The Fund for Montefiore Einstein
"When people power people, we build community."
Dr. Juan Robles left Honduras when he was 12 to join his mother, who had settled in the Bronx. One of Juan's most powerful memories of his first year in America centers around the treatment he received from Dr. Alan Shapiro, a pediatrician at the South Bronx Health Center for Children and Families at Montefiore. "I will never forget the humanity and sensitivity Alan showed my family as we tried to navigate the health system in a strange new country," recalls Juan. He also saw how the excellent care he was receiving wasn't the norm. "I quickly became aware of the disparities and inequities that made it harder for my neighbors to receive the quality care I was getting," he says. "Many of the kids I knew did not have access to clinicians like Alan. It was this major gap in patient opportunity and medicine that inspired my passion to become a doctor."
The power of home
Juan graduated from South Bronx High School in 1998 and enrolled at Cornell University. "While Cornell opened my eyes to a whole new world of experiences, I couldn't forget my neighbors in the Bronx and the difficulties they were facing back home," he says. After obtaining a master's degree in biology, Juan joined the Albert Einstein College of Medicine class of 2011, completed Montefiore Einstein's Residency Program in Family and Social Medicine, and joined the faculty in 2015.
While living and practicing in the Bronx, Juan stays connected to and inspired by his first pediatrician - who himself remains an influential member of the Montefiore Einstein community. "Alan has been my mentor and friend across the decades. He attended my medical school graduation and celebrated my wedding," he says. "When I made that first office visit, I never would have believed that Dr. Alan Shapiro would one day be my colleague. That's part of what makes Montefiore Einstein so special."
Serving the community where he grew up - and designing the blueprint for urban communities across the nation - is a special honor for Juan. "Social, cultural, economic, and environmental influences have profound impacts on health," he says. "Helping immigrants address those challenges, while treating them with the dignity and respect they deserve, is my way of giving back."
The Fund for Montefiore Einstein makes compassionate care happen.
Montefiore Einstein's commitment to benefit humanity extends across every dimension of our comprehensive service offering - from scientific research and community-based health initiatives to innovative models of education. Your contribution to The Fund for Montefiore Einstein plays an essential role in helping us embody excellence, serve our community, and foster the thousands of human connections that students, faculty, and staff members like Juan make with patients and caregivers each day.
By giving today, you power a better tomorrow.
Who's your Juan? Donate in honor of someone who has powered you.
Dr. Juan Robles has dedicated his life to giving his fellow immigrants access to the kinds of guidance, tools, and role models that enabled his success. Who in your life has powered you? Make a donation in that person's honor, and we'll let him or her know about your generosity.