Dr. Juliana Otieno | Midlife Fulfilled Podcast
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Ep 132 A Legacy of Leadership and Philanthropy Inspired by ILI Fellows | ILI 5 of 5

Dr. Otieno's dedication to education in her community exemplifies the impact of the ILI program on one person's devotion to leadership and legacy.

On this episode, I had the privilege of interviewing retired pediatrician, Dr. Juliana Otieno in part 5 of 5 of the immersive storytelling series with the Inspired Leadership Initiative (ILI) at the University of Notre Dame.

From her childhood on a Kenyan sugarcane farm to her inspiring journey in medicine and education, Dr. Otieno’s life story is as captivating as it is impactful. She shares her passion as an advocate for education for girls in Kenya, her involvement in the ILI program at Notre Dame, and how it influenced her founding of the Rusalia Resource Foundation to enable girls from economically disadvantaged families in Kenya to get a high school education.

Dr. Otieno served as the only pediatrician in a regional hospital in Kenya, ensuring proper care for children despite significant challenges related to healthcare access. Her commitment to giving back to her community is heroic.

She also became the CEO of that same hospital in Kenya, taking on immense responsibility to ensure the well-being of children in the community.

Her involvement in the ILI program at Notre Dame allowed her to connect with a diverse cohort, attend classes, and share her own story with others.

Through the ILI program, Dr. Otieno was inspired to start the Rusalia Resource Foundation. The foundation now supports 30 children and aims to increase that number to 36.

Dr. Otieno has received tremendous support from the ILI community in the U.S., helping with registration and fundraising. The foundation’s impact is truly a testament to the power of collaboration and shared vision.

Dr. Otieno’s story illustrates the incredible impact one person can have when driven by a deep sense of purpose and commitment to being a force for good. Her work continues to be a source of inspiration to many around the world.

When you listen to this episode you will appreciate Dr. Otieno’s unparalleled dedication to education, healthcare, and empowerment in her community. Her story exemplifies the impact of the ILI program on one person’s devotion to leadership and legacy.

The Inspired Leadership Initiative at Notre Dame: https://ili.nd.edu
Dr. Juliana Otieno’s Bio: 
https://ili.nd.edu/fellows/juliana-otieno-m-d/
Rusalia Resource Foundation: 
https://www.rusalia.org/home

Incidentally, we filmed this interview at ND Studios at the University of Notre Dame. You can watch the video on our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/@midlifefulfilled

Dr. Juliana Otieno | Inspired Leadership Initiative | University of Notre Dame | Midlife Fulfilled Podcast

Episode Transcript

Bernie Borges [00:00:01]:

Doctor Giuliana Oteno, welcome to the Midlife Fulfilled podcast.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:00:07]:

Thank you so much. I’m happy to be here.

Bernie Borges [00:00:10]:

It’s an honor and a privilege to be able to speak with you today, and it’s an honor and a privilege to be featuring you and hosting you here At ND Studios, at the University of Notre Dame campus. Doctor Giuliana, if I may call you that going forward

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:00:24]:

Yes, please.

Bernie Borges [00:00:25]:

I’d like to begin our conversation with your your childhood, your upbringing. You grew up on a farm in Kenya, a sugarcane farm, I believe. Yeah. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about your upbringing and how that led you eventually to becoming a pediatrician?

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:00:41]:

Thank you, Bunny. I’m a firstborn of 16 children. My mother gave birth to 8 girls in a row, then the last Few, boys. So the girls were taught hard work, and the boys were spoiled and pampered. My dad, despite As being a large family in the sugarcane farm, the girls had to do the farm work and help mom and dad. And despite that, My dad made sure that we all went to school. He was able to look for money from he was not working. He was just relying on the sugarcane.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:01:16]:

So being the 1st born, the rules are a bit tight for me, so I had to do better than everybody. And I’m happy that his strictness and my mom’s softness made, you know, made me what I am. And I went to primary school in the village, then I joined a national high school. That was an eye opener.

