2018 Keynote Speakers
Milton Ochieng', M.D. and Fred Ochieng', M.D.
The Eighteenth Annual Signature Symposium: "Sons of Lwala: Honoring the Dreams of Our Parents"
Thursday, April 12
5:30 - 7:00pm
Wool Grand Ballroom, Busch Student Center
Milton and Fred Ochieng' grew up in the small rural village of Lwala in Nyanza, Kenya. Milton is the second born while Fred is the third born in a family of four boys and two girls. Their parents were both teachers. Both Milton and Fred attended Alliance High School in Kikuyu, Kenya and then Dartmouth College. Their village sold their chickens, goats and cows to pay for Milton's airfare to the United States with only one request: "Do not forget us." Milton and Fred later attended Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, where with the help of their father they conceived an idea to build a clinic to improve health care in their ailing village of Lwala. Unfortunately, they lost both of their parents to AIDS while still in school. Determined to realize their father's dream, Milton and Fred juggled their medical school studies while networking and fundraising across America to build the village's first hospital in 2007: the Lwala Community Hospital, which now provides more than 47,000 patient encounters a year. In 2017, the hospital was rated as the highest performing out of 63 health facilities in western Kenya, as assessed by the USAID's PEPFAR program. It delivers more than 600 babies a year, provides HIV care to 1500 patients, delivers community health worker outreach to over 12,000 individuals, while employing more than 180 Kenyans.
Milton and Fred's work is the subject of the award-winning documentary "Sons of Lwala." Upon graduation from Vanderbilt, both Fred and Milton received the David R. Freely Memorial Award and the Leonard Tow 2008 Humanism in Medicine Award in recognition of the inspiration they provide to others through their integrity, courage and compassion in the delivery of healthcare. Milton and Fred's work also earned them a Senate Joint Resolution certificate of commendation from the 105th General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, the 95th General Assembly of the State of Missouri, and the Senate of Louisiana in recognition of their extraordinary efforts in humanitarianism, community leadership, and the betterment of the global community through the practice of medicine.
Milton and Fred's work has been featured on various newspaper and media outlets including Diversity Matters, webtalk radio, ReachMD, American Public Media Radio interview with Dick Gordon, Citizen TV (one of the largest stations in Kenya), NPR, and CNN. In 2009, Milton and Fred received the Dartmouth College Martin Luther King Social Justice Award for Emerging Leadership, and in the same week, they were named as the ABC World News "Persons of the Week." They were named the 2009 JBC Trailblazers in Diversity, becoming the youngest to be honored in the history of the award. Their work was also recognized through a complimentary invitation by President Bill Clinton to join the Clinton Global Initiative in 2009, 2011 and 2014. They were chosen to receive the 2012 United States Peace Corps Director's Award in recognition and appreciation of their successful efforts in helping to engage Kenyan and U.S. communities in providing access to primary care through the establishment of the Lwala Community Hospital.
Currently, Milton is a gastroenterologist with the BJC Medical Group at Progress West Hospital in St. Charles, MO after having completed a gastroenterology fellowship at Brown University Rhode Island Hospital and an internal medicine residency at Barnes Jewish Hospital at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. Fred is an adult cardiology fellow at Saint Louis University after having completed a medicine and pediatrics residency at Vanderbilt University. In their spare time, Milton and Fred continue fundraising through the organization they founded, the Lwala Community Alliance (http://www.LwalaCommunityAlliance.org), a community-based innovator non-profit that has programs in health care, education, economic development, and public health outreach.