WALLA WALLA, Wash.-- Stephanie Van Dyke ’99, co-founder of the Engeye Health Clinic in Uganda, has been named a “Daily Point of Light” by the Points of Light Foundation and Volunteer Center National Network, a nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C.

 Van Dyke, currently a medical student at Albany Medical College in Albany, New York,  is also recipient of the 2007 Pete Reid Award for Young Alumni. The Whitman Alumni Association presents this award each year to someone whose youthful exuberance is demonstrated daily toward his or her career, community, and Whitman College as exemplified by Pete Reid '49 in his service to the College.

 Van Dyke, a psychology major, spent the year after graduation traveling and volunteering around the world. Her first stop was in Uganda, where she taught English to the children of Katooke Village, but she soon discovered that what they really needed was basic medical care. This epiphany inspired her to choose a career in medicine with the ultimate goal of building sustainable medical clinics in Uganda and other underserved areas around the world.

 The first of Van Dyke’s clinics, the Engeye Health Clinic in Uganda, was constructed last summer by a group of volunteers that included Van Dyke and her parents. Funding came from contributions and from a small inheritance she received from her grandmother. A laboratory is currently being constructed next to the clinic.

 In spring 2007, Van Dyke and a small group of medical students from Albany Medical College along with two doctors and a nurse traveled to the medical center where they provided medical care to the villagers. The next medical mission is scheduled for November 2007. In the mean time, local doctors and nurses will help the villagers and provide them with healthcare.

 The Daily Point of Light Award honors individuals and volunteer groups for their commitment to connect Americans through service to help meet critical needs in their communities. It focuses on the goals for children and youth set by the President’s Summit for America’s Future.


CONTACT:  Lenel Parish, Whitman College News Service, (509) 527-5156
Email: parisglj@whitman.edu