By: Elsie Sy-Niebar


*CONGRATULATIONS to US ARMY COL. EUSEBIO C. KHO, MD, recipient of the prestigious Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award 2020 from the Marquis Who’s Who, as a leader in the field of surgery.

*FRONTLINER R.N. JOYCE PACUBAS LE BLANC, 53, dies after testing positive of COVID-19…


*Good News for Small Businesses hit by Covid-19: IL State Treasurer Frerich had designated $500 million to be deposited in community banks and local credit unions throughout our state to help small business.

CONGRATULATIONS to my fellow Silliman U Brother and University of the Philippines alumnus, EUSEBIO C. KHO, M.D., for being one of the recipients of Marquis Who’s Who 2020, the world’s premier publisher of biographical profiles. Last May 1, together with a few selected awardees, the Marquis Who’s Who presented US Army Col. Eusebio C. Kho, MD, with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award.

A very humble Christian gentleman, Dr. Kho had accomplished so much in his professional life: a network of leadership qualities, credentials and successes he has accrued in his field. Marquis Who’s Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.

Dr. Kho is a general surgeon who has been based in Scottsburg, Indiana since 1972 and specializes in treating patients from all ages: children to adults. Affiliated with Scott Memorial Hospital as chairman of the department of surgery since 1973, he is also a consultant surgeon for Washington County Memorial Hospital in Salem, Indiana, and Clark Memorial Hospital in Jeffersonville, Indiana, from 1973 to 2001. From 1970 to 1972, he was Assistant Hospital Surgeon at St. Anthony Hospital and a missionary doctor in the Philippines between 1960 and 1964. He retired from general surgery in 2001 and transitioned into general practice, which he still does now. In spite of meager surgical help, he was able to do two complex surgical operations at Scott: Whipple Surgery and Spleno-Renal Shunt for advanced cirrhosis of the liver; both patients lived for several years. Enlisting in the U.S. Army Reserve as a major in 1980, Dr. Kho’s 21 years of service in the military included service up to the rank of Colonel in the Medical Corps. When Iraq invaded Kuwait, Dr. Kho was activated and served in the 377th Combat Support Hospital, 1st Infantry Division, during Operation Desert Storm between 1990 and 1991 where he participated in liberating Kuwait from the Iraqis.

Dr. Kho is the author of a book, titled “The Splendid Life of a Surgeon in Four Domains.” He also published three research papers on wound healing during his years as a research associate in pediatric surgery under Dr. Mark M. Ravitch at the University of Chicago. A community advocate for many years, Dr. Kho served on the board of directors of the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Indiana for 10 years; he was a member of the Scott County Board of Health for 12 years.

Dr. Kho pursued his education in his home country, the Philippines, receiving an associate degree at Silliman University, the first American Christian educational institution in Asia. He received his medical degree at the State University of the Philippines in 1960. He completed his straight surgical internship and two years of general residency at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center between 1964 to 1967, as well as a fellowship in surgery at Johns Hopkins University from 1965 to 1967. From 1967 to 1968, he was in surgical research at the University of Chicago. He then completed his general surgical residency at the University of Texas at San Antonio, under Dr. Joseph Bradley Aust from 1968-1970. He has been licensed to practice in the Philippines since 1960, as well as in the States of Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana since 1971. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Surgery (for Life).

Dr. Seb Koh’s outstanding accomplishments especially in humanitarian work did not surprise me at all. He is one generous giver when approached to share his blessings to fundraisers. When I was president of our SILLIMAN University Alumni Association Chapter in Chicago (three times), Dr. Kho was the most supportive alumnus supporting our projects for our Alma Mater in Dumaguete City, Philippines.

I asked him: “Brod Seb (our Brotherly-Sisterly address to each other): “With all your outstanding accomplishments, how do you describe ‘Happiness,’ which you believe is a blessing from the Lord?’ Dr. Kho, is a very devout Christian. His response:

“I believe that as a recipient of the Marquis Who’s Who Lifetime Achievement Award, our good Lord acknowledges my “services to Him” serving His children. The Lord made me realize that if one do something beneficial to others, it will touch the hearts of other people to the extent of recognizing our heartfelt sharing and our personal Joy of Giving, like this Award. Being happy is a subjective emotion which opens our heart to serve our fellowmen particularly those in need. Service can be direct or indirect, like the support for charitable causes which gives me immeasurable HAPPINESS!”

Citing the successes of his five children, I asked Dr. Seb his advice to today’s youth? He said: “My advice to the youth of today: Make sharing and giving your top priority. Be a Giver. Not a Receiver. The Bible says: ‘it is more blessed to give than to receive.’ For it is in giving that the human spirit can be ennobled in human relations. It is somewhat difficult but if one persists, it can be done with no great discomfort. To today’s young people, I say: Consider Giving as a part of your life routine.”

