Upon graduating from medical school in 1988, Richard Heinzl wanted to do something that no medical professional had done before: establish a chapter of Doctors Without Borders outside of the European continent where the organization had originated. After facing many challenges ranging from garnering international support to achieving the necessary funding, Dr. Heinzl successfully instituted the first North American chapter of the Nobel Prize-winning humanitarian aid organization and became the chapter’s first field volunteer. His operations took him around the world providing medical care to suffering individuals in remote locations, and he has published recollections of these life-changing journeys in a memoir entitled Cambodia Calling. Since his adventures in the field, Dr. Heinzl has gained much renown as a travelling speaker and has been named to the “Top 40 Under 40” list by Report on Business. As an influential and passionate individual whose work has clearly demonstrated the operation of science within society, Dr. Richard Heinzl was an obvious choice to be the inaugural lecture speaker and guest of the Center for Science and the Common Good.
Dr. Heinzl’s visit to Ursinus was multifaceted, allowing him to reach a wide range of individuals during his brief stay:
- Lunch with biology and pre-med faculty
- A discussion with students from across campus regarding the opportunities and challenges of medical field work abroad
- Dinner and informal discussion with the CSCG Fellows
- A lecture in the packed Lenfest Theatre at 7pm for Ursinus students, faculty, staff, and Collegeville community members
Dr. Heinzl’s visit was received with fantastic reviews from event attendees and marked a very successful start to the annual CSCG speaker series.