Dr. Francis Ihejirika, was born in a small village of Owerri, Nigeria. He emigrated to the United States at the age of eight, two years after the onset of a Civil War in Nigeria. His family was in fact the first refugee family allowed into the United States in 1969. This required new legislation from Illinois senators at that time. Francis attended Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, graduating with a degree in Biology. He received his medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Champaign, Illinois.
He did his Internal Medicine and Pediatrics residency at Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria, Illinois and enjoyed a very successful practice there for nearly 10 years. He returned to the University of Illinois College of Medicine in 1997 as a Faculty Member in the department of Pathology and became the academic support for the Urban Health Program which assisted minority students. Under his guidance, the pass rate and test scores for minority students increased significantly. He then developed, and is now current director of the PASS (Physician Assisted Student Success) Program in Champaign, Illinois.
Dr. Mongkhanh (MK) Le Pava graduated from Loma Linda University with a BS in Laboratory Clinical Science in 1997. She worked with the San Diego University Leukemia and HIV laboratory as a licensed specialist. Her mother passed away in 2001 from cancer, whose death inspired her to pursue medicine as a passion for life. She graduated from Ross University School of Medicine in 2005, and she’s been working at PASS program together with Dr. Francis since then. Dr. Le Pava cares about each one of her students and sincerely helps each one succeed in fulfilling their goals. She believes that one should make life better than one found it. With this, she has determined that each student who comes to PASS program is her own personal project, who God gave her. She praises God with all her heart, mind, and soul, and she believes the outcome belongs to the Lord.