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Awards & Accomplishments

Awards & Accomplishments

As changes sweep throughout our healthcare system, today’s doctors must not only keep pace with the shifting world of medicine, but also push the boundaries of discovery, technology and patient care. It’s a demanding career that requires a steady focus and an ongoing determination to succeed.

In SJ, many doctors see the big picture when it comes to providing quality care. SJ magazine polled local physicians looking for providers who share this vision, asking them to name the peers they would recommend to a family member.

Congratulations to our own Karolynn Echols, MD was chosen as one of the top docs in the SJ magazine. Obstetrics and Gynecology, Karolynn Echols, MD, Cooper University Physician Group Plastic Surgery, Lyle Back, MD, Cosmetic Surgery Center of Cherry Hill

Karolynn also recently published an article on surgical approaches to treating Obstetric Fistulas in Niger. Erekson EA, Hampton BS, Idrissa A, Dewan JA, Echols, KT. Novel surgical approaches to obstetric fistula repair in Niamey, Niger. Gynecologic & Obstetrics, Nov 2011.

Congratulations also to board member Chimene Liburd, M.D., M.B.A.,FACP who became an Fellow of the American College of Physicians in April. To become a fellow is considered an honor and is a mark of distinction representing the pinnacle of personal integrity, superior competence, professional accomplishment and demonstrated scholarship.

March 2010

Drs. Debbie Chong, Karolynn Echols, and Elaine Waetjen presented at the First Annual Global Women’s Health Event at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, San Jose. The event was presented by the Santa Clara Valley Medical Clinic’s DepartmentAof OB/GYN. Karolynn Echols presented two sections :“ Obstetric Fistulas in the 21st Century ,”and “Defibulation: Restoring Normal Female anatomy following Genital Mutilation” Elaine Waetjen presented, “ Women’s Health in the Context of Global Poverty.” Drs Debbie Chong, Sofia Mahari, and Dennis Siegler presented “Tales from the Front Line.” The conference was well attended and Debbie was presented with a lovely vase in appreciation of her work in this area.

March 2010

Debbie Chong, MD presented Grand Rounds at UCDavis- topic was “International Aid: Are we doing more harm than good?” She discussed global healthcare and some of the pitfalls we face when dealing with underdeveloped countries.

Fall 2009

Debbie Chong returned to Boston University School of Medicine to speak about Medicine in Action. The Fall Alumni newsletter ran the following.

Debbie Chong 1999

Dr. Chong has been updating the alumni community over the past few years via Class Notes ( on the growth of her non-profit organization, Medicine in Action. She recently came to campus to share information about this program and it’s opportunities to BUSM students. Medicine in Action’s continues to do work in both Jamaica and Tanzania and hosts four medical missions each year. Dr. Chong’s hoped to encourage participation from more volunteers in the BU community. More information can be found on the group’s activity and how to volunteer at the group’s website,

September 2009

Spreading the word, our own Dr. Karolynn Echols was invited to speak at Drexel University School of Medicine in Philadelphia PA. The event was the District III American College of Ob/Gyn Junior Fellow Day International Health Forum . The topic for this Global Health Awareness Forum on was “Traveling the World for Women’s Health.” Karolynn gave a beautiful presentation about the work that Medicine In Action has done in Jamaica and Tanzania. She included past accomplishments and future goals. As a result, several faculty members, residents and staff from the local area of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Delaware became interested in volunteering for the organization.

January 2009

Dr. Elaine Waetjen was quoted in an article in the New York Times, “Weight Loss Reduces Incontinence in Women”  The article can be found on the web at:

December 2008

Dr. Debbie Chong spoke at Santa Clara Medical Center on December 11 at Grand Rounds in the Department of OB/GYN. She discussed poverty and women’s health issues. Dr. Ambereen Sleemi is featured in an article in the Brooklyn Spectator.

November 2008

Dr. Karolynn Echols is quoted in Essence Magazine regarding her work in repairing fistulas in Africa. Essence is sold internationally. (Essence November 2008, “Child Brides” by Jeanine Amber, staff writer for Essence)
“We need to help these girls,” says Urogynecologist Karolynn Echols, an African-American who has visited Niger six times as part of a volunteer medical team. ” In Niger 12- and 13-year-old girls go into labor without qualified help. When things go wrong, nobody knows to get them to a hospital. If they do get to a hospital which might be 500 miles away, there might not be any doctors available once they get there”.

October 2008

MIA medical professionals Drs. Elaine Waetjen and Debbie Chong organized the first International Women’s Global Health Day at the University of California, Davis. Along with Drs. Karolynn Echols and Vindi Singh, they presented and discussed various medical issues that face women in developing countries such as HIV, poor obstetric care and complications of childbirth, including fistulas. This was a great opportunity for us to showcase the good work we have been doing to the UC Davis community. The event was attending by the OB/GYN faculty and residents at UC Davis as well as local community physicians.

July 2008

Dr. Karolynn Echols was featured in Girlfriendz Magazine discussing women’s health issues. (“When You Gotta Go, And Go, And Go” by Cathi Laughlin).

June 2008

Dr. Karolynn Echols is interviewed on Drexel University Radio Station WKDU by radio host Mr. Dupre about Medicine In Action. Mr. Dupre is Jamaican born and clearly interested in supporting the MIA cause. This radio station is broadcast to all of Philadelphia and although it is owned by Drexel University, hundreds of thousands of people tune in each day.

May 2008

Elaine Chong received a grant on behalf of MIA from The American Friends of Jamaica. A ceremony took place at the American Ambassador’s house in Jamaica. Elaine was featured in the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper after the ceremony.

December 2007

Medtronic Inc. matched donations to an event sponsored by the Kajana dance troop, to benefit Medicine in Action, Philadelphia, PA.

December 2006

Dr. Debbie Chong was interviewed on the radio in Jamaica about her volunteer work on the island. March ‘07 Dr. Karolynn Echols was invited to Cornell University to speak to her sorority as a distinguished member of her alumni. She discussed her journey in the world of international health and the issues involved in trying to help
impoverished women around the world.