As the big United 777 lifted off the runway in Shanghai, headed for the U.S., I looked over my shoulder at the disappearing landscape - and thought of the three special people: each, in her own way, representing that next generation of Chinese society.
He Jing Cheng, at two years of age, has a new life before her. She had just arrived from Wenzhou, a city of nine million in Zhejiang Province, when we met, after a two hour plane ride with her mom. She would have congenital heart surgery the next morning at the hospital HOPE helped create, the Shanghai Children's Medical Center (SCMC). It would be lifesaving for her.
Dr. Ji Qing-ying is the Vice Director of the SCMC and Director of its Social Worker Department. A nationally-recognized neonatologist, she became increasingly concerned for the socioeconomic barriers, which her patients and their families faced. She then pursued a graduate degree in Social Work, nights and weekends over three years, at Hong Kong University. She was subsequently recognized, by the country's leadership, as "one of the top ten Social Workers" in China.
Pam Cheng is the new President of MSD China (known as Merck in the U.S. and Canada.) Born in China, she grew up in the U.S. and China, earning graduate degrees in chemical engineering and business. She joined Merck and was quickly recognized for her expertise in process engineering, with recent responsibilities for the company's end-to-end global supply chain management.
Each of these individuals, in her own way, is a member of HOPE's extended family - as a beneficiary of our care, as a partner with our staff and as a champion of our programs. They were with me in spirit, as I made the journey back to Washington, a flight filled with warm memories of three people, among many, so special to HOPE.
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