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We are so proud: Recognition of Excellence in Rheumatology

Becky (left) and Birhanu (right, in white jacket) with the Recognition of Excellence award from Black Lion Hospital.

Rheumatology for All (RFA) is thrilled!  Becky and Birhanu, who RFA recently sponsored for fellowship training in rheumatology, after only two years back in Ethiopia, have won the Recognition of Excellence award at Black Lion Hospital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  This award is given by the outgoing group of medical residents in recognition to the best unit in clinical services and teaching. Below is a congratulatory note from Professor Yewondwossen announcing this accomplishment to the RFA Board. Professor Yewondwossen is both a practicing nephrologist at Black Lion and a member of the RFA Board.

“Please join me in congratulating Birhanu and Becky for the recognition the Rheumatology Unit received last night as the best unit in our department by the outgoing group of residents. At the annual gala dinner that the department organizes to celebrate the completion of the training of our final year residents. There is a tradition whereby the outgoing group of residents give recognition to units and individual academic staff that they judge as the best. So yesterday the Rheumatology Unit was recognized as the best unit in clinical services and teaching. This is testimony to the hard work Birhanu, and Becky have been doing since their return from their fellowship training.
There cannot be anything more gratifying to us in RFA. We have succeeded to elevate rheumatology in the School of Medicine, Addis Ababa University, from a non-entity to recognition as the ‘Best Unit’.
Thank you Michele for your leadership and dedication all these years.
Thank you Girish for training these young men.
Thank you Carol and Rosie for your guidance and support to them over the years.


Professor Girish Mody, who was the head of the section of rheumatology at University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in Durban, South Africa and member of the board RFA, thanked his staff for contributing to the rheumatology training of Becky and Birhanu,

“We can all be proud that our hard work and dedication, collegiality, comradery, and clinical and academic commitments contributed to improved clinical care and teaching / training in Addis Ababa University. Over time, we hope that this benefit spreads to the Ethiopian population of over 100 million people.

Thank you to everyone for your role as true ambassadors for our Department, Hospital, University, Durban, and country.”

After receiving the award Birhanu wrote the following to members of the RFA board:

“We are humbled to get the recognition and we believe it is a recognition to the introduction of academic and clinical services of rheumatology in TASH, so the honor goes to all of you, if not more than the two of us. I believe we can’t make any payback to you all on what you have done to reactivate rheumatology service that was introduced by Dr. Zenebe than making it vibrant and its activity being palpable by everyone in the country. This is halfway to the dream, and we will work to introduce Rheumatology fellowship program as soon as possible. Thank you all of you.”

In reacting to this news, Dr. Rosie Scuccimarri (member of the RFA board) wrote the following on behalf of the members of the RFA Board:

“This is such wonderful news!!! Congratulations to Becky and Birhanu!!! We are all so proud of what you have accomplished. To be recognized by the residents, and your future colleagues, reflects your dedication and hard work. As one of the RFA founders, and board member, I am also very proud of our organization. We were able to plant a seed and watching this seed grow is exciting!

This highlights what donating to RFA can accomplish. Each donor that donated to the financing of the fellowship of Becky and Birhanu should be proud of what they have made possible. Becky and Birhanu’s success is RFA’s success (and each donor’s success)! And this hopefully can be repeated elsewhere with further donations. This accomplishment confirms that RFA can be an important catalyst for rheumatology capacity building and that we are fulfilling the mission of the organization. We are all so very proud! “

Thank you to our previous donors who have made all this possible! Let us continue to work together. Please share this newsletter. We need to continue to receive donations to allow for Rheumatology for All to carry on its mission.

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