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Local connections provide worldwide viewpoints

Recently, fifth and sixth-grade students were allowed to virtually connect with Amsterdam, NY native and physician Dr. Catena.
Recently, fifth and sixth-grade students were allowed to virtually connect with Amsterdam, NY native and physician Dr. Catena.

Recently, fifth and sixth-grade students were allowed to virtually connect with Amsterdam, NY native and physician Dr. Catena. Dr. Catena was raised in Amsterdam, NY, graduated from Brown University with a Mechanical Engineering degree, and headed to Duke University School of Medicine on a U.S. Navy Scholarship.  This pathway provided Dr. Catena with the opportunity to impact people in a meaningful way. His medical travels eventually led him to Gidel in the Nuba mountains of Sudan, where he has been practicing medicine at Mother of Mercy Hospital since 2008 – serving as the only doctor for a population of more than 1 million people. Dr. Catena treats approximately 400 patients per day, performs 1,500 surgeries per year, and is on call 24/7.  He lives adjacent to the hospital so he can respond to emergencies at all hours.

Dr. Catena was most generous to offer his time to speak with FFCS 5th and 6th graders about the important work he does for the people of Sudan and answer their questions after reading the book A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park. This novel, which is set in South Sudan, follows the story of two Sudanese children, the adversity they faced, and how they overcame these challenges in their lives.