Tag Archives: Linda Gruber

Dr. Bruce Douglas, someone we all should know

Dr. Bruce Douglas and former Chicago Chapter board member, Dr. Linda Gruber, who currently resides in Arizona.

Dr. Bruce Douglas and former Chicago Chapter board member, Dr. Linda Gruber, who currently resides in Arizona.

By Mary Mares-AweTHIS YEAR. THE WORLD MARKS the 70th Anniversary of the End of World War II. The American forces who liberated the world from the Nazi/fascist terror are part of what’s known as “The Greatest Generation”. A generation that distinguished itself with bravery, sacrifice and a sense of duty to make the world a safer place for the next generations. For that, we owe them our gratitude. Today, the concept of a safe world is especially poignant as new forms of terror are rearing their evil heads in many parts of the world. We are reminded of just how grateful we should all be, to the allied soldiers who destroyed an evil 70 years ago, so that we can now live free.

I’m proud to know a member of the “Greatest Generation,” and he is one of us –a Fulbrighter. His name is Dr. Bruce Douglas and he has a long list of honors next to his name. He served in the Pacific Theater with the US Navy, and was stationed in Japan and Korea for several years. He received his undergraduate education at Princeton, where he was impressed with the University’s motto, “in the nation’s (later changed to the “world’s) service”; he received a dental degree from New York University and his postgraduate training in oral and maxillofacial surgery at Columbia University.

Dr. Douglas returned to Japan as a Fulbright professor, where he taught innovative techniques in oral surgery to Japanese students and doctors at Okayama University, from 1959 to 1961. He learned Japanese and became a part of the local community, renting a typical Japanese house. His wife gave birth to their second son, who was the biggest baby ever born at Okayama University Hospital. Japanese was their first son’s initial language. The Douglas family’s community role led local leaders to request a renewal of his Fulbright grant, and Bruce was granted an unprecedented second Fulbright year as a result.

Bruce’s outlook on the world matured when, as a teenager, he spent three summers at a scholarship summer camp in upstate New York where, as he says, “I met kids from all over the world,” as well as boys from outside his confined Brooklyn neighborhood. “That was the start of my international experience,” which ultimately led to his Fulbright years in Japan. “I knew then, that I was going to do things that were international in nature,” he adds.

Bruce’s interest in education, led him to Columbia University Teachers College, where he received a Master’s degree and a Professional Diploma in Higher Education. Bruce says the highlights of his studies at Columbia were courses with the world-renowned anthropologist Margaret Mead and Donald Tewksbury, Professor of International Education.

Dr. Bruce Douglas and Hon. Consul General of Japan, Toshiyuki Iwado discussing education issues during a recent reception at the consul's residence.

Dr. Bruce Douglas and Hon. Consul General of Japan, Toshiyuki Iwado discussing education issues during a recent reception at the consul’s residence.

His introduction to Fulbright came from a Japanese Fulbright professor, whom he had met earlier while serving in the Navy in Japan, who asked him to come to Japan to teach and conduct research. Today Bruce still keeps up with his contacts in Japan, and he is a personal friend of the Japanese Consul General in Chicago.

After his Fellowship, Bruce spent a year at the University of California acquiring a Master’s degree in Public Health, which ultimately became the foundation for all his future professional activities. He moved with his family to Chicago where he became Professor of Oral Medicine at the UIC College of Dentistry and Professor of Preventive Medicine at the College of Medicine. He also began a long part-time career as an oral surgeon in Chicago’s and, later, Waukegan’s lower-income neighborhoods.

Dr. Douglas and his wife Jan at the 2013 Fulbright Chicago Holidays Reception, where Dr. Douglas received the Pioneer Award. With the, Dr. Ron Harvey.

Dr. Douglas and his wife Jan at the 2013 Fulbright Chicago Holidays Reception, where Dr. Douglas received the Pioneer Award. With them, Dr. Ron Harvey.

He continued his Fulbright legacy, becoming co-founder of the Fulbright Association’s Chicago Chapter, and its first president. He was also a Fulbright “ambassador” to the Soviet Union and Russia in 1990, 1992 and 1995.

In the ’70s he served as an elected member of the Illinois House of Representatives and was instrumental in encouraging the State of Illinois to invest in a School of Public Health at UIC, of which he was the first faculty member. As a legislator, he introduced and passed many pieces of legislation, most notably in the fields of public health and education; but the two for which he is best known were the right-turn-on-red law and the start of the Illinois lottery, in the “mistaken expectation” he adds, that its profits would all go into public education.

