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Operation Understanding alumni share an enduring commitment to the organization and to the process of building bridges. We are proud to have a very active alumni network, working in support of Operation Understanding throughout the community and in support of cross-cultural understanding throughout the world.

Alumni Spotlight

Min. Lydell C. Lettsome, MD, OU 1987
Surgeon, Queens Hospital Center
Physician-in-Charge of Ambulatory Services at Interfaith Medical Center

Now, More Than Ever

Although my life has not been easy or simple it has been amazing and filled with adventure. God gave me an ambitious spirit. Nevertheless outside of my family there are two communities that I feel prepared me to best pursue my ambitions; Girard College and Operation Understanding.

When I was active in the OU interview and selection process, interviewers often used the phrase “Diamond in the rough”. I’m not certain that I was a diamond but I was definitely a hopeful seed. Girard College and my family were a truly fertile soil. Still it was Operation Understanding that gave the initial sunlight that spurted my growth.

Although it was Girard College that helped get into Columbia University, I would not have had the confidence to graduate form Columbia had it not been for Operation Understanding.

Although my family taught me to not be easily intimidated by anyone, I learned to believe in what I had to say in Operation Understanding.

Although my faith taught me that I must love my neighbor, I learned that love and justice starts with tolerance and understanding in Operation Understanding.

Minister Lydell C. Lettsome, M.D. currently serves in the surgical department of the Queens Hospital Center. Dr. Lettsome was recently appointed as the Physician-in-Charge of Ambulatory Services at Interfaith Medical Center.

Dr. Lettsome is credited by the Eastern Pennsylvania Medical Society for prodigious community service and has travelled the world providing free medical and surgical care to the poor with various missionary groups including the Dorcas Medical Mission of Brooklyn, NY. He also volunteers for the Susan G. Komen Foundation- Greater New York Affiliate and New York City Department of Health Task Force on Breast Cancer Disparities. Dr. Lettsome has been honored by the New York Mission Society and the Sickle Thalassemia Patients Network of Greater New York for his humanitarian efforts. He currently serves as the Minister of Children and Youth at Convent Avenue Church while pursing ordination from his home church- Emmanuel Baptist Church in Brooklyn, NY.


Min. Lydell C. Lettsome, MD OU 1987