Cynthia Mondesir spent the first few years of her life in Brooklyn, NY with her mother, father, and older brother. At age 4, her father was shot in the streets of Brooklyn. She watched the paramedics work to revive him and remembers wishing there was something she could doto help. That incident led to her interest in medicine. After that her Haitian mother sent her to live in Haiti with her grandmother. She returned to Brooklyn at age 10. With New York being such a melting pot, Cynthia was introduced to many different cultures.
Cynthia graduated Hamilton College in Clinton, NY, with a bachelor’s degree in Biology in 1995. She taught 8th grade earth science for two years then decidedto finish her prerequisites for medical school. From 2001 to 2005, Cynthia attended Medical School at the Ohio State University College of Medicine and Public Health in Columbus, Ohio.
After graduating, Cynthia met a former YKHC employee at a conference whereshe learned about Bethel, the YK Delta, YKHC and the people who live here.
Intrigued by the way health care is provided in the area, she accepted a job as a pediatrician at the Hospital. When asked why she chose pediatrics, she said, “I’ve always loved kids. I went into med school knowing I would work with kids. No question.”Dr. Cynthia Mondesir landed in Bethel on a sunny day in August, 2008. Her first impression was that the people here were incredibly friendly and welcoming. She has now been with YKHC for five years and has become very involved in different activities outside of the hospital–including volunteer work at Tim Meyer’s farm, performing in the Bethel Actor’s Guild, joining a broom-ball team, taking classes at the college (such as ceramics) and becoming a Zumba instructor. She also enjoys getting out on the Kuskokwim River, fishing, gardening, and being involved at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. Dr. Mondesir is now engaged to her fiance of two years. They will be getting married in Canada on July 20.
Dr. Mondesir, one of YKHC’s Napartet Champions, said that a college advisor told her “she wasn’t smart enough” to go to med school. But she did it anyway after a stint as a teacher.
She wanted to share this part of her story and say that, no matter what other stressors one might have and even when people are telling you that you can’t succeed, you can do anything you put your mind to.