Dr. Seb and his beloved wife, Grace, are blessed with five successful children, namely: Atty. Michelle K. McGuire, JD, Indiana University, now working as Legal Officer at the HUD, in Detroit, MI, with her husband, Pete McGuire; April T. Kho, AB, Indiana U, working/managing Dr. Kho’s clinic; Bradley J. Kho, BS Economics, Cum Laude, at Yale U., Junior Director, Procter & Gamble, Cincinnati, OH; Jaclyn A. Kho, AB Journalism, U. of Wisconsin at Madison, now with Walmart, Clarksville, IN, and Matthew Kho, AB, Purdue U., now with Humana IT Dept., Louisville, KY. CONGRATULATIONS, Dr. SEB. You are a feather in our caps!

* * *

FRONTLINER JOYCE PACUBAS LE BLANC, 53, died last April 23, 13 days after testing positive for COVID-19. A sad story of one of our thousands of Filipinos and Filipino American nurses, doctors, and a host of others in the medical field now risking their lives to save lives and the whole world itself from the spread of this deadly pandemic Corona 19 virus. Joyce’s sad passing away was shared to me by her cousin Zayda Bonje, R.N., and her husband, Dr. Neil Bonje. Both are members of our Faith Community Presbyterian Church in Chicago. Joyce’s beautiful story as a nurse was written by fellow nurse and friend, Eileen Fajardo Furlin in their ILLINOIS NURSES ASS’N. (INA) newsletter, where I quoted a portion: ’

Joyce was a nurse for more than 30 years, most recently in the neuroscience intensive care unit at UIC. She was a friend, an Auntie or a Mom to everybody, especially to new nurses. Joyce gave her life to her patients. We are all in mourning now and doing a fundraiser in Joyce’s name.”

According to Zayda, her beloved cousin Joyce left behind her husband, Lawrence Le Blanc and their two grown-up children, Lawrence and Derrick; brother John Pacubas, sisters Jessica P. Barttleson and Judy Ann P. Danbert, and widowed (late husband was Pedro) Mom Mrs. Anita Pacubas. The Pacubas family are natives of Ilocos Sur, Philippines. Our heartfelt condolences to the Pacubas Family — from Via Times Family.


From his most recent press release: “We know people are hurting. We are hearing the stories from our friends and from our families. We are seeing businesses close in our own communities. The COVID-19 pandemic has created an immense amount of uncertainty and we need all hands on deck to help others now and lay the groundwork for recovery later. In turn, these financial institutions use the money to make lowinterest loans to small businesses in their communities. Supporting the health and well-being of our residents and our economy includes making sure small-business owners stay solvent so their workers can be paid.

We move faster than the federal government because we are not slowed by their partisanship and red tape. We also have 40 years of experience in facilitating these loans, which do not add to our state’s budget deficit. Kraig Lounsberry, president of the Community Bankers Association, said the bridge loan program gives “community banks a powerful new tool to quickly protect small businesses suffering during this crisis.”

Republican state Rep. Mike Murphy of Springfield said, “Small business is the backbone of our economy, these businesses need to know state government is here to support them and their employees. Democratic state Sen. Scott Bennett of Champaign added: “These loans can help businesses stay solvent today, when they need the help.” We have worked with business advocates such as the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, the Small Business Majority, and the Small Business Advocacy Center to ensure their members are aware of our bridge loan program.

The COVID-19 pandemic will be remembered by every person who lives through it. It already has highlighted the heroic work of our first responders, health-care professionals, as well as those who work in our grocery stores, haul our garbage, operate our cities, and make sure our telephones, electric grid, and roads remain operational. Our loan program will not solve all the challenges our state and country are facing, but that does not stop us from working to be part of the solution. Our loan program will help our small business owners keep society functioning as well. I am thankful that our team could quickly do our part to help the residents of Illinois.” For further information, please call the IL Treasurer’s office (IL Treasurer M. Frerichs) : IL Treasurer’s office on 100 W. Randolph, Chicago: (312) 814-1700

To our faithful Via Times Readers and Friends: As everyone knows, small and giant businesses are sinking due to the pandemic COVID-19. Hence, your NOTEBOOK column has been reduced to one page. Give Thanks to Him. Nonetheless. Amen. (esn)


Joyce Pacubas-Le Blanc, 53, died April 23, 13 days after testing positive for COVID-19. She was a nurse for more than 30 years, most recently in the neuroscience intensive care unit at UIC. Pacubas-Le Blanc is one of at least eight known health care workers in Illinois who have died after having the coronavirus. According to the Illinois Nurses Association, which created a fundraiser to support her family, she was the first nurse at the hospital to die after testing positive.


Dr. Eusebio Kho and his wife, Grace Kho.

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