Bernie Borges [00:01:38]:

Why? Why is it in Iowa?

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:01:39]:

I saw a different world. The housing was different.

Bernie Borges [00:01:43]:

Okay.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:01:43]:

My rural village, we had mud touched you know, mud floor, Mud walls. There was water from the river, firewood from the farm. You go collect it, but my high school was like, Wow. There was electricity all out throughout. The school was good. There was a change of food. There was no longer my local food that we’re eating every day. And, you know, the the learning experience and meeting the girls from the rich families was just an eye opener.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:02:15]:

So and my mom told me, when you go to that school, make sure you work hard on my daughter. That’s where I met, you know, for for from 4. We did 6 years at that time. The the education system has changed in Kenya a lot. So as far as those years that that is 73 278 was form 1 up to form 6. In form 5, we do have we had to have a career talk with the teacher. I had a good chemistry teacher from Britain, and he told me, you know, we were applying either for college, university, Whatever course. And he I had written, nursing and teaching because that’s what my father told me.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:02:56]:

My father wanted me to be a nurse, and my father wanted me to be a teacher, so that was my choice. But he said, Juliana, you are so good. You should be a doctor. Do you mind if I fill your career form as a doctor? I said no.

Bernie Borges [00:03:09]:

And how old were you at that time about?

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:03:11]:

I was about 15, 16. Tin.

Bernie Borges [00:03:13]:

Okay. I

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:03:13]:

was like, there’s no problem. No problem. Just go ahead. But I won’t tell my dad yet until the results come out. So when the results come out, I did very well, and I was actually it was for the university in medical school, Nairobi. By that time, we only had 1 medical school in Nairobi, and it was 5 year course.

Bernie Borges [00:03:33]:

5?

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:03:34]:

Yeah. But, before I joined the university, I actually got married. I had a early marriage. So during the holidays, I got married. I got a calling letter. I’m already married. I have a 1 month old kid. So I’m like, my kid will stay with my mom, and I would go to college.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:03:53]:

My husband was a farm manager, so he was staying in the farm. So when I went to college, the driving force was, of course, finish quickly and join my family. Few after that, I got posted to this large provincial hospital in my region in Sumu Kisumu is near on the lake of, Lake Victoria. That is the largest freshwater lake in in in Africa. Lots of fish. And, you know, that hospital was also an eye opener. In our medical school, our teaching and referral hospital, Yes. We had medical cases.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:04:28]:

We had people who are sick, but this hospital, the children’s Illnesses was just impossible. It was such a variety. And I had kids by now. I had 3 kids.

Bernie Borges [00:04:42]:

Okay. So

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:04:42]:

I was like, oh my god. My children has passed through all these diseases. We had malaria. We had pneumonia. We have diarrhea. We have a A terrible form of cancer. And by that time, my children were that age where that cancer is very common. So each time I’ll go back to the house, I look at the jaw, I look at the abdomen.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:05:01]:

Could they be developing the cancer? You know that fear?

Bernie Borges [00:05:03]:

Right.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:05:04]:

So I’d and then the mortality for children was very high. I just decided I love the children’s, And I must work in the children’s ward. The good thing I’ll I had I met the nurse in charge was really a nice lady. We worked together as a team, and she was like, You would be a good pediatrician. Mhmm. So time came. I applied, got accepted again. I had to be away from my for another 3 years.

Bernie Borges [00:05:27]:

Oh, wow.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:05:28]:

Yeah. But I made sure it was really minimum 3 years so that I come back and join them. And the beauty is when once I finished, I came back to the same hospital.

Bernie Borges [00:05:37]:

Okay.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:05:37]:

And that is the hospital I worked for

Bernie Borges [00:05:40]:

As a pediatrician.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:05:41]:

As a pediatrician. I was the only pediatrician for of 11 years. Life was tough, and that was the only regional hospital That was serving about 5,000,000 people.

