Susan Hou at Reunion 2018 with Provost and Dean Terence Flotte and Kent Lewandrowski, MD, SOM ’86, UMMS Alumni Association president.
Susan Hou, MD, accepted the second annual Alumni Distinguished Service Award from the UMass Medical School Alumni Association during Reunion 2018, held at UMass Medical School on May 5. Dr. Hou, a member of the Class of 1975 and one of the first women to graduate from UMMS, received the honor for her extraordinary contributions to primary care, nephrology and renal transplantation, and global health.
“Dr. Hou is an activist, humanitarian and scholar,” wrote Erica Johnson, MD, SOM ’75, one of five people who nominated Hou for the recognition. ”She makes things happen. She is indefatigable, works ceaselessly, teaches, provides direct patient care and fundraises. She embodies the UMMS commitment to community service.”
Dr. Hou, professor of medicine at Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine and medical director of the renal transplant program at Loyola University Medical Center from 2000 to 2013, is nationally recognized for her expertise in managing renal disease during pregnancy. A strong advocate for living unrelated renal transplant, in 2003 she donated one of her own kidneys to a dialysis patient. “I can't bring about world peace, I can't eliminate world hunger, but I can get one person off dialysis,” she said in an interview with People Magazine.
In 2001, Hou established the Centro Medico Humberto Parra free clinic in the rainforest of Bolivia with her husband, Mark Molitch, MD, and Bolivian endocrinologist Douglas Villarroel, MD. “She is a worthy example of dedication, humanitarianism and self-sacrifice in the name of global primary care,” wrote nominator Peter Anas, MD, SOM ’75.
Hou completed residency and a fellowship in renal medicine at Tufts Medical Center before becoming a nephrologist in Chicago, where she has been at Loyola since 2000. Prior to attending medical school, Hou earned her Bachelor of Arts in at Harvard University and Master of Arts in East Asian studies at Stanford University; she is multilingual in Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.
Hou became an organ transplant recipient herself in 2015, receiving a lung to cure a life-threatening illness.