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Enthusiasm Fuels Rubens’ Desire to Give

Jonathan S. Rubens, MDJonathan S. Rubens, MD ’87, almost opted not to come to the Wake Forest School of Medicine.

After earning his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1983, the native of the Jamaica neighborhood in Queens, N.Y., had been accepted at several of the nation’s top medical schools. Three things helped to create a compelling case and a convincing argument that the Wake Forest could help him become the kind of doctor he wanted to be:

  • A visit to Winston-Salem
  • A meeting with Velma Watts, PhD, associate professor emerita of medical education, who was then director of minority affairs with the school, and
  • Advice from his father, a South Carolina native, who wanted his son to attend the school

“It just felt right here,” says Rubens, who became the medical school’s first Vice President’s Scholar.

Inspired to Give

Rubens, a generous contributor whose planned gift includes him in Wake Forest Baptist’s Coy C. Carpenter Society, says he is grateful for the careful attention and rigorous training he received and feels strongly about giving back to the institution where he learned his profession. He believes it is important to support the kind of compassionate medicine fostered at the School of Medicine.

“The medical school gave me so much and provided the solid underpinning upon which a great deal of my professional success has been built,” he says. “Now I’m fortunate enough to have the opportunity to give back to ensure that that tradition continues.”

Building a Career

Rubens’ career in emergency medicine has taken him to the Medical Center of Delaware (now Christiana Care), North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y., the EMS Division of the Nassau County, N.Y., Fire Services Academy, St. Mary’s Hospital in Athens, Ga., and back to North Carolina at High Point Regional Health System and Regional Emergency Physicians.

Along the way, he’s written The Streetmedic’s Handbook, and he has served as guest lecturer in the Department of Sports Medicine at High Point University.

Since January 2011, Rubens has served as medical director with ActiveHealth Management in High Point, where he develops, implements and oversees population health-management programs that impact the health and lives of hundreds of thousands of health plan participants.

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