UH Med Now

Thankful for longtime ʻImi supporter: Remembering Concetta DiLeo

Date: November 23rd, 2022 in Donors, Giving, JABSOM News    Print or PDF

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Dr. Sasha Raymond fondly remembers the late Concetta DiLeo, an advocate for women in higher education. As someone who was given the opportunity to pursue her graduate degree through generous donations and scholarships, DiLeo wanted to pay it forward and support others, especially women, from similar backgrounds in pursuit of their dreams.

“It is an honor to be here on behalf of Concetta– you would’ve loved her,” Raymond spoke to current students in the ʻImi Hoʻōla Program.

DiLeo had been a special education educator and businesswoman who was committed to supporting the pipeline of locally trained medical professionals in Hawaiʻi. She established two scholarship funds at the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) to assist promising students from disadvantaged backgrounds to achieve their career goals in medicine: The ʻImi Hoʻōla Leadership Scholarship Fund and the Empowerment Scholarship Fund.

Years ago, DiLeo handpicked Raymond (JABSOM MD 2013) as a recipient of the latter and that was the start of a close friendship. DiLeo was persistent in checking up on Raymond and offering her encouragement throughout medical school. In fact, DiLeo was even there to congratulate Raymond after the birth of her first two sons.

Although DiLeo passed in 2021, through the help of her executor, new tables and chairs were recently purchased for the ʻImi Hoʻōla classroom in her name.

“To see all of this and all of you here today, she (DiLeo) would be so happy–thrilled!” said Raymond.

Raymondʻs road to becoming a doctor was not without its fair share of potholes and bumps. She shared intimate and personal challenges that she faced as both an ʻImi and medical student. Now a pathologist and mother of three, Raymond remains grateful for DiLeoʻs presence in her life and how it strengthened her as a person.

“My path to get where I am today was not the easiest. I believe in my core that I was meant to meet Concetta,” said Raymond. “I was meant to meet someone like her because empowerment is key.

By Deborah Dimaya, JABSOM Communications

See photos on our Flickr
New furniture for the ʻImi Hoʻōla Program

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