How A 1940s Yearbook Lead to Hope and Health

Dr Myint in Nepal
Dr Myint at Airport in Nepal
Dr Myint receiving Heroes of Education Award in 2016
July 10, 2018

Humble Beginnings

Simon Myint came to the United States after seeing a Phoenix College advertisement in the back of a Phoenix Union High School yearbook. The yearbook was left by an American Missionary stationed in Myint's home country of Burma. Finding inspiration in the pages of the yearbook, Myint dreamed of attending college in the United States. He contacted Phoenix College’s Dean of Students, Harry Wyman, and was awarded tuition assistance if Myint could find transportation from Burma. Myint made arrangements to come to America with the help of Dr. Charles S. Kendall, Pastor of Central United Methodist Church, travailing by boat from India to the port of New Orleans, Louisiana, and then by train to Phoenix. After completing pre-medical studies at Phoenix College in 1948, Myint went on to complete his bachelor's degree at the University of Arizona and then to Northwestern University to earn his medical degree.

His Life's Work

In 1959, Dr. Myint returned to Rangoon, Burma and was the first cardiac surgeon there to perform open heart surgery. Because of the political situation at home, it became apparent that he would not be able to stay in Burma, and he soon came back to the United States. After additional surgical training at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Myint settled in Los Angeles, California - working and teaching at the Los Angeles County Hospital and Martin Luther King Hospital in Los Angeles. He proudly served in the first Gulf War as a citizen of the United States of America.

Dr. Myint has spent much of his career as a doctor giving back to his home country (Burma) and neighboring, Nepal. Dr. Myint continues to travel the world, providing medical services to under-resourced populations. Now in his 80s, Dr. Myint still visits Burma and Nepal regularly to provide medical aid to families that cannot afford or gain access to good medical care.

"At 84, I still make trips to Chaurjahari Hospital [in Nepal] where I am known as Dr. Simon and by the villagers as 'The Big Doctor'." - Dr. Simon Myint

Paying it Forward for PC Students

In addition to performing medical miracles across the globe, Dr. Myint never forgot those that made his dreams possible.

Dr. Myint honors dean Harry Wyman, the man who gave him a chance at a better life through an education at Phoenix College.  In 2006, Dr. Myint became one of the first Phoenix College alumni to step forward in support of a scholarship campaign by establishing the Dean Harry Wyman Scholarship; paying forward the kindness shown to him by helping current Phoenix College students achieve their dreams through education.

Additionally, Dr. Myint established the Simon Myint Burma Memorial Scholarship for Science and Health, an endowed scholarship ensuring future generations of students the opportunity to pursue these fields of study at Phoenix College.

Dr. Simon Myint was honored for his dedication and service to the community at the 2007 Phoenix College Alumni Association Hall of Fame.  The American Association of Community Colleges honored Dr. Myint in 2013 with the Outstanding Alumni Award in honor of his support to Phoenix College.  And, in 2016, he was honored once again as Phoenix College's Hero of Education at the District-Wide Heroes of Education Dinner.  

Phoenix College is proud to recognize and honor Dr. Simon Kyaw Myint for the good works he accomplishes daily for PC students and the international community.

If you are interested in paying it forward or honoring someone you know from Phoenix College through a gift, please contact Deborah Spotts at 602-285-7667 or Deborah.spotts@phoenixcollege.edu

About Phoenix College

Phoenix College is one of the 10 colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District, one of the largest community college districts in the nation. Phoenix College offers academic courses leading to associate degrees, university transfer, certificates and short-term job training to more than 11,000 students annually.