by Dr. Waine Kong
I was born at Kingston Jubilee Hospital in Kingston on July 18, 1943. Within my first four years of life, World War II ended, my father moved back to China and my mother migrated to the United States and started another family. So, I grew up in “The Bush” (Woodlands District, St. Elizabeth) being nurtured and protected by my Granny, Mrs. Rosella McKenzie (Miss Rosie). After my fifteenth birthday, (April 3, 1959) my brother Earl and I rejoined my mother and her new family in the United States.
In the fifty years since 1959, I lived in Morristown, NJ; Indianola, Iowa; Washington, DC; Columbia, MD; Baltimore, MD; York, PA; Sacramento, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Miami, FL., and Atlanta, GA. After all my roaming, I returned to Jamaica after I retired in 2008 and began to get to know my birth country for the first time!
I am currently, President of Heart Institute of the Caribbean Foundation (HICF) where I facilitate open access to cardiovascular care for people who cannot afford it. Contributions are being solicited and would be appreciated. We are a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization in the United States as well as a registered NGO in Jamaica with the Registry of Companies. I love to write and give talks on a wide range of topics and to a wide range of audiences. Hopefully, my sermons and speeches, as well as the books and articles I publish will help to improve the human condition.
I have been a college professor, a hospital administrator, Director of a medical research center and, between 1986 and 2008, served as the CEO of the Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC) based in Atlanta. I have dedicated a great deal of my life trying to reduce the ravages of heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Dr. Elijah Saunders and I pioneered several community outreach efforts including being first to organize churches as health promotion centers starting in 1979. I developed the “Community Health Advocates” as well as the Barbershop and Beauty salon blood pressure control programs. I also coined the mantra: “Children should know their grandparents so they will become great grandparents” that was adopted by the ABC in 1998 as well as develop the “Seven Steps to Good Health.”
I received his B.A. from Simpson College (1967), an M.A. from American University (1970), my AGS in rehabilitation (1974) from the University of Maryland, and a Ph.D. from Walden University (1977) in educational psychology. I am also a lawyer. I received a JD from Dickinson School of Law in 1990 and I continue to be a member of the Georgia Bar.
Among my awards are: Chairman’s Award (American Heart Association/Howard County);Leadership in Public Health (Centers for Disease Control/CDC); Health Promotion (American Legacy Magazine); Humanitarian Service Award (Simpson College); Father of Church High Blood Pressure Programs (Maryland Association of Blood Pressure Measurement Specialists); Distinguished Research Award (International Society on Hypertension in Blacks); Leadership in Public Health (COSEHC).
I am married to Dr. Stephanie Kong, a Pediatrician who has been a managed care executive for 30 years. We are the parents of four children (Jillian, Freddie, Melanie and Aleron) and grandparents to five beautiful grandchildren (Mackenzie, Brooks, Audrey, Vincent and Kai). Our hobbies include traveling (we have visited over 100 countries), dancing, swimming, golf, dominoes, bid whist and bridge. However, as I walk through the wilderness of this world, my passion is to pursue the truth about my God, myself and my environment. “Nam et ipsa scienta potestas est.”
Between 1994 and 2008, we were active members of Providence Missionary Baptist Church (Rev. Gerald Durley) in Atlanta where I faithfully served the pastor and the congregation on the Deacon Board while my wife served on the Board of Trustees. We know the Lord. A little time in The Son saved me from being burned. A lot of kneeling keeps us in good standing because he who kneels before God, can stand up to anyone.
Bullet Columnist Basil Waine Kong has written several pieces for this journal and especially likes to expound on his favorite subject: his beloved Jamaica. He is a former Atlien (resident of Atlanta GA), and was the CEO of the Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC) for 22 years before his retirement in 2008 to return to Jamaica. This article is reprinted with his permission from his blogsite; Coming in From the Cold… Bob Marley