Bernie Borges [00:05:54]:

Wow.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:05:54]:

And we would get children from all over. And it was what I did was because I was the only pediatrician, it was easy to make rules when you work alone. So I got a team of medical assistant, The nurses and the community health workers. And we decided how will we make sure the children reach the referral hospital, because access is quite a problem. Even up to now, access to the hospital is a problem because of the distance. The road network It’s public transport. People pay the hospital out of pocket. So we we we had a team, and we’re just, like, Thank God the mobile phone also was just coming.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:06:34]:

Mhmm. So, like, okay, give them my number. They’ll call us when they’re in trouble, and we’ll be ready for the children. So we made a difference, and I’m happy that I worked there for long. Then 207, I became the in charge of the same hospital. I was the CEO.

Bernie Borges [00:06:47]:

Of the entire hospital?

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:06:48]:

Of the entire hospital. So for 2 hours Did

Bernie Borges [00:06:51]:

you see that coming?

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:06:52]:

No. I did not see it coming.

Bernie Borges [00:06:54]:

Did you welcome it?

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:06:55]:

Oh, I’d initially, I was, given the position in April, but my husband passed away in April 2007. So I was like, nope. I don’t want any responsibility. Then in July, I was like then I said, okay. I’ll give it a try. And I tried it until 2018 when I retired.

Bernie Borges [00:07:14]:

So So

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:07:15]:

I was the CEO, but I was also the only pediatrician. I got another pediatrician in 2013.

Bernie Borges [00:07:23]:

During that time, were you only the CEO, or were you also practicing as a pediatrician?

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:07:27]:

I was also practicing as a pediatrician. Wow. So I had to had a team back in the ward to make sure the children were really taken care of, and then I will be consulted. But I made sure that I’ll see the children early in the morning. By 7 o’clock, I’m in the ward. I will leave at 6, See the children, do a last round, then go home.

Bernie Borges [00:07:48]:

Yeah. Well, it’s interesting. In these few minutes, you have recapped Your life from a young child through your formative years of early education, through your medical education, Through your career as a pediatrician and then as a CEO of a hospital. The the same hospital where you studied early And then you came back after further studies. It’s it’s a fascinating background. Of course, you have been through the Inspire Leadership initiative program here at the University of Notre Dame. So why don’t you fast forward to that experience, but specifically, What drove you? What brought you from Kenya, Africa to South Bend, Indiana to invest the time And the energy and the emotion into the ILI program.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:08:40]:

Yeah. You know, after retirement in 2018, I was, like, I’d had enough. Yeah. Too much work and I needed a rest. And a friend of mine who is here, doctor Bandar Nalin, He sent me the link and said, I think you need a break from Kenya, from all that. What else I’ve done, I’ve just taken a break and I was just into my village on the farm, Resting and doing nothing. So when I got that link and I said, oh, let me apply. That will be a good break away from home, Away from family

Bernie Borges [00:09:11]:

So the link came to you from a friend?

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:09:12]:

Yeah. Yes. The link came from a friend Okay. And he suggested, why don’t you try this? This may be a good program for you because it’s for retired people like you. I understand you have now retired. I said, yes, I’m retired, and I want to get away from home and get something new. Something new that will make me think of what next. Mhmm.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:09:32]:

Because back at home, I was, like, thinking what next? I didn’t want to go into private practice. I think I’d seen too many children to do private practice. So when I got the And I was accepted. I was like, yes. I’ll take it. I’ll take it and come. And we came the First time just to see the campus, and I was like when I entered here, it was like, wow. This is great.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:10:00]:

I’ll come back. We came in July, and the program was starting in, was it October? November? And I said, I’ll be back. I’ll be here for the next few months.

Bernie Borges [00:10:11]:

What was it about that stage in your life that really put you positioned you to Welcome the opportunity to go through a program like the Inspire Leadership Initiative program.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:10:23]:

What caught my eye was, it was really a leadership kind of Fellowship.

