Dr. V: An Extraordinary Journey
Raised in a Greek immigrant family amid New Englands industrial decline, Manny Voulgaropoulos wanted to explore exotic places. His ticket to adventure was medical school in Belgium, where he learned how Belgiums colonization of the Congo exploited its indigenous people. His medical training, originally a passport to travel the world, became his means to alleviate suffering of poor and underprivileged people.
A serendipitous meeting with Tom Dooley, the Jungle Doctor, brought him to Kratie, Cambodia in 1958 as the Indochina war was brewing. In Kratie Manny was the Great White Doctor treating hundreds every day just as Tom Dooley had done. After repeatedly seeing the same people with the same diseases, Manny realized that Kraties people didnt need a jungle doctor. They needed preventive medicine and public health delivered by Cambodians for Cambodians.
These lessons molded Mannys professional philosophy in a career spanning four decades. From the pinnacle of academia at the University of Hawaii to the zenith of international public health leading USAID health programs in Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines, Manny Voulgaropoulos emphasized public health and preventive medicine; and instilled his host country colleagues with the confidence to take control of their health programs and their destinies.