Joshua Solomon '95 left Bucknell after completing his degree in biochemistry and headed for Emory University School of Medicine. During medical school he spent his summer vacations in the central Philippines where he first experienced relief work and learned that "small groups with limited resources could really make a difference when they focused their efforts and understood the host's culture." He moved immediately from Emory to an intense residency at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas. After three years there he was ready for a change. He found that he needed to renew his passion for medicine. So he decided to spend a year traveling in Southeast Asia. He flew to Saigon. After two weeks of travel in the south, he decided to head north to Hoi An in central Viet Nam. His intention was to spend a couple of weeks volunteering at the local orphanage, one that had just opened its doors to outsiders. Josh found the needs to be so great that he stayed for eight months. While there he worked in improving the quality of life of the disabled children. He helped improve the basic hygiene, medical care and infrastructure, and set up programs for physiotherapy and education. He worked hard to make it possible for some of the most severely disabled to get out of their beds and into the community. Some had been bedridden for years.
Josh returned to Denver to complete a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care at the University of Colorado and National Jewish Health. While there he formed the Hoi An Foundation in order to continue funding the work in Viet Nam. He returned yearly to the orphanage in order to continue improving the medical conditions for the children there. At the completion of his fellowship, Josh decided to return to Hoi An and worked to improve the lives of both the children in the orphanage and the general population of Hoi An. This time he stayed more than three years focusing on what he felt were the largest gaps in care: pediatric HIV, congenital and acquired heart defects and chronic disease management in adults. He and those working with him have served thousands of patients, outfitted and trained 35 local clinics and their employees, completed cardiac reparative surgery on children and adults and provided direct care for children with HIV.
Today Dr. Solomon is a staff physician at the No. 1 ranked pulmonary hospital in the United States, National Jewish Health, where he does research on interstitial lung diseases. He is also a Pulmonary/ Critical Care specialist on the faculty of the University of Colorado Medical School.
Dr. Joshua Solomon has achieved tremendous respect and success in his chosen profession and has willingly mentored others, including several Bucknell doctors studying in Denver. Josh has also shown heartfelt compassion toward the most needy. He has shown that small groups with little financing can make life-changing differences in the quality of life of others.
For all of these reasons, the Bucknell Alumni Association is proud to present its Young Alumni Award to Dr. Joshua Solomon, Class of 1995.