Ladies and Gentlemen.
In the name of the Board of Governors of the Association of Haitian Physicians abroad, I rise today to rectify an omission that has endured for too long. As it happens often, we enjoy all the good things that we have and take them for granted. It is only when we no longer have them that we appreciate truly all that they meant to us.
Yes, the AMHE had had the good fortune to count among its members a great physician, a great husband, a great father, a great teacher, a great role model, a great friend, someone that the Romans would call a “VIR BONUS” and that the Jews would call a “MENSCH,” a GREAT MAN. Ronald Sanon was all that and he has impacted the lives of all who have had any interaction with him.
My journey with Ronald goes back to the State University of Haiti Medical School, where he was my sister’s classmate and was two years ahead of me.
Ronald was always impeccably dressed, always smiling. His high-pitched laugh was unique and recognizable from a distance. According to my sister, he was studious and always ready to help his classmates in need. He was also a good athlete and a star on the soccer team of the medical school, but above all, even when he was facing difficulties, he always believed and made you believe that living was fun and enjoyable.
When he spoke at his graduation on August 19, 1971, his words left their marks and still resonate in the hearts of his fellow classmates. One of them, Dr. Serge Pintro remembers his message: “You must welcome the future with faith and optimism. Let seriousness, determination, integrity and professionalism be the hallmarks of your future career. Always aim high in your quest for excellence.”
Ronald was very attentive to the teachings of his most revered mentors: Drs. Medard, Duperval and Gerard Pierre. In return, he was their favorite chief resident.
At the same time, during these formative years, Ronald was compiling proverbs, good advice, jokes and words of wisdom that he lived by and that later on, he was always willing to share with his younger colleagues, his friends, his patients or whomever would listen. All his life, he followed the guiding principles of humanism: Kindness to your fellow human beings, hard work, honesty, Sincerity and the Golden Rule : Do unto others as you would have others do unto you!
He applied these principles to be the best husband one can imagine, a great father and family man and a great healer. He also saw the importance of working together for the benefit of our community. He believed in the AMHE and never missed any of the Annual Conventions or any of the local chapter meetings.
After more than 40 years of devoted service to his numerous clientele and the community in general, Ronald was looking forward to some rest at last, to be able to fully dedicate himself to his wife that he loved so much, his children and daughters-in-law that he was so proud of and his grand children, his greatest source of joy. As you know, Ronald departed abruptly from this earth, just two months after being diagnosed with a lethal brain tumor, leaving us all at a loss for words and begging for any explanation. Ronald has left an emptiness in our hearts. Another one of his colleagues, Isaac Desir, wrote that, “Your departure from this life remains most saddening. You, Sanon who always valued friendship, you left sorrow and regrets in our hearts that time will never erase.”
However, the seeds that he had planted over the years have blossomed. His children, Ronald, Martine, Christina and Ronald have done quite well, under his tutelage and that of their mother, Jocelyne, a neonatal nurse whose own life has been and is a model of compassion, dedication, love and hard work.
Jocelyne believed in Ronald’s support to the AMHE and all its endeavors. She has continued to contribute in Ronald’s name to the “Maison des Etudiants” in Port-au-Prince, which provides food and housing to the underprivileged students of the State Medical School.
In recognition of Ronald and Jocelyne Sanon’s numerous tangible and intangible contributions to the AMHE and our community at large, Dr. Ducarmel Augustin and the Board of Governors of the AMHE offer this humble plaque to Mrs. Jocelyne Sanon as a token of appreciation for her husband’s, her own and her entire family’s commitment to the AMHE and Healthcare in general in our community.
Louis J Auguste, MD, MPH