Honoring Our Healthcare Heroes Gala
Each year, the Healthcare Hero Award is presented during the annual Gala celebration, hosted by the Arnot Health Foundation. The Healthcare Hero Award identifies an outstanding leader(s) affiliated with Arnot Health and is someone who personifies the term "hero." The Award recognizes those who care deeply about the health and well-being of our community, and share their time and resources to ensure it. They inspire others to continue the mission to heal, comfort, and care for the people they serve, making them true healthcare heroes.
Funds raised from the Gala are used to enhance the quality of care offered to Arnot Health patients, acquire the latest medical technology and equipment, provide highly qualified physicians, nurses and staff, and give our patients comforting facilities to heal.
Our 2018 Healthcare Hero, Dr. David C-Y Kung
For information on the Gala, contact:
2018 Healthcare Hero, Dr. David C-Y Kung
Born in Hunan China, David Kung’s earliest years were marred by a communist regime that eventually forced his family to flee China when he was seven years old. David, along with his parents, fled to Taiwan for refuge. His father, who was a newspaper owner, was imprisoned multiple times during the Chiang Kai-shek regime, separating the family. His father’s imprisonment lasted for over seven years, leaving his family to fear his fate. Eventually when his father was released, the family was reunited again in Taiwan.
As a young man, David wanted to pursue exciting career opportunities; being a pop-music star, or a fighter pilot were his top choices. David’s father insisted that he have a more defined career path and deposited him on the front steps of a military medical school in Taiwan. His aspirations of becoming a pop-music star, or a fighter pilot, faded amidst the structure of the school and the diligence of his studies.
David attended medical school at the M.B. National Defense Medical Center, graduating in 1967. It was during this time that he met his wife, Judy, who supported him along his journey to become a neurosurgeon. He continued his residency in Taiwan and later pursued post-doctoral training in the United States, specializing in both adult and pediatric neurosurgery. He attended some of the most prestigious institutions in the Northeast, including Albany Medical Center and the Peter Bent Brigham Children’s Hospital in Boston, totaling fourteen years of training.
In 1981 following his residency, Dr. Kung joined a private practice in Elmira, New York with Dr. Ferdinand Rossmann. They spent five years together until Dr. Rossmann’s retirement. Dr. Kung wanted to stay working in Elmira while he was studying for his Boards, and he completed his Board certification in 1984. He believed that his career would eventually bring him back to Taiwan, but his family decided to finally put down their roots in the Southern Tier and make it their home. We are glad they did!
Since 1981, Dr. Kung has performed over 10,000 surgeries both at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Arnot Ogden Medical Center. As a neurosurgeon, Dr. Kung was on call 24/7, held office hours three days a week and performed surgery the other three days, and never took a vacation. Even today, he is still teaching as a Clinical Associate Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Rochester. Dr. Kung’s dedication to his craft, his patients, and his community is still unparalleled and he has been a pinnacle of excellence in the neurosurgical community throughout the Southern Tier, and beyond.
Dr. Kung is starting to “ease” into retirement, but he is still a phone call away if needed. He has been spending more time with his wife, Judy, and his two children, Vincent and Nancy. He is also the proud grandfather of one-and-a-half year old granddaughter, Alexandra.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Kung for his sacrifice, commitment, and dedication to his patients, our hospitals, and our community. The countless lives he has saved, the next generation of medical professionals who he has inspired, and the physicians and nurses who are proud to have worked with and for him, is a testimony that he is truly a hero among us.
& the Hilfiger Family