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CA Parent Encourages Students to Take Their Place in the World

Cushing parents are a talented and dedicated group of people. On Oct. 5, Dr. Gregory Ciottone returned for his second appearance in Cowell Chapel, where he spoke to the Academy’s students about his experiences in disaster medicine, particularly his work in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001. 

Dr. Ciottone is a U.S. board certified emergency physician with more than 20 years’ experience in academic, clinical, and global medicine. He has served as a consultant in more than 30 countries around the world and is a recognized expert in disaster medicine, emergency management, and healthcare infrastructure development. But perhaps his most meaningful work was done at Ground Zero after the terror attacks on the World Trade Center, when he commanded the first federal Disaster Medical Assistance Team.

Dr. Ciottone told his story of setting up mobile field hospitals in the shadow of what had been the towers. His team, fully sustainable in the field for two weeks, treated as many as 400 patients a day during the height of the crisis, while in considerable personal danger from falling debris, poor air quality, and the ever-present fear of further attacks.

Part of his presentation this year was his TEDxTallinn talk, which you can see here. But he used the story of his work to teach a broader lesson. He encouraged the students to become an expert—no matter what their area of interest is—and to use that expertise to affect change and make a difference in the world. He told them to have faith in that expertise and to stand up for what they believe in. Powerful words from a doctor who has practiced his expertise in some of the most dangerous situations in the world.

Dr. Ciottone and his wife, Amalia, are parents to two Cushing students, Robert ’17 and Vigen ’16.

Cushing Academy

39 School Street
Ashburnham, Massachusetts 01430

Cushing Academy

Cushing Academy exists for students and develops curious, creative, and confident learners and leaders. Founded in 1865, Cushing is a co-ed, college preparatory boarding and day school for students in grades 9-12 and PG. Our students, who come from over 30 states and 30 countries, excel in our outstanding academic, art, and athletic offerings. We welcome you to visit our community and beautiful 162-acre campus in Ashburnham, Mass., just one hour from Boston, to experience all that Cushing has to offer.