In July of this year, Bruce celebrated his 90th birthday. He was invited to return to the UIC School of Public Health in October of 2014, to which he commutes three days a week as Professor of Health and Aging; and he has also been reappointed Professor of Oral Medicine at the College of Dentistry. He has recently published a compendium of his work on the subject of “the older worker,” which is a field in which he has published and lectured widely.

I had the privilege to interview Bruce about his Fulbright and life experiences at his North Shore home, where I also met his lovely wife and their little grandson Joey —Bruce’s pride and joy. Bruce met Jan, his second wife, in Thailand where they were both serving as WHO consultants. Jan is the Human Resource Director of Refugee One, a major Chicago organization that settles refugees from some of the most deprived places on earth. Their first child, Sarah, works with the UN Women’s Peace and Security Division, in a high ranking managerial position. Another daughter, Sandy, whom they adopted when she was four, from Colombia, where Bruce had served as a WHO consultant, also works for Refugee One.

The content of the interview goes well beyond the scope of this blog post, but I wanted to share portions of it with you, so that you too can get to know one of the most distinguished and inspirational members of our Chicago Chapter, and someone we all should know.

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Columbia College Chicago hosts 2012 Winter Holiday event and Dee Sarelas Service Award Ceremony

Over 90 people participated on the 2012 Winter Holiday event

Over 90 people participated in the 2012 Winter Holiday event

ON DECEMBER 7, 2012, OVER 90 people attended the Winter Holidays Reception and the 2012 Dee Sarelas Service Award Ceremony that took place in Columbia College Chicago.

It was a night of camaraderie and enthusiasm.

In this opportunity Fulbright scholars came with their families and had the chance to interact with Fulbright students, Fulbright alumni and several representatives from the Consular Corps.

Nancy Day, Chairperson of the Journalism Department at Columbia College Chicago welcomes the audience

Nancy Day, Chairperson of the Journalism Department at Columbia College Chicago welcomes the audience

Nancy Day, chairperson of the Journalism Department at Columbia College Chicago and a Fulbrighter to Russia welcomed the participants. After being introduced by Elio Leturia, president of the Chicago Chapter and an associate professor at Columbia College, Day remembered the significant experience she had during her time abroad and encouraged the foreign students to explore Chicago and enjoy their stay in the Windy City.

Fulbright scholars attended the event with their children

Fulbright scholars attended the event with their families and children

Lexy Gore from WorldChicago was among the guests and acknowledged the fact that this gathering had offered the chance to bring students, scholars and alumni together. “This is a great event,” she said.

A Columbia College Chicago Jazz trio entertained the audience with beautiful music celebrating the holidays.

The Dee Sarelas Service Award Ceremony also took place that night. This is the third edition of the award that honors Dee Sarelas.

Thomas Ahleman, vice president of the Chicago Chapter presents the award to Dr. Ana Gil García

Thomas Ahleman, Vice President of the Chicago Chapter and 2011 Dee Sarelas Service Award recipient presents the award to Dr. Ana Gil García

Dr. Ana Gil-García was the 2012 recipent of the Dee Sarelas Service Award

Dr. Ana Gil-García was the 2012 recipent of the Dee Sarelas Service Award

Dr. Ana Gil García, a professor at Northeastern University was given the award, which was presented by Thomas Ahleman, vice president of the Chicago Chapter and last year’s winner. Gil García shared with the audience her memories of Dee Sarelas, a Fulbrighter to Greece who started the Chicago Chapter years ago. Gil García eloquently explained the efforts of Sarelas in bringing together the Fulbright community in Chicago.

“I am deeply honored to get this award,” Gil García said.

Gil García, who was also a president of the Chicago Chapter during the years 2007 and 2008 had come back from a visiting professorship abroad in Egypt where she continued her efforts with the Book Partnership program, an initiative that donates books to schools and universities around the world, which she started five years ago.

Dr. Ana Gil García with Amy Segami and Judith Yturriago

Dr. Ana Gil García with Amy Segami and Judith Yturriago

Dr. Ana Gil García and Ronald Harvey, Secretary of the Chicago Chapter

Dr. Ana Gil García and Ronald Harvey, Secretary of the Chicago Chapter

Columbia College Journalism Department Chairperson Nancy Day and Fulbright alumni

Columbia College Journalism Department Chairperson Nancy Day and Fulbright alumni

