Agim Leka, MD
Agim Leka, M.D., is a graduate of the University of Rome, Italy, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, class of 1953. He completed his residency training in Internal Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Hospitals in Philadelphia after attending the Graduate School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania in the specialty of Internal Medicine (Class of 1956).
Soon after completion of his residency in 1958, he worked for the Veterans’ Administration Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, for two years as a full-time internist and taught at the University of Louisville. Thereafter, he started his private practice in Baldwin, Long Island, in 1960 and continued his career until June of 2007 when he retired from his practice.
Dr. Leka was on the attending staff of Mercy Medical Center in Rockville Centre, N.Y. and South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside, N.Y. He was appointed Instructor in Medicine at Stony Brook Medical School.
In 1994, he opened another office in the Bronx to attend to the needs of the many Albanian immigrants who had emigrated earlier in the United States and had no Albanian-speaking physician. To this sizable community, a great many new immigrants were added, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the subsequent fall of communist governments in Eastern Europe. The Hon. Eliot L. Engel of N.Y., on May 26,1994, gave an honorary award to Dr. Leka in which he wrote : “The driving force behind this Health Care Center is Dr. Agim Leka, who has long dreamed of helping his fellow Albanians receive access to quality medical care. Together with Our Lady of Mercy Medical Center, Dr. Leka has forged a unique alliance that will make his dream a reality. I commend Dr. Leka for the dedication he has shown to his people”. This award was read at the U.S. House of Representatives and was printed in the Congressional Record. He added: “I foresee many good works coming from this innovative alliance and I wish Dr. Leka and his associates much success in this important endeavor.” Dr. Leka continued his private practice in the Bronx for a period of twelve years as the magnitude of the many needs that this patient population required for integration into the American Health Care System became evident and compelling.
During his association with “Our Lady of Mercy Medical Center”, he was also able to help Albanian physicians obtain positions of residency training and assisted others to obtain professional jobs in the Hospital. After their graduation from “Our Lady of Mercy Medical Center”, Bronx, New York, he helped some of these young physicians be appointed to coveted professional jobs in other American institutions.
He was instrumental in helping very sick patients from Albania and other Albanian ethnic areas in the Balkans, come to the United States and be treated at our institutions. Among his patients during his career, he has treated many notable Albanians, among them Mr. A. Kupi, an Albanian national hero during Mussolini’s invasion of Albania on April, 7, 1939, and Dr. Alfred Seregji, a minister of foreign affairs of the democratic government of Albania, as well as ambassadors of Albania and other officials. He was particularly sensitive to the needs of those Albanians that were survivors of the communist concentration camps and especially toward those that had undergone torture during the Communist Regime. He helped some of the latter to gain political asylum in the United States.
Dr. Leka was uniquely qualified to handle immigrants from Eastern Europe because of his knowledge of many languages and his earlier activities in the field of Human Rights. He was active in Human Rights Organizations for many years and his writings were published in the American Media, including the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor and Newsday. He worked assiduously to help the nations behind the Iron Curtain get rid of their yoke and when this was achieved, he was instrumental in helping their people be exposed to American culture and education. He worked to bring about affiliations of their universities and high schools with known American institutions and helped in the establishment of American community colleges abroad. He was vice - chairman of the Fultz Foundation which was supported by the Agency for International Development of the State Department, the Soros Foundation and by private donations. The Fultz Foundation sponsored the rebirth of the American Technical School in Tirana.
He was appointed as Assistant Professor of Preventive and Community Medicine by the N.Y. Medical College in Valhalla, New York, in 1994 and continued in this position until December 2003.
In the field of education, Dr. Leka’s activities were particularly noted in Post Graduate Medical Education for physicians. The New York Times of April 26,1975, wrote:” The Harvard University Medical School and Mercy Hospital today announced the establishment of an affiliation to provide continuing education for physicians in the metropolitan area-the school’s first such affiliation outside Massachusetts. The association of Harvard with Mercy Hospital, one of four Roman Catholic hospitals in the Diocese of Rockville Centre, which includes all of Long Island, was brought about by Dr. Agim Leka of Baldwin, a member of the hospital’s medical staff education committee.”
Dr. Leka retired from his professional life in June 2007 at the age of 83.