Native Ethiopian couple, Dr. Asefa Mekonnen and Dr. Belen Tesfaye were among the Washington Adventist University’s 2018 Visionaries Gala Awardees, in category “For Excellence for a Legacy of Healthcare Innovation”
TAKOMA PARK, Md. (WAU)—Washington Adventist University conveyed four prestigious Awards for Excellence at its 6th annual Visionaries Gala on September 16, 2018.. Noting that WAU is preparing world-class citizens to serve in communities around the world, university President Weymouth Spence thanked the honorees for their service to humanity. By honoring these heroes of healthcare and medicine, Dr. Spence said, “We are creating an environment of excellence” in which to educate our students.
Dr. Spence cited three reasons behind the Visionaries Gala. First to share WAU’s vision for engaging the minds and transforming the lives of our students. Second, to recognize people who have made excellence their standard. Finally, President Spence said, “We are working to make a WAU education accessible to all students.” To that end, he identified a final goal of encouraging charitable giving to the university that will provide a “path to success” for all students.
Native Ethiopians, Dr. Asefa Mekonnen and Dr. Belen Tesfaye were among the 2018 Visionaries Gala Awardees for Excellence for a Legacy of Healthcare Innovation. The husband and wife team of Asefa Mekonnen and Belen Tesfaye focuses their philanthropic work on education and healthcare to under-served communities. Dr. Asefa Jejaw Mekonnen was born in Gonder, Ethiopia. He has served as Chief of Pulmonary Medicine at Suburban Hospital/John Hopkins Medicine and is currently Director of the Premier Sleep Disorders Center and Partner at Rockville Internal Medicine Group.
Dr. Belen A. Tesfaye earned her medical degree in 2004 from Jimma University Medical School, Jimma, Ethiopia, with top honors. She completed her internal medicine residency at Howard University Hospital, as well as a clinical gastroenterology and hepatology fellowship, where she was elected to the National Medical Honor Society, Alpha Omega Alpha. She is a member of the American College of Gastroenterology, American Society for Neurogastroenterology and Motility and serves on the committee for the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.
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