Center for FasterCures–Milken Institute, as a member of the Brookings Institution, as a San Francisco Bay Regional Cabinet member, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Salzburg Global Seminar. Not to mention his service on the board of Copia, the American Center for Wine, Food, and the Arts. Dr. Bates became one of the first African American vintners by founding The Black Coyote, a winery in Napa Valley.
As a philanthropist, he has created the Ernest Bates Foundation, a family owned organization providing grants and scholarships to other nonprofits whose main focus is on healthcare and increasing African American and Latino education. In addition to founding the private nonprofit, he is a Charter Member of the George Eastman Circle, an annual giving society.
Dr. Bates has been a pioneer and visionary in neurosurgery, higher learning, and the wine industry, paving the way for others to follow in his footsteps. He has fought to obtain higher education as a young adult, has fought for his country, and has offered himself tirelessly to his community. Dr. Bates stands as an excellent role model for people of all backgrounds, proving that achievement comes through grit and consistency.
— Alec Taylor Pierce and Althea Pyle
“Dr. Ernest Bates.” US News & World Report. 2017.
“Catherine Waters Selected as Sally Bates Endowed Chair.” UCSF School of Nursing, University Regents. 2016.
“Executive Officers.” American Shared Hospital Services, American Shared Hospital Services. 2010. “American Shared Hospital Ser (AMS:NYSE Amex).” Bloomberg. 2017.