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A Message from the Alumni Association President

The road to a medical career is long, as Lagu Androga, M.D. ’16, can attest. Born in Sudan, Africa, he escaped to Kenya after civil war broke out in his homeland, lived in a Nairobi slum, and studied in Wales and Connecticut before eventually coming to Einstein and Montefiore.

I feel a connection to him because of my own journey: I was born in Sweden to two Holocaust survivors from Poland, attended high school and college in New Orleans, and came to the Bronx when I matriculated at Einstein. This medical school offered me not only a warm welcome but also academic and research excellence, along with a strong emphasis on humanism and social justice, and it became my lifelong home.

Dr. Androga, whom we profile in this edition of Motivations, has found a home here too. And we are not alone. Many people feel this sense of belonging for many reasons. We see it in our Children’s Hospital Innovation Lab (CHILZone). Its team members work every day—thanks in large part to two donors who facilitated a corporate gift—to turn customized virtual-reality experiences into pain-management solutions. We see it also in the Einstein Student Mental Health Center, which opened in September 2018 to provide students with an on-site hub for mental health services. You can read more about these topics in the links above—or, better yet, visit the Einstein campus and engage with the faculty, students, and programs that make Einstein and Montefiore the world-class academic medical centers they are today.

Whether you’re  from Sudan, Sweden, or the South Bronx, you came to Einstein because you believe that empathy and humanism are essential parts of being a physician.

I encourage you to join me in strengthening the institution that has educated and shaped us, in turn reinforcing the compassion that drew so many of us to the medical profession—and to the vibrancy of the Bronx, an amazing borough tucked into one of the best cities in the world.

With warm regards,

Janina R. Galler, M.D. ’72

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