The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Science’s Global Medical Missions Hall of Fame will induct a new class of honorees Saturday, April 1.
The Galilee Medical Center, Dr. Donald C. Mullen and Dr. Vadrevu (V.K.) Raju will be honored during the program in Collier Building Room 1000 on UT’s Health Science Campus beginning at 7:30 p.m.
“People to People Medicine” is the vision of the Galilee Medical Center, which is a national center of excellence and represents the highest ethical principles and humane values, reaching beyond the sectarian religious and ethnic hatreds that bloody most of the Middle East. Syria, racked by its own civil war, continues to maintain its decades old war with its southern neighbor, Israel, while actively supporting continuing terror against the Jewish state.
The Israeli hospital and its multi-religious and ethnic staff are a few kilometers from the northern border with Syria and accepts the war wounded and civilian personnel who are secretly spirited across the border from the devastating conflict in Syria seeking and receiving care.For the past 30 years, Dr. Donald Mullen has devoted his life to working in developing countries around the world. Born in Charlotte, N.C., he graduated from the Citadel in 1957 and received a medical degree and completed his residency at Duke University in 1969. After 20 years as a successful cardiovascular surgeon in Charlotte and Milwaukee who performed more than 3,000 open-heart procedures and many thousands of thoracic and vascular surgeries, he obtained a master of divinity at Princeton Theological Seminary and was ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 1991.
In 1980, Mullen received a call from the World Medical Mission to go to Tenwek Hospital in Kenya for a month, and his life has not been the same since. He made a radical change of direction in his life, working throughout the world as a dedicated medical missionary. He has worked for the Presbyterian Church (USA), Samaritans Purse International Relief, the Christian Medical and Dental Association, and as chairman of the board of the Philadelphia International Foundation. He has worked in three war zones; twice in Iraq and in Sudan and Rwanda, and in Africa, the Far East and the Middle East.
Mullen concluded his career as a parish associate in Highland, N.C., where he also was elected mayor. He has recently published a book of his life, “A Radical Change of Direction; Memoir of the Spiritual Journey of a Surgeon.”For the past four decades, Dr. Vadrevu (V.K.) Raju has been on a crusade to eliminate avoidable blindness in parts of the world plagued by poverty and poor access to medical care. Born in India, he earned a medical degree from Andrah University and completed an ophthalmology residency and fellowship at the Royal Eye Group of Hospitals in London. He is board-certified in ophthalmology and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons and the American College of Surgeons. He is a clinical professor at West Virginia University, the section chief of the Ophthalmology Department at Monongalia General Hospital, and runs a private practice.
Raju is the founder and medical director of the Eye Foundation of America. World-class state-of-the art services are rendered through traveling eye camps and permanent brick-and-motor hospitals built by the foundation, including the Goutami Eye Institute that Raju helped found in 2006. Since the inception of the Eye Foundation of America, these camps and institutes have facilitated more than 600 physician exchanges, trained more than 200 ophthalmologists, served 2 million patients, and performed 300,000 vision-saving surgeries in 21 countries operating on three guiding principles: service, teaching and research.
In children, the main focus of efforts by the Eye Foundation of America, the gift of sight results in 75 years of a full and productive life. No child will be denied treatment, and children from around the world can come to receive world-class services. Raju has said, “If blindness is preventable, then let us do it big.”
In addition, Drs. Anne and Randall Ruch, will receive the Lawrence V. Conway Distinguished Lifetime Service Award, and the UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences Alumni Community Award will be given to Dr. David Grossman.Since 1998, the Ruchs have led short-term mission trips to Guatemala after witnessing the deplorable conditions of the people living in a garbage dump and promising them that they would make a difference in their community. Nine years later, SewHope, their nonprofit organization was formed that signifies the hope of Shannon E. Wilson, a young physician who had an abounding compassion for the people of Guatemala, who died in 2006 before her dreams could be fulfilled. SewHope provides health care, nutrition, education, spiritual growth and opportunity to marginalized people in one of the most neglected parts of the world. The couple’s altruistic mission also led them to form a local nonprofit organization, Compassion Health Toledo, so they could address the health-care shortage in a medically under-served area of Toledo. Grossman graduated in 1974 from the former Medical College of Ohio and completed an internship, residency and fellowship there in 1978. He began his medical career as a member of the medical staff at Toledo and St. Vincent’s hospitals and in an internal medicine group practice. In 1989, he began his public career working for the city of Toledo’s Board of Health, was Toledo’s health commissioner and then medical director. Grossman was instrumental in the merger of the county and city health departments, and in 2000, he became the health commissioner of the combined Toledo-Lucas County Health Department, a position that he held for 16 years. Grossman was successful in the passage of the statewide smoking ban, and in 2007, he was awarded the Public Health Guardian Award by the Association of Ohio Health Commissioners, which gives recognition to outstanding and significant activities resulting in a positive impact on public health for his work on the smoking ban hearings.
In conjunction with the induction, the College of Medicine Students for Medical Missions will host a symposium, “Together, We Are the Change in Medicine,” Saturday, April 1, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Health Education Building 110. Speakers will include Mullen, Raju and the Ruchs.
Dr. Lawrence V. Conway, UT professor emeritus of finance, founded the Global Medical Missions Hall of Fame in 2004 to honor individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to advancing the medical well-being of people around the world. In 2006, the Global Medical Missions Hall of Fame became affiliated with the UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences. The hall of fame can be seen in the lobby of the Jacobs Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center.
RSVPs are requested for the free, public event: Call 419.530.2586 or 1.800.235.6766, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.