Remembering the Life and Legacy of Dr. Jose Galang Vijungco

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DISTINGUISHED Filipino American physician Dr. Jose Galang Vijungco passed away at the age of 82 in Naples, Florida, on February 23, according to his family. Dr. Vijungco was widely recognized as a pillar of the Filipino medical community in the United States and made significant contributions throughout his career.

Dr. Vijungco’s journey in the medical field began when he migrated to Illinois in 1968, along with his wife, Dr. Herminia David-Vijungco, to serve as an intern at Christ Community Hospital. After completing his residency at Rush-Presbyterian Hospital and St. Louis University Hospital, he went on to practice as a radiologist for several decades at the South County Radiology of St. Anthony’s Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri.

Dr. Vijungco’s impact extended beyond his clinical work. He founded the University of Santo Tomas Medical Alumni Association (USTMAA) of America Foundation, an organization that has played a crucial role in supporting Filipino medical professionals in the US. Through this foundation, he spearheaded numerous initiatives that benefited the Filipino community.

Throughout his career, Dr. Vijungco demonstrated a commitment to education and mentoring. He spent his final years as an associate professor of Radiology at the St. Louis University Medical School, where he was recognized as the “Most Outstanding Teacher of the Year” twice in a span of three years. His dedication to teaching and guiding future physicians left a lasting impact on the medical community.

In addition to his contributions in the medical field, Dr. Vijungco was actively involved in various organizations. He served as the president of the Philippine Medical Association of St. Louis, the Association of Philippine Physicians of America, and Amnesty International. Dr. Vijungco also briefly ventured into politics as the leader of the Movement for Free Philippines.

Upon retirement, Dr. Vijungco pursued his passion for mango farming. This endeavor allowed him to connect with his roots and contribute to the agricultural industry.

Dr. Vijungco will be remembered not only for his professional achievements but also for his loving family. He is survived by his wife, Herminia, and their children: Jonas Vijungco, Merceditas “Jing” Redfern, Michelle Vijungco, Dr. Joseph Vijungco, and Jeffrey Vijungco. Additionally, he leaves behind a legacy through his grandchildren: Justin, Miles, Savannah, Luke, Jaden, Jordan, Jaya, Stella, and Scotty.

A memorial mass to honor Dr. Vijungco’s life will be held at St. Agnes Church in Naples, Florida, on Saturday, April 13. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that memorial donations be made to the USTMAA. This gesture will help continue Dr. Vijungco’s legacy of supporting Filipino medical professionals in the United States.

Dr. Jose Galang Vijungco’s contributions to the Filipino medical community in the US will be remembered for generations to come. His dedication, leadership, and compassion have left an indelible mark and serve as an inspiration for aspiring Filipino medical professionals.

Source: The Manila Times

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