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2022 Leah Lowenstein Award Recipient: Ninani Kombo, MD

May 31, 2022

It is our distinct pleasure to announce that Dr. Ninani Kombo has been named as the recipient of the 2022 Leah Lowenstein Award from the Yale School of Medicine. This award honors one medical school faculty member annually, chosen across all departments, who is the model of a medical educator whose humane teaching reaches and influences all students regardless of gender, race, or socioeconomic background. These distinct characteristics were upheld by Leah Lowenstein herself, and I can think of no better recipient than Dr. Kombo, who is the Director of Medical Student Education for our department, for this fabulous award.

Dr. Kombo received her B.A. from Mount Holyoke College and her M.D. from Yale University School of Medicine, where she also completed her ophthalmology residency. She completed fellowship training in Uveitis and Ocular Immunology at The Massachusetts Eye Research and Surgery Institution (MERSI) under the mentorship of Dr. C. Stephen Foster where she was the Chief Clinical Fellow. Subsequently, she returned to Yale to join the faculty as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. She is Director of the Uveitis Service and is a comprehensive ophthalmologist and uveitis specialist.

Dr. Kombo has played a lead role in the education of students and residents at Yale for many years, mentoring the many wonderful Yale medical students who have chosen to go into ophthalmology. In some years this has approached nearly 10% of the medical school class! She assumed the position of Director of Medical Student Education several years ago upon the retirement of Dr. Susan Forster in Ophthalmology. She has volunteered in Nassau, Bahamas, at Princess Margaret Hospital for 6 years, providing resident teaching and helping in the care of the underinsured and underserved Bahamian population. Most recently, she has led the formation of the medical student education initiative within the Center for Global Ophthalmology within our department, under the guidance of Dr. James Martone.

Dr. Kombo’s commitment to education within the field of ophthalmology, paired with her compassion for inclusion, are only a few of the admirable traits that make her a fabulous recipient for this prestigious award. In addition to her devotion to her work, many of us know and appreciate Dr. Kombo’s ability to take care of complex patients, educate our residents, and educate our students while maintaining a peaceful and calm demeanor. I am deeply humbled by her work ethic and dedication to our department, as well as her drive

to mold future ophthalmologists into the most successful versions of themselves.

We are fortunate to have Dr. Kombo in our department. Please join me in congratulating her on this fabulous award!

Submitted by Paige Mickolyzck on May 31, 2022