Bernie Borges [00:10:28]:

Mhmm.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:10:28]:

Had been a leader, so I was like, okay. Maybe there’s something new that I could get from this leadership The fellowship. And, you know, being in inspired was like, okay. Even though I’m retired from public, I’m not that old. I can still be inspired to do something else. So so that’s really what inspired me. You know, the the Ito itself and then the kind of the program that they had was really amazing because you are going to back to go to class. Okay.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:10:59]:

So I’ve retired, but I can go back to class, be with undergrads. You can either teach them, you will be taught, you’ll be taking assignments if you want. And the beauty was there was no exams, so that was like, oh, good. I’ll go for this. And also to meet new people. You know, usually, when you are in a Please, meeting new people really makes a difference. And I did meet my cohort. Oh, they were such wonderful.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:11:21]:

There were 15 of us.

Bernie Borges [00:11:22]:

Let’s talk about Yeah. So tell us a little bit about that experience, meeting these other cohorts from different walks of life. What what was that experience like?

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:11:30]:

Oh, it was it was amazing. So I was the only one from Africa, then we had Gloria who is, African American. So the rest were all Americans. Okay? So it was like, we didn’t know one another. We had read a bit little bit of the bio, but, you know, we said, why can’t we discuss about who we are? So everybody was deciding who was to start first. Then I said, I’ll start first. I’ll introduce myself. So I stood first and I was like just gave my story the way I’m telling you now, and they were like, did you have that written down? I said, no.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:12:06]:

My life, I know it overhead. I know it overhead. So it was kinda we had 1 week of everybody, you know, would meet once a week for dinner. So we’d have time to go around and people discuss who they are, what are their aspirations, why did they come to IRL, what is their family. Some people really gave us real nice stories. Others gave very little. They were a little bit conservative, which was fine because this is a new group. You don’t know How far you want to give your story Mhmm.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:12:39]:

But it was pretty good. And from there on, we were looking forward to our Wednesday dinner. We’d meet every Wednesday dinner, and we would like continue talking. Right. Continue discussing of our stories.

Bernie Borges [00:12:50]:

During the program, did you take any classes with Notre Dame students?

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:12:54]:

Yes. Oh, yes. I did. We did. I took, the philosophy. That was amazing. I’m like, I read, Socrates and Pilato many years back. Mhmm.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:13:05]:

So I’m like, okay. This book still exists. So I took Philosophy, I took international development, and, during the international development is when this idea of, You know, maybe going back a bit, before I joined high school, my dad didn’t have money. I was called to a high national school, which was quite expensive. My mom rallied go went around the community seeking support. So it’s the it’s the community people who donated money to take me to high school. So when I qualified as a doctor, I said I’ll give back to the community. Mhmm.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:13:43]:

So I started looking for children who have passed To go to high school, but they don’t have money. The parents are very few. So I started doing that. So now when I was here now, That was like, During international development, we’re supposed to come up with what do we want, what can you do, what What what have you been doing that you can make it better in this program? And I think that was quite a push. And also having met my fellow cohorts, We had shared with them what had been doing. Now we’re like, that’s pretty good. Go ahead. Go ahead.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:14:20]:

But do a write up. So I did a write up, and, it was kind of, panel beaten by my cohort some of my cohort team. It was panel beaten by Chris and and and and, the other the other members. And it was like, wow. Let’s go. What’s the first wave what’s the way forward now? So we had it registered, and it is called Rosalia Resource Foundation That takes care of girls from poor families to high school. Rosalia is the name of my late mom, And my mom is the one who made me go to school. Mhmm.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:14:57]:

My dad said we’re so poor, but my mom didn’t give up. She said even if you are poor, She could reach out to a few friends.

