Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Incredible Alumni: Dr. Shannon Toews Potter

From Kansas to the Congo, this is the story of one LeTourneau alumna who’s making a difference. Shannon Toews Potter was recently featured in the St. Louis Business Journal for her work in Africa.

Potter, a Kansas native, graduated from LETU in 2006 with a B.S. in biology. While a student, she traveled to Kenya with LEGS (now Limbs International) and was introduced by a professor to a rural obstetrics clinic in Ethiopia.

Dr. Shannon Potter, LETU alumna.
Photo used with permission and courtesy of the
 St. Louis Business Journal.
On that trip, Potter learned how common it was for women to suffer from urogynecological issues, which, if left untreated, severely disturbed their lives. Although correctable, many women were unable to access medical care, causing them to be shunned or even commit suicide.

“I saw the plight of these women and thought, this is something I really want to do…They go from being ostracized and unable to function in a society, to being a normal woman – able to get married and maybe have children again. For me, working with them is a way of communicating to them that they are valuable in the sight of God.”

While currently wrapping up her residency at St. Louis University School of Medicine, Potter has already accepted a post-residency program in the Congo with World Medical Mission, a branch of Samaritan’s Purse. It’s a purpose she’s worked toward since her days at LeTourneau.

Potter said, it was on that first trip to Africa, she thought: “I could do this for the rest of my life. And that’s what I’ve been trying to do ever since. The last eight years I’ve been in medical school and residency just trying to move toward that goal.”

After her residency is finished in June, Potter and her husband, Ryan, a biomedical engineer, along with their infant daughter, Sydney, will move to the Congo for a two-year commitment to work in a hospital with World Medical Mission.

“It changes their life for the better. When you can help with that, it’s just a beautiful thing.”

Are you an alumnus? Share what's going on in your life with LETU by emailing jennapace@letu.edu.

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