Good at anticipating and solving problems with a no-nonsense attitude

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Oswego County Business



2008 Healthcare Hero
Miriam Ragab

Ragab practices at Northern Oswego County Health Services, Inc., in Pulaski.

According to one of her patients, Agnes Wilk, Ragab is certainly entitled to a health care honor.
"Dr. Ragab is a concerned, supportive health care physician," Wilk said. "She takes the time to understand her patients' concerns. She is a warm individual who tries to be more than the clinical professional one often sees for 10 minutes in the health center," Wilk said. "She has a home and family, yet she has called me as late as 8:30 p.m. with the results of tests and lab work. She is the old-fashioned doctor we all dream of having in the new age of medicine," she added.

Ragab, originally from Oswego, is a board-certified family physician specializing in women's health and pediatrics. "I offer expertise in all facets of preventive and maintenance healthcare in these populations focusing on prevention, with special attention paid to proper nutrition and physical health as well as emotional wellness," Ragab said. "I have become very well-versed in this worldwide pandemic referred to as dysmetabolic sydrome or ‘diabesity.' I am a well-liked and effective educator for patients and staff alike, offering experience in administrative as well as leadership duties," she added.

Ragab served as medical director at Northern Oswego County Health Services from 2001 to 2005. Ragab said she "stepped up" as medical director to correct deficiencies in medical management that could have resulted in the facility closing.

She earned her doctor of osteopathic medicine degree at New York College of Osteopathic Medicine, Old Westbury. Ragab has been married for 11 years to her husband, Abdelfattah, an Egyptian, who has his master's degree in mechanical engineering. The couple has four children: Mohamed, 10; Amira, 8; Laila, 5, and Yusuf, 18 months. She speaks English, French and conversational Arabic. She enjoys tennis, golf, walking, traveling and family life.

"I am very good at anticipating and solving problems with a no-nonsense attitude," she said. "I have excellent interpersonal and social skills as well as the instinctive ability to develop exceptional rapport with both patients and colleagues. I am very health-conscious. I have the sincere belief that people develop chronic disease later in life as a result of poor health habits lived earlier in life," she said. "I therefore ‘practice what I preach' to my patients and staff, friends and family alike with the thought of prevention first and foremost in my mind," she said.

She considers one of her greatest accomplishments to be managing a family of six, which included nursing four children until 12 months old while remaining a full-time D.O. She has also managed to maintain her professional certifications as a D.O. and registered dietitian.

Ragab prides herself on being able to sit down with patients and use visual aids to make lifestyle changes. For example, when she counsels a pre-diabetic or obese person on diet, she uses plastic food portions with the ADA (American Diabetes Association) diet to drive home the message. "People are amazed when they see it, especially the spaghetti and meatballs," she said. "The message becomes more real to them."

Ragab certainly receives sufficient feedback from patients telling her she's doing a great job.
"We receive tons and tons of cards and letters to my facility thanking me and my nurses for the positive impact we have made in patients' lives," she said. Ragab said many patients are thankful for accomplishments such as significant weight loss, life turnarounds, and reversal of the dysmetabolic syndrome.

Ragab teaches students from such institutions as SUNY Upstate Medical University, the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine and Le Moyne College on preventive health. She has also served as medical director for the Sandy Creek Fire Department and is currently medical director of the Pulaski Daycare Center.
(By Lou Sorendo)