Bernie Borges [00:15:04]:

Just hearing your story about your your childhood, and I’m hearing it for the 1st time. I intentionally wanted to wait until actually recording this interview to hear it for the 1st time. I could tell even though both your parents were clearly very influential, I could tell that your mom specifically Was very influential. Regarding your foundation, talk to me a little bit about the board because the the board is from here, Inspire Leadership Initiative here at Notre Dame. And I would imagine that that board has been extremely helpful and influential in getting The whole foundation off the ground, getting the five zero one c three status, and all that.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:15:43]:

Yeah. Thank you so much. So the board, when I After I had written, they will write up and were like, yes, this is what I want to continue doing. I had to register it in Kenya as well. So in Kenya, registered as a nongovernmental organization. So with that Kenyan registration, it was now easy to come to the US and, talk to my my friends. Carrie Schein, she’s the president of the board. She’s been a great friend.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:16:10]:

She’s been really useful. Then we have doctor Bernard Nalin. We have, father Bob Dowd. We have Jamie, Bill Scheiner, who was my cohort, then Orlando, who was also in my cohort, and they did done a great job. So for the US US board, They helped to fundraise, and it’s really through donations, friends, you telling a friend, a friend feel having a heart to support The children so I also have a board back home in Kenya, and I’m the director, I’m the chairman. I have the vice chair, and We are doing tax filing. We are doing all the requirements. And right now, we have 30 children.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:17:01]:

Right now, we have 30, but 2 have 3 have graduated. So in total, we have had 34 33. And we are soon hoping now, next year, from January, we’ll be having 36.

Bernie Borges [00:17:14]:

Mhmm.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:17:14]:

Because we think less some are dropping. Our schooling is 4 years. K. So so this year, we are dropping 4 girls are finishing form 4. Then after form 4, they’re either eligible for college or university. So the form 4 the fours, we will there’ll be space for 4 people. But we want to bring on board with another lot that can make it reach 36.

Bernie Borges [00:17:38]:

Right.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:17:39]:

Yes.

Bernie Borges [00:17:39]:

Now when you entered the ILI program, Was that part of your vision? Was to create a foundation? Or how did that happen?

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:17:47]:

Not really. It wasn’t. It was something at the back of my mind, and I was Just wondering how or not will I approach people? You know, you don’t approach people that you’ve just met with something so grave. But this international development class project really gave me the opportunity to fine tune, to reach out to people, And to to get their ideas, is this something good? Is it that doable? Because by in the in the non international development class, There was also a a school project that was being done in in, in South Sudan. And the the the director was also a graduate, from here. So that was like, okay. I want to be in that group of discussion so that I get the ideas of how he developed it. Unfortunately for him, he had to build the school.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:18:36]:

But for me, the schools are already there. It’s just a matter of looking these girls from poor families. And the girls must go to school so that they bring back to the community. Mhmm. They become better citizens. Mhmm. In my community, the girl child is, like, not taken. If you have only girls,

Bernie Borges [00:18:57]:

When

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:18:57]:

are you getting a boy? You’re being asked. So the male child is seen as a as a figure of continuity or authority. Mhmm. So for me also Being a girl who has gone to school, yeah, some men still say, okay. Because you’ve gone to school, you must be great. But if I’m not going to school, mm-mm, nobody will be looking up for me. Mhmm. Yes.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:19:18]:

Yes.

Bernie Borges [00:19:19]:

Mhmm.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:19:19]:

Yeah.

Bernie Borges [00:19:20]:

So you are leaving a mark in this world Through the foundation. Well, of course, through all the work that you did for decades as a pediatrician as and also as a CEO of the hospital in your town. But this foundation is really having an impact. When you look back on your time at the Inspire Leadership Initiative during the time that You spent here, which was an entire academic year, what are maybe some of the highlights? I know you’ve spoken to them a little bit, but I want you to go back and And and think some more about some of those highlights, maybe some of the relationships that you formed during your time here at Notre Dame in the ILI program.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:19:58]:

Yeah. So thanks. You know, our cohort of 15, it was like as I was discussing the foundation, it was really 1 on 1. Having been a CEO of a hospital, you get results when you talk to people individually, not in a group. So that was my strategy. So individually, I would go to each one of them and share with them. This is what I have. What do you think? And they’ll give me the ideas.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:20:23]:

And then, like, would you want to be join would you want to join my team? So I I’ll be very happy to say that Phil Phil White is I gave him the idea, and he wrote the first Draft on paper. Okay. Yeah. So that was like, oh, this is a true friend. You know, those are friends, friend who can help you Right. Do such things. So individually, every person contributed, and it was like, yeah. So I think this is something that can materialize.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:20:50]:

So my being here and having been in the program was really like an eye opener. Can I do this In a more much more organized, recognizable way, that even if and when I’m gone, The foundation will still be there?

