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Tribute paid to Prof Judith L. Ladinsky - "real US Ambassador" to Vietnam, 5 times receiving medals

February 04, 2021 | 09:00

On January 31, the Vietnam-USA Society's leaders, the Phan Anh Foundation and the delegation of the Ministry of Science and Technology visited her grave to pay tribute to Professor Judith L. Ladinsky at Vinh Hang (Immortality) Park Cemetery, Ba Vi, Hanoi on the date she passed away.

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The leaders of the Vietnam-USA Society; the Phan Anh Foundation and the delegation of the Ministry of Science and Technology visited the grave of Prof. Judith Ladinsky - a sworn friend of the Vietnamese people. (Photo: Vietnamese - USA Magazine)

Professor Judith L. Ladinsky was born on June 16, 1938 in Los Angeles City, California State, the USA. She grew up in New York City, received an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, and a doctorate degree from the University of Wisconsin.

She was a professor of preventive medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Director of the Medical Science subcommittee of the US Commission on scientific cooperation with Vietnam. She was called "Madame Vietnam" and lauded as "the best-known American in Vietnam".

When he first came to Vietnam in 1978, when Vietnam and the United States had not normalized their relations, at that time Professor Ladinsky immediately had sympathy and goodwill towards the Vietnamese country and people. In 1980, she became the President of the Medical Department of the U.S. Committee for Scientific Cooperation with Vietnam following the invitation of Dr. Edward Cooperman - Chairman of the U.S. Committee for Scientific Cooperation with Vietnam (USCV) at that time. In 1984, after Dr. Cooperman was assassinated, she bravely took over for him to become the Chairwoman of the USCV and determined to continue his unfinished work.

Since then, Professor Ladinsky had made more than 100 trips to Vietnam. Every time she cames to Vietnam, she brought a lot of tools, medical equipment, books and journals of science, medicine, education to donate to hospitals, schools, research centers and many other places in Vietnam.

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Professor Judith Ladinsky had called on scientists and American people to suport and help greatly to Vietnam.

With tireless efforts, she had raised millions of dollars in medical research and humanitarian projects. During a period of decades, Professor Ladinsky had called on scientists and the American people to support and help a lot to Vietnam. She paid special attention to the rural health sector and the issue lacking of doctors in the countryside. She founded rural health projects, public health care, pediatric primary health care, anatomy, nutrition, HIV / AIDS, cancer treatment, and provided equipment and medical supplies to help Vietnam.

She also contributed to the extensive research on Japanese diabetes, malaria and encephalitis in Vietnam. She also facilitated many Vietnamese doctors and nurses to go to the United States for practice to improve their qualifications and helped hundreds of Vietnamese students, learners and researchers win scholarships to study and do research at US universities. Every two years, she organized TOEFL exams in Vietnam for more than 1,200 Vietnamese students, more than half of whom had gone to the United States to study. She also helped bring many children with cancer and scalded patients to medical facilities in the United States to save their lives when the domestic medical level was not met that time.

On January 12, 2012, Professor Judith L. Ladinsky breathed her last at the University of Wisconsin Hospital after a stroke. The last wish of Professor Judith Ladinsky was that her ashes would be buried in Vietnam - a country that she loved wholeheartedly and devoted all her scientific career to. On July 22, 2013, at the headquarters of the Ministry of Science and Technology, the ceremony to receive the ashes of Professor Judith Ladinsky was done and her grave is now located at Vinh Hang (Immortality) Park Cemetery, Ba Vi, Hanoi city.

Professor Judith L. Ladinsky has been awarded five medals:

The Friendship Medal awarded by the State President, Medal for the cause of education and training awarded by the Ministry of Education and Training; Medal for the Cause of Liberation of Vietnamese Women on behalf of the U.S. Committee for Scientific Cooperation with Vietnam and Medal of the Kovalevskaia Foundation, Medal for the cause of Science awarded by the Ministry of Science and Technology.

In 2011, she was awarded the Peace Builders Award by the Wisconsin Peace and Justice Network in honor of her "lasting contribution to the cause of health care in Vietnam".

She is also considered an unofficial US diplomat to Vietnam, even the first United States Ambassador to Vietnam Douglas 'Pete' Peterson told that Ladinsky, not he, was Vietnam's real "first Ambassador".

At the memorial ceremony of Professor Ladinsky, on behalf of the Vietnamese S&T community, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Tran Viet Thanh shared the grief and great loss of Professor Ladinsky's family, friends and colleagues at her passing away. The Deputy Minister shared: Not everyone leaving for life the contributions that people must remember forever; Not everyone leaving but still living forever in the subconscious of those who stay. To the Vietnamese people, Professor Ladinsky is one of those who the Vietnamese people love and named affectionately "Madame Vietnam".

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Translated by Tarah Nguyen

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