New class to be inducted into Medical Mission Hall of Fame

April 10, 2013 | Events, UToday, Medicine and Life Sciences, UTMC
By Staff



The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Science’s Medical Mission Hall of Fame will induct its 11th class of honorees Saturday, April 13.

Dr. Richard Paat, Dr. Pablo Pons, Dr. Maria Pons and Dr. Albert Roode will be honored during a program in Collier Building Room 1000B on UT’s Health Science Campus beginning at 7 p.m. Admission to the program is free; reservations are not required.

For 20 years, Paat’s commitment to improving the human condition has eased suffering in the Philippines, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Tanzania and Haiti. As chair of medical missions for the Filipino Association of Toledo’s Special Commission on Education and Relief, the UT clinical professor of internal medicine brings five volunteer medical teams to those countries each year. The Maumee resident has led 51 medical missions and disaster relief teams that have treated more than 79,500 patients around the world.

In 2010, Paat brought a medical team to Haiti to care for earthquake victims. He’s also organized emergency medical relief teams in Honduras after Hurricane Mitch, in Indonesia after a tsunami, and in Biloxi, Miss., after Hurricane Katrina. He also serves as the volunteer medical director for International Services of Hope, a faith-based non-governmental organization that provides free surgical care for indigent children from foreign countries.

Pablo and Maria Pons

Pablo and Maria Pons

In addition to his global work, Paat has provided free medical care to the uninsured and homeless in the Toledo area for the past 13 years, volunteering at a free inner-city medical clinic and running a mobile migrant worker clinic during the summers. In 2012, he established a free medical clinic in Perrysburg Heights, a poverty-level, Hispanic community, which last year treated 1,000 patients throughout the Toledo region that otherwise would have limited access to medical care.

Named the Catholic Doctor of the Year by the Mission Doctors Association in 2010, Paat completed his medical degree at the former Medical College of Ohio in 1986, earning honors in pulmonary medicine and hematology/oncology.

Pablo and Maria Pons[/caption]Pablo and Maria Pons of Dublin, Ohio, are founders of the Midwest Medical Mission. The organization of physicians, nurses, therapists and technicians from Ohio, Michigan and West Virginia has served tens of thousands of people in the Dominican Republic on a quarterly basis for 30 years.



Midwest Medical Mission — which at one time also made trips to Haiti — has grown to include more than 25 physicians and surgeons and more than 40 nurses, therapists and technicians. The organization operates on an annual budget of less than $10,000, and members donate their time and pay for their own travel expenses. Any money raised goes for the purchase of medicines and transportation while in that country.

To be inducted posthumously, Roode, a native of Donora, Penn., was given the native name “Lukurnyang” on behalf of thousands of Murle patients he treated at Pibor in South Sudan following the end of World War II. Forced to leave by political unrest in 1964, Roode is fondly remembered by that ethnic group more than 50 years later. His son, Dr. Peter Roode, is attempting to rebuild the hospital his father constructed in Pibor that was damaged in two civil wars.

Paat and Pablo and Maria Pons will attend the event; Roode will be represented by his son. The class of 2013 joins 34 prior recipients in receiving the honor.

Also to be recognized and in attendance will be Dr. Scott McLean and Dr. Todd Brickman, who will receive the Lawrence V. Conway Distinguished Service Award in honor of founding Students for Medical Missions at the former MCO in 1998 after McLean returned from a medical mission trip to Peru.

Brickman, left, and McLean

Brickman, left, and McLean

Now an assistant professor in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the Louisiana State University School of Medicine, Brickman completed his bachelor’s degrees from UT in chemistry and exercise science in 1993. He earned his medical degree from MCO in 2002 and his PhD in biomedical sciences from UT in 2007. A surgical intern at Strong Memorial Hospital at the University of Rochester Medical Center, he also completed his otolaryngology residency there in 2007. Brickman served as a microvascular/head and neck fellow at Saint Louis University/Washington University School of Medicine and Saint Louis University Hospital/Barnes Jewish Hospital in 2007 and 2008.

Now a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Michigan, McLean completed his bachelor of science degree at UM in 1991 and his MD/PhD at MCO in 1999. He served an internship in surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., in 2000, and finished his residency in otolaryngology at the Mayo Clinic in 2004. A fellowship in the Cranial Base Program at UM followed in 2005.

Conway, of Toledo, founded the Medical Mission Hall of Fame in 2004 to honor those individuals and/or organizations that have made significant contributions to advancing the medical well-being of people throughout the world. He is a UT professor emeritus of finance.

The Medical Mission Hall of Fame became an affiliate of UT’s College of Medicine and Life Sciences in 2006. A permanent home for the Medical Mission Hall of Fame has been established in the atrium of the Center for Creative Education.

For more information, contact Dan Saevig, UT associate vice president for alumni relations, at 419.530.4008.

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