Bernie Borges [00:21:08]:

Right.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:21:08]:

So that was really the driving force. Right. Yes.

Bernie Borges [00:21:11]:

I’m curious, doctor Julianna, do you consider yourself Retired?

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:21:16]:

In Kenya, we say retired, but not tired. So I’ve, I’m actually lecturing at a med local medical school, which is private Catholic. It’s called Uzima University in Kisumu. It’s been there for the last 12 years. Still small, but now it’s growing. So I’m still able to give back to the community. Mhmm. And I think I’m not really retired.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:21:44]:

And the good news is I’m a pediatrician, so I take the medical dance to the pediatric ward where I used to work. And maybe maybe just for something, the pediatrics ward, I helped I we managed to get funds to have it built. So it was designed by me as the only pediatrician and the nurses that were working with me. So I’m so happy still to go back to that same pediatric ward. Of course, the children are still very sick. The various diseases are still there. So I’m happy to contribute again still even though in my retirement, I’m not doing private practice, but I’m able to see the children in the public hospital Mhmm. During the ward rounds when I’m teaching the medical students.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:22:24]:

Yes.

Bernie Borges [00:22:25]:

And while you were here on campus during the ILI program, And you interacted with students here at Notre Dame.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:22:32]:

Mhmm.

Bernie Borges [00:22:33]:

Were there any conversations you had with students that you feel, were impactful either to you based on that conversation or perhaps to those students?

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:22:44]:

Yes. In fact, But, some of the students, when they learned that I’m from Kenya, I’m a doctor, I’m interested in educating girls, A few of them were, like, interested, and some of them actually wrote their projects because the students have to write projects.

Bernie Borges [00:22:59]:

Mhmm.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:22:59]:

So they wrote projects on on on education. And, remember, we have always been having international development, class. There were always for the 2 consecutive years, Their projects was on Rosalia Resource Foundation.

Bernie Borges [00:23:15]:

Mhmm.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:23:15]:

The education system or the educating girls through whatever means. That was kind of nice, and we would, we would Zoom chat. So the students here would Zoom chat with the girls They are in Kenya. You know, some of them are not seeing any white person. Some of them had not talked on Zoom. So that was quite challenging. That was very nice. So that also made the girls like, okay.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:23:39]:

We are known, so I must work hard for that. Then, this last this year, 1 student actually came, visited Kenya, and I was with him for 6 weeks.

Bernie Borges [00:23:51]:

Wow.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:23:51]:

He was trying to assess The the mentorship program, because we also provide mentorship to these girls. You know, just paying the school fees and leaving the girls is not good enough, because these are girls from disadvantaged upbringing.

Bernie Borges [00:24:05]:

Mhmm.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:24:05]:

Some of them are orphans, so they’re living alone in their home Mhmm. Or The home is not stable. Mhmm. You know, something like that. Sometimes the school is very hostile to a girl who is in the teenage Age? Mhmm. So this student, he came, and he just wanted to see the mentorship program. He went around the schools, And I think he’s writing his paper. I’ve not met him, but I hope I I hope he will write his paper, and his paper will give him good credit Yeah.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:24:32]:

Because of the foundation. So he was with me for 6 weeks. He enjoyed his time. Yeah.

Bernie Borges [00:24:38]:

Have you encountered conversations with others just out there as you do life, were you thought to that individual, you know, maybe you should look into the Inspire Leadership Initiative. Have you encountered people who might actually benefit from This program?

