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Catena Lecture in Medicine, Faith, and Science: “Shalom: Our Ministry of Reconciliation in Medicine in Sub-Saharan Africa”

March 30 @ 5:30 pm 7:00 pm

The Catena lectureship invites speakers whose work displays innovative scholarship, service and institution-building at the intersection of theology, medicine and culture. This year’s Catena Lecture speaker is Dr. Russ White, medical missionary and chief of surgery at Tenwek Hospital in Kenya.

Dr. Russ White was born in the Belgian Congo to medical missionary parents. He attended Roberts Wesleyan College, the University of Michigan School of Medicine, and the Harvard University School of Public Health. He completed a general surgical residency at Brown University and a fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol, England. He has served as the chief of surgery at Tenwek Mission Hospital in Kenya since 1997, where he spends the majority of his time. He is a clinical professor of surgery at Brown University School of Medicine in Providence, Rhode Island, USA. He was the program director of the Tenwek Hospital General Surgery Residency program from 2008 until 2017. In this capacity, he worked as a full-time medical missionary with World Gospel Mission with other consultant Christian surgeons at Tenwek Hospital to train ten surgical residents in a fully approved 5-year general surgical residency.

In 2018, he initiated the first fellowship-level training in cardiothoracic surgery in the region, which graduated its first board-certified cardiothoracic surgeon in January 2021. He is also the Chairman of the Education and Scientific Research Committee for the College of Surgeons of East, Central, and Southern Africa, responsible for education and research for surgical residents in training in 13 different countries in the region. His passion is for teaching and mentoring young surgeons in a distinctly Christian setting. He has special interests in cancer of the esophagus and rheumatic heart disease. Dr. White was awarded the American College of Surgeon’s “Humanitarian Surgeon of the Year” award in 2012, The Surgical Society of Kenya’s “Surgeon of the Year” in 2017, and the L’Chaim Prize for Outstanding Christian Medical Mission Service in 2017, awarded through the African Mission Health Foundation.

Dr. White is currently working closely with Tenwek Hospital and Samaritan’s Purse to build a new cardiothoracic center at Tenwek Hospital. This will be the largest dedicated cardiothoracic unit in Sub-Saharan Africa. Construction began in 2021 and should be completed by January 2024.

A reception just outside Goodson Chapel will follow Dr. White’s lecture from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.


Program in Theology, Medicine, and Culture
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