The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Science’s Medical Mission Hall of Fame will induct its 13th class of honorees Saturday, April 18.
Dr. Alfredo Casino, Dr. Abali Chuku and Dr. Paul Williams will be honored during a program in Collier Building Room 1000B on UT’s Health Science Campus beginning at 7 p.m.
That evening, Dr. Clint Longenecker will receive the Lawrence V. Conway Distinguished Lifetime Service Award for his humanitarian work.
A native of the Philippines who now lives in Akron, “Poppy” Casino founded the American Foundation to Aid the Poor in 1986. The organization is designed to provide medical care to the needy in his native land, with a focus on the repair of cleft lips and palates, after he learned of double and triple the incidence in the Philippines and Asia compared to the Western world.
American Foundation to Aid the Poor also provides safe drinking water in many rural communities and supports Philippine-based surgeons so they can do post-operative follow-up and perform multi-stage procedures that can’t be done effectively on short-term mission trips.
A graduate of the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Casino was a surgeon for more than 30 years, first at Barberton Citizens Hospital in Barberton, Ohio, and then at Wadsworth-Rittman Hospital in Wadsworth, Ohio.
An ophthalmologist based in Umuahia, Nigeria, Chuku turned the decaying 327-bed Federal Medical Centre — the former Queen Elizabeth Hospital — in Umuahia into a center of excellence for those in need despite an assassination attempt on his life as he fought a culture of corruption and graft.
Appointed chief medical director of the Federal Medical Centre in 2011 after serving for 15 years as head of ophthalmology at that institution, Chuku was shot later that year below the abdomen and in his left arm as he was going to his car that was parked at the hospital. At the time, he was in the process of revamping a hospital that had lost huge sums of money because of collusion and embezzlement despite receiving increased funding from the government. After a year of surgeries and physical recovery in England, Chuku has returned to the Federal Medical Centre and has transformed the facility into one that has modern surgical suites, state-of-the-art equipment and a well-trained staff.
He earned his medical degree at the University of Nigeria, Nsukku.
A veteran medical missionary who has been involved in more than 200 medical mission and disaster relief efforts in more than 100 countries, Williams founded HealthCare Ministries, the medical missions program of the Assemblies of God, and later the medical division of Operation Blessing and the International HealthCare Network.
Williams, of Pisgah Forest, N.C., has organized and led medical teams in response to a number of major world disasters. From refugee camps created as a result of the Rwandan Civil War, to cyclone-devastated Bangladesh, to hurricane-ravaged Nicaragua and Honduras, to tsunami devastation in Indonesia, Williams has led thousands of missionaries who have treated hundreds of thousands of patients.
He earned his medical degree from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
Longenecker is the Stranahan Professor of Leadership and Organizational Excellence in the UT College of Business and Innovation. Recognized by The Economist as one of the top 15 business educators in the world and the recipient of more than 20 outstanding teaching awards, Longenecker also is an active community servant, a committed member of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church, and an active Bible study leader and Christian speaker. The UT alumnus has spent extensive time working in Haiti managing missionary schools and hospital construction projects as well as disaster relief programs. He and his wife, Cindy, have three children, including Steven, who was adopted as the result of their missionary work.
Dr. Lawrence V. Conway, UT professor emeritus of finance, founded the Medical Mission 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 Medical Mission 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.
For more information, contact Dan Saevig, UT associate vice president of alumni relations, at 419.530.4008.