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:24:53]:

Yes. In fact, before I left, there’s another nurse that I was able to reach out to. She was here. She was in the next cohort. She was in the 4th cohort.

Bernie Borges [00:25:01]:

Okay.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:25:01]:

So it’s only this 5th cohort that we need to get somebody, so I hope, Emily will be able to get somebody Who is interested? What what is happening is people think America is so far away, and being away for 9 months from family is something so Right. So yeah. So but for me, my kids were big. My grandchildren were okay with me being out, and they were like, okay. Go to America and come back, Grandy, so that was fine. So usually, it’s just the family ties. So I’ve been able to bring 1 person. She’s called Clementine, very nice Nurse, in fact, she’s part of my mentorship program.

Bernie Borges [00:25:37]:

Okay.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:25:38]:

Mentor in the Rosalia Resource Foundation. She’s a nurse, midwife, Reproductive health. So we are able to discuss sex with the girls. There’s no sex discussion. In my community, sex is a taboo.

Bernie Borges [00:25:50]:

Right.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:25:51]:

So the girls are lost. Basic things, the girls don’t know

Bernie Borges [00:25:56]:

Right.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:25:56]:

If the mothers don’t need to tell them. Yeah. So and then sometimes they learn not the good things from the other girls. So it that thing, the mentorship program that we have is really good. So, yes, god willing, next year, we’ll be able to convince somebody to Apply to the airline program in Notre Dame. It’s really a good program. It’s really nice. Yeah.

Bernie Borges [00:26:16]:

Doctor Giuliano, the the word that’s coming to my mind Now as I’m having this conversation with you, to describe you is that you’re a giant. I don’t mean in your height, I mean in terms of your humanity And the impact that you have had on so many people in your local community and, and what you’re doing is just so Admirable. Why don’t you give us a closing thought as it pertains to just anyone in any stage of of midlife, who’s just kinda considering, you know, what their next stage of life might be, and just give us, some a closing thought on that.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:26:51]:

Yeah. So thank you. You know, In in midlife, it’s always look back how you started, what lives you’ve impacted on. I have seen through Made so many medical students, so many young doctors. We we have after after the grad college, We have 1 year internship intensive. And if the intern doctor is not strong, and if they don’t have a strong support, That will not make it. So I was always there for those young doctors. And when I was a CEO, it was like my decision was final.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:27:29]:

So if the other doctors didn’t feel this doctor did a good did did didn’t do a good job, well, they will all come to me. Then, of course, my mother, my motherhood’s instinct Would really look at in-depth, is what you’re telling me the truth about this doctor? I have to check it. So usually, I look back and I see the doctors. In fact, right now, they are that most of them have done postgraduate. Some of them are still doing postgraduate. When they see me, they’re like, thank you so much, mom. You did a lot to us. Thank you for supporting me.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:28:02]:

So I think that In the midlife, it’s not just that, oh, now I’ve retired, so get out. No. There’s still something good that you can do, and you can still give back. Because I have an open kind of avenue where people are able to access you. So I’m really easily accessible. They can reach to me. I’m also interested in research, so the students, postgraduate, undergraduate, they must do research. So I’m there for them.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:28:29]:

So they reach out to me even if if I’m not their lecturer, I’m not their, you know? Yeah. So I think having that avenue of being open Be not just for the people that you know, but even for people that you don’t know. So in the community, my home It’s open

Bernie Borges [00:28:46]:

to people. That’s wonderful.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:28:48]:

Yes.

Bernie Borges [00:28:48]:

That’s wonderful. Yes. As I said, you’re a giant. Really Thank you so much for joining me on this episode of the Midlife Fulfill podcast, here at Indy Studios On campus at the University of Notre Dame, it’s been an honor and a privilege to have this conversation with you and to share you with, my listeners and the world. Thank you so much for the contribution that you’re making to the world.

Dr. Juliana Otieno [00:29:12]:

Thank you so much. I really appreciate.

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