Lourdes bestows the Healing Spirit Award upon physicians who exemplify its mission and core values of compassion, commitment, integrity, excellence and stewardship. This year’s winners are:
Emmanuel Ashong, MD, MPH, FAAP
In the 1960s, a Peace Corps volunteer challenged a young boy growing up in Ghana in west Africa to work hard and change the world.
For four decades, pediatrician Emmanuel Frederick Ashong, MD, MPH, FAAP, director of medical education and medical director of the Osborn Family Health Center at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center, has been fulfilling that mandate, caring for impoverished children and teaching young physicians how compassion and dignity are the centers of medicine.
“I truly believe that children are our most important resource,” he said. “I try to be a voice for them.”
Born into a large family, Dr. Ashong was already a voracious reader when his father introduced him to William Shakespeare. While in high school, a Peace Corps volunteer tutoring him in chemistry provided a crucial piece of advice.
“Miss Gorley said, ‘Ashong, if you continue to work hard, you will do well.’ Those words, they kept ringing in my head and had an influence on me,” he recalls. “I took it to heart, and years later I decided to go to medical school.”
Dr. Ashong graduated with distinction from the University of Ghana Medical School and completed residencies at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Ghana and Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn. He completed a clinical fellowship in ambulatory care pediatrics at Kings County.
Shortly after earning a master of public health degree from Harvard University in 1982, Dr. Ashong accepted positions first at King Khalid University Hospital in Saudi Arabia and then Hamad General Hospital in Doha, Qatar.
In 1991, Dr. Ashong followed his wife, Stella, a registered nurse, back to the United States and joined Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center. In addition to patient care, he was responsible for pediatric medical education. Dr. Ashong was named director of medical education for the hospital in 1996, and also serves as medical director at Osborn Family Health Center, Lourdes’ primary care center for the indigent and underserved of Camden.
While Dr. Ashong serves on statewide medical education committees and is the recipient of numerous teaching awards from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, it is at Osborn where his clinical excellence and compassion shines through. Just as the Peace Corps did for him a generation before, Dr. Ashong helps to ensure healthcare access to all. He is a staunch advocate of immunization and collaboration with parents in providing effective anticipatory guidance for young children.
“If a condition like newborn jaundice is not managed aggressively, a child could be denied the opportunity to grow up, flourish and become an effective contributor to the community,” he said. Dr. Ashong, who became a U.S. citizen in 1999, said he wishes he could reunite with Miss Gorley.
“I wish I could personally thank her and let her know how much she and the other Peace Corps volunteers meant to me,” he said. “I believe that the Peace Corps will continue to grow and have a greater positive influence for the United States than anything else.”
Dr. and Mrs. Ashong reside in Voorhees. They have two grown children, Derrick, a musician, artist and host on Oprah Radio, and Nana, a producer and media production consultant.
Dr. Sean McMillan, DO, FAOAO
Sean McMillan, DO, FAOAO, is chief of Orthopedics at Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County and Director of Orthopedic Sports Medicine and Arthroscopy at Lourdes Medical
Associates. Dr. McMillan also serves as chief of Surgery at Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County.
A Gloucester County resident, Dr. McMillan, joined Lourdes in 2011. Prior to Lourdes, Dr. McMillan performed a fellowship at the University of Massachusetts, specializing in hip, shoulder and knee arthroscopy, as well as shoulder replacement.
Throughout his career, Dr. McMillan has actively served his community and hospital. Dr. McMillan serves on Lourdes Medical Associates’ Physician Advisory Council and the Lourdes Burlington Perioperative Committee. He also serves as an associate faculty member for Rowan University-School of Osteopathic Medicine’s Orthopedic Residency Program and has served on the Arthroscopy Association of North America Ethics and Standards Committee.
Dr. McMillan has been named a Top Doc for Kids by SJ magazine. Working as a physician for local high school football teams, Dr. McMillan provides team medical coverage for Holy Cross High School, as well as Bordentown High School and Florence High School. He also provides orthopedic care to many high school athletes attending Pemberton and Northern Burlington schools. This past baseball season, Dr. McMillan served as team physician for South Jersey’s Camden Riversharks.
In 2014, Dr. McMillan received the highly honorable Fellow Award of The American Osteopathic Academy of Orthopedics (AOAO). The award granted to members of the surgical field who have made an outstanding contribution to the healing arts and to the practice of Orthopedic Surgery research.
Board-certified in Orthopedic Surgery, Dr. McMillan performed his residency in orthopedics at North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System in New York, as well as at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Dr. McMillan earned his medical degree at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and his bachelor’s degree from The College of New Jersey.
Dr. McMillan enjoys spending time with his wife, Jennifer, four-year-old twins Neil and Julie.