Alumni Award Recipient to Speak at Homecoming

Dr. Ingida Asfaw, EMU’s 2007 “alumnus of the year,” will speak at the next Suter Science Seminar during the school’s homecoming and family weekend.

Dr. Ingida Asfaw, EMU alum
Dr. Ingida Asfaw, EMU’s 2007 ‘alumnus of the year’

Dr. Asfaw, chief of cardiovascular surgery at Sinai-Grace Hospital, Detroit, Mich., will speak 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, in room 106 of the Suter Science Center on the theme, “Heart and Soul: The Evolution of Cardiovascular Medicine and the Importance of Spirituality in Healing the Cardiac Patient.”

“Technology has forever altered the way in which we think about the cardiovascular system and the way that it heals,” Asfaw noted. “However, one thing has remained constant – those with strong spiritual connections seem to recover from insults to their cardiovascular system more quickly.” He will develop this theme in his presentation at EMU.

A 1962 EMU graduate, Asfaw came to the US on a cargo ship from his native Ethiopia, arriving late for the start of classes and with limited English skills.

Returning After Five Decades

This fall, nearly 50 years later, he is returning to his alma mater as a distinguished surgeon, the recipient of a 2006 national award for charitable service sponsored by Volvo automobiles. He will receive the university’s 2007 “alumnus of the year” award during homecoming weekend.

Read more about Ingida Asfaw in the 90th anniversary edition of Crossroads magazine.

Along with his cardiovascular work that includes several other medical centers, Asfaw devotes a major portion of his life to the Ethiopian North American Health Professionals Organization, a volunteer network he founded in 1999.

The organization today includes some 500 doctors, nurses and other members who devote their time and skills in Ethiopia, where there is only one doctor for every 100,000 people.

The program is open to the public free of charge. For more information, contact Dr. Roman Miller at 540-432-4412; e-mail