February Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Wafaa Kaf

Dr. Wafaa KafAs a child, Dr. Kaf witnessed several families in underserved rural communities in Egypt face persistent challenges such as poverty, low socioeconomic status and geographical barriers that impeded them from accessing even basic health care services. These issues, along with a passion instilled by her parents to help needy people inspired her to go to medical school.  As a medical doctor in Egypt, she volunteered and dedicated hours of quality health care services to underserved families.

Dr. Kaf continues her commitment to help the needy by providing hearing health care services to underserved children in the Springfield community.  Her service-learning projects provide an alternative source of hearing health care to children at risk for hearing loss and ear infections.  Provision of services through service learning creates a win-win situation: children are being screened for hearing loss and ear infections, audiology students are learning how to examine children while serving them, and Dr. Kaf is humbly fulfilling her passion to helping others by affording quality hearing health care and reducing health care disparities.

To her, helping others has no seasons!  Irrespective of her service-learning projects, Dr. Kaf usually collaborates with community organizations to provide services to many, including underserved and minority populations, children with special needs, adults with cognitive impairments that reside in nursing homes, and older adults at senior centers in rural counties in Missouri.  Dr. Kaf also believes that helping others has no borders!  During her summer visits to Egypt, she dedicates two weeks of her visit providing ear examinations and hearing evaluations to underserved families in rural communities; and there are many of them.  She also coordinates with surgeons and physicians who share her passion to provide additional free health services.

Being an audiologist and a member of health care professionals at Missouri State University, Dr. Kaf is fortunate to be able to make a difference for at-risk populations with hearing loss in the Springfield Community.  Dr. Kaf’s sustainable health care volunteer service both locally and globally is indeed a representation of all three pillars of the university Public Affairs Mission: ethical leadership, cultural competence, and community engagement.  She engages the community and provides valuable services to those that might otherwise go without.  She provides ethical leadership to her students, encouraging them to give back to the less fortunate.  She exposes students to diverse populations, affording them the opportunity to become more culturally aware.

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