Norma Green with Linda and Frank Gruber

Norma Green with Linda and Frank Gruber

Marilyn Susman, 2010 Dee Sarelas Service Award recipient and her husband

Marilyn Susman, 2010 Dee Sarelas Service Award recipient and her husband

Students, scholars, alumni and guests enjoying the event

Students, scholars, alumni and guests enjoying the event

Students, scholars, alumni and guests enjoying the event

Students, scholars, alumni and guests enjoying the event

Students, scholars, alumni and guests enjoying the event

Students, scholars, alumni and guests enjoying the event

Students, scholars, alumni and guests enjoying the event

Students, scholars, alumni and guests enjoying the event

Students, scholars, alumni and guests enjoying the event

Students, scholars, alumni and guests enjoying the event

Students, scholars, alumni and guests enjoying the event

Students, scholars, alumni and guests enjoying the event

Students, scholars, alumni and guests enjoying the event

Students, scholars, alumni and guests enjoying the event

A Columbia College trio played jazz music at the Holiday event

A Columbia College trio played jazz music at the Holiday event

Students, scholars, alumni and guests enjoying the event

Students, scholars, alumni and guests enjoying the event

Students, scholars, alumni and guests enjoying the event

Students, scholars, alumni and guests enjoying the event

Photos by Ronald Harvey

What a Rush! Our Architectural Tour and American Health Care System presentation were a success

Fulbright students and alumni during the Rush Hospital architectural tour. Group 1 was led by Dr. Lynne Braun (third from right.) At the far left, board member Heidi Rockwell.

The impressive Rush Tower

APPROXIMATELY 80 PEOPLE attended a presentation on the American Health Care System by Peter W. Butler, President and Chief Operating Officer of Rush University Medical Center, at the March 10th event of the Chicago chapter.

His talk carried even more meaning due to its setting—the new state of the art, fourteen-story Rush Tower, the latest addition to Rush Hospital’s campus.

Mr. Butler opened his remarks with the statement that “We like health care in America,” and that was proven true by the statistics he showed that underscore the complexity of this issue in American society.

Mr. Peter W. Butler, President and Chief Operating Officer of Rush University Medical Center during his presentation

Each patient room has a window with an extraordinary view of the city

Topics covered by him were population trends, distribution of insurance coverage by state, the length of hospital stays, types of hospitals, an international comparison of spending on health care, and health care reform.

A possible caveat for the Midwesterners in the audience is to stay healthy because the Northeast region of the U.S. has many more doctors than the Midwest!

The Consul Generals posted in Chicago who were present were appreciative of a chance to hear about our health care system by a hospital administrator and to view such an architecturally stunning example of a recently completed hospital.

Mr. Butler gave his presentation on the American Health Care System

Following the presentation, a Question and Answer session was held which allowed Mr. Butler an opportunity to further explain the many challenges that health care systems face in our country.

A tour of portions of the new tower ensued, led by staff members of the medical and nursing faculty—expert guides.

Following the presentation, the audience was divided in groups for the architectural tour. The guides were, from right to left (first row,) Dr. Annabelle Volgman, Dr. Lynne T. Braun, Dr. Susanna Chubinskaya and Ms. Janet Myers

Tour goers were impressed by the attention to detail that was designed into the new facility with the outcome of an increase in quality patient care and comfort.  Whether it was the unique butterfly-shaped floor wings, the high-tech touch in patient rooms, the play space for visiting children, or the indoor-outdoor atrium in the entrance pavilion, attendees felt that Rush care givers have hit the mark in their new structure’s layout and features. Not to be overlooked is the eastward view of Chicago from the hospital’s outdoor terraces—a special treat for patients, visitors, and staff.

Dr. Susanna Chubinskaya (right) leading a group of Fulbright students and alumni during the architectural tour. Here, at the lobby of the new tower.

And all this started with a tasty breakfast, with plenty of fruit, coffee, orange juice, bagels and an array of pastries.

Mr. Peter W. Butler, President and Chief Operating Officer of Rush University Medical Center, Dr. Linda Gruber, board member of the Chicago Chapter and Elio Leturia, President of the Chicago Chapter of the Fulbright Association

The event was carefully organized by a committee led by Dr. Linda Gruber, with the assistance of Bruni Hirsch and Jason Romano, all board members of the Chicago Chapter of the Fulbright Association, and with the extraordinary support of Dr. Lynne T. Braun and Janet Myers from Rush Hospital.

A special operating room where physicians of different specialties can work together at the same time, while up to 15 students can observe the procedures.

Fourteenth floor of the new Rush Hospital Tower. The design allows nurses to be very close to patients' rooms.

Ample patient room features specially designed furniture for family members to spend the night, flat television, security box, enough storage room and a bathroom able to accommodate people in wheelchairs, among other features.

Gorgeous atrium allows the light to come into the different floors of the tower.

The unique butterfly shaped design allows every patient room to have a window and lots of light. The building also has beautiful outdoor terraces, quiet open areas and spaces for children.

Photos courtesy Ron Harvey, Vannapha Phommathansy, Frank Gruber