Charles E. Smith

Life Communities

Dr. William Simmons Meet Dr. Simmons:
Physician, Professor,
Middle School Mentor

    Most mornings, Dr. Simmons is out the door of the Hebrew Home by 10 o'clock and may not reappear until 7:30 at night. This routine is unusual for a Hebrew Home resident, but then again Dr. Simmons is an unusual gentleman who continues to share his talents, skills, and knowledge in professional and altruistic ways despite physical limitations.

    A Harvard-trained physician specializing in neurosurgery, Dr. Simmons travels to Georgetown University Medical School three mornings a week, where he teaches neuroanatomy to 1st-year medical students. From there, he frequently continues on to the headquarters of So Others Might Eat, (SOME), a private, non-profit organization serving the poor and homeless in Washington. Here, he provides treatment to patients at their free clinic. Other afternoons, Dr. Simmons volunteers as an instructor at Julius West Middle School, where he offers one-on-one mentoring to kids who can benefit from intensive guidance to reach higher scholastic levels.

    Thanks to his motorized wheelchair and Metro Access, a shared-ride, curb-to-curb transportation service for individuals with disabilities, the doctor enjoys the freedom to pursue his medical and social service commitments. Although he has been a resident at the Hebrew Home for the past five years, where he receives daily care and assistance as well as access to special therapeutic equipment, Dr. Simmons has been able to arrange and maintain an active schedule that defies belief.

    Having graduated from high school at age 14, medical school at age 20, served in Viet Nam and survived POW captivity, earned one Ph.D. in American History and a second Ph.D. in Economics, taught high school, practiced neurosurgery at Georgetown University Hospital over a 20-year period, and, last but not least, attained the title of grandfather, Dr. Simmons has experienced enough victories and challenges, past and ongoing, to fill several lifetimes. And, he's not done yet!


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