February 28, 2011

Why We Do What We Do: Rex Wong

About 20 years ago, Rex Wong visited Egypt for the first time. He didn’t know anything  about Egyptian health care, but he was intrigued by the country’s history and culture. Now, as director of hospital strengthening for the GHLI’s Egypt program, Rex has been a resident of Egypt since April 2010 and says it’s been, “A dream come true.” 

Rex came on board to the GHLI program in Egypt about a year ago,   to assess both public and private hospitals. A patient scheduling system that reduced waiting time by about 33 percent and cut hospital crowding by 45 percent were just a few of the successes he shared with me. The Ministry of Health in Egypt also supported GHLI’s program and recently expressed interest in expanding this program to other hospitals.

Rex described living in Egypt and working with GHLI “like a dream" because he’s wanted to work in developing countries for a while. “Since I was a kid, I’ve lived in multiple countries. It’s a part of my personal goals to work internationally,” explained Rex. He was already involved with GHLI after graduating from Yale and was approached by Elizabeth Bradley, the faculty director of GHLI, when the Egypt project presented itself.

Rex was the ideal candidate to the GHLI team because his personal ideology shaped his passion for work. “I like Yale and this program. Most other companies would charge fees to other countries. Instead, Yale is not trying to make a profit. Helping developing countries isn’t about making a profit,” explained Rex. The turning point in his ideology was shaped during his first volunteering experience in South Africa. “I saw the need in terms of health care and even necessities such as clean water and shelter.”

Working internationally, improving education and hospital management are the three things Rex cares about most. He’s doing all three things and says he has no complaints.

Amanda Sorrentino, GHLI Intern

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