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Date: Sep 11, 2008
Dr. Donna Mendes '73 Named to Hofstra Board of Trustees
First African American Woman Vascular Surgeon certified by the American Board of SurgeryHofstra University, Hempstead, NY – Dr. Donna Mendes '73, a senior vascular surgeon at St. Luke's-Roosevelt (SR) Hospital Center and the first African-American, female vascular surgeon certified by the American Board of Surgery, has been named to Hofstra's Board of Trustees, President Stuart Rabinowitz announced today.
"We are delighted to have Donna Mendes on our Board of Trustees," said Hofstra President Stuart Rabinowitz. "This distinguished alumna brings to the board the experience of being a pioneer in a difficult and demanding field and also the core values of hard work and discipline that allowed her to achieve her goals."
"I look forward to working with President Rabinowitz and all of the Hofstra trustees during this exciting time in Hofstra’s history, particularly with the presidential debate next month and the plans for a new medical school" said Dr. Mendes. "I hope my experience in health care, particularly peripheral arterial disease and its causes such as diabetes and hypertension, can contribute to the growth of the university. This particular interest should assist Hofstra with the development of its medical school curriculum and its approach to the health care disparities that are so prevalent in the surrounding communities. Mentoring has always been a joy for me and hopefully young people will be attracted to the Hofstra medical school because of our planned positive impact on the community."
A native of Roosevelt, New York, Dr. Mendes attended Sacred Heart Academy prior to coming to Hofstra and did so at the encouragement of her father. She was initially a declared major in speech pathology, but soon switched to pre-med. Dr. Mendes received a B.A. in biology in 1973 and then started at Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons. Surgery attracted her and she completed her residency in general surgery at St. Luke’-Roosevelt Hospital and then completed her vascular surgery fellowship at Englewood Hospital in 1984. She returned to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital in 1984 where she remains and has been chief of vascular services at both SLR, and North General Hospital, formerly one of their affiliated hospitals.
She is a member of the advisory council for vascular surgery for the American College of Surgeons and served on the board of the Association of Black Cardiologists. She participated in a women's heart education video with Maya Angelou, and Dr. Mendes’ patient, Sylvia Woods, owner and namesake of the esteemed Harlem restaurant. She has presented at several national and local meetings, and authored many articles. In 2005, she was the keynote speaker for the Town of Hempstead’s annual African American History celebration. She has been married to Ronald E. LaMotte since 1986, and resides in Englewood, New Jersey. She is active with several community projects, and is a proud member of the national women's organization the Links.
Hofstra University is a dynamic private institution where students can choose from about 145 undergraduate and 155 graduate programs in liberal arts and sciences, business, communication, education and allied human services, and honors studies, as well as a School of Law. With a student-faculty ratio of 14-to-1, our professors teach small classes averaging 22 students that emphasize interaction, critical thinking and analysis. Hofstra offers a faculty whose highest priority is teaching excellence. The University also provides excellent facilities with state-of-the-art technology, extensive library resources and internship programs that match students’ interests and abilities with appropriate companies and organizations. The Hofstra community is driven, dynamic and energetic, helping students find and focus their strengths to prepare them for a successful future.