JORGE LUJAN-HERNANDEZ

Winner of the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Latino 30 under 30 Award

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Resident, UMass Memorial Medical Center

Age: 30

Heritage: Mexican

 

Notable Accomplishments:

• 2014, 2016 “Joseph P Healey Endowment for Research” Grant, Co-Author
• 2015 “Best International Collaboration GOLD” Award by Plastic and Reconstructive               Surgery Global Journal, Co-Author
• 2013 “National Endowment for Plastic Surgery” by the Plastic Surgery Foundation, Co-           Author
• 2013 “Excellence in Surgery Research” Harvard Medical School, Departments of Surgery

 

By: Alejandro Ramirez

 

Jorge Lujan-Hernandez is a skilled plastic reconstructive surgeon, a renowned researcher, and an active philanthropist. Based in UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, he helps burn victims, cancer patients, and children born with congenital malformations, people with large wounds, and cosmetic patients.

 

He’s also published over 30 research paper, and while caring for patients keep him busy, he misses the lab.

 

“Right now, I’m 100 percent dedicated to the hospital, but I try to find the time for the research projects,” said Lujan-Hernandez. He notes, laughing, that it’s uncommon for doctors to do both surgery and research, but he tries to use what little free time he has efficiently.

 

His research also informs his surgical practice. For example, he focuses on finding less invasive ways to perform breast reconstruction surgery.

 

During his time in Boston, Lujan-Hernandez has been a part of the Latino Diabetes Initiative of the Joslin Diabetes Center, which seeks to improve health among Latinos. He’s also part of the New England Mexican Association, which helps children from Mexico come to New England for surgeries they can’t get back home.

 

“We connect them here to the health system, we provide them advice, sometimes we find them housing,” he said.

 

Originally from Sonora Mexico, medicine was a familiar practice for Lujan-Hernandez: his mother was a physician and his father was a veterinarian. After graduating  medical school in Monterrey, Mexico, he joined Harvard Medical School researching reconstructive medicine in 2012. In 2013, he joined UMass Memorial Medical Center.

 

Harvard was a new level for Lujan-Hernandez, since Mexico didn’t offer the same opportunities to learn new techniques or experiment.

 

“It was like coming to Toys R Us: they have all these things, all these crazy ideas, and we can actually do them and test them!” he said. “That’s how I really fell in love with what I was doing… This was fertile ground for someone who wanted to explore more of this field.”

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El Mundo Boston 2018.