Healer, Father, Friend Rostam Kavoossi, MD

In 1987, Rostam Kavoossi, MD was the Assistant Medical Director and Director of Education for the new Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation department at Cedar-Sinai Medical Center. He was only 39 then, but he was poised to become the next Director of Rehabilitation at Cedars-Sinai. So when he made the surprising move to become the Medical Director for the newly built Rehabilitation Center at Adventist Health White Memorial, many wondered why.

Did they offer more money? Was White Memorial USC? Where was Adventist Health White Memorial exactly? People asked him these kinds of questions. But the truth was, they missed the mark entirely. Had they asked Dr. Kavoossi what was truly important to him as a doctor, he would have told them Adventist Health White Memorial allowed him to work at a teaching hospital and positively impact the health outcomes of the under-resourced communities of East Los Angeles and Boyle Heights. For Dr. Kavoossi, this was a chance to, “Take two steps forward for an entire community and contribute resources.”

Rostam Kavoossi, MD

And he did just that. For nearly 32 years, Dr. Kavoossi practiced medicine at Adventist Health White Memorial. He was a humble, kind soul who treated patients, colleagues and volunteers as precious in small but meaningful ways. For example, he would not tolerate being more than five minutes late to see any patient. He always gave his patients two books free of charge (despite hospital administration insisting he charge) – Neck and Back Health and The Art of Stretching – because he believed in the body’s ability to heal. And one Thursday per month, he treated his nursing staff to dinner to honor their hard work, compassion and dedication.

In healthcare, there are those who simply practice medicine and those who have a genuine passion for healing. Dr. Rostam Kavoossi was the latter, and his retirement in 2019 marked the end of a remarkable career at Adventist Health White Memorial.

Sadly, our community and the world lost Dr. Kavoossi in July 2022. His untimely passing was a loss felt deeply by all who knew him. He is survived by his wife, Mitra, and two daughters, Nedda and Ava.

To honor Dr. Kavoossi’s legacy of self-sacrificing service, the Kavoossi family made a generous gift to support the Rehabilitation Center and worked with the Adventist Health White Memorial Charitable Foundation to create a commemorative plaque and dedicated bench in the Healing Garden, a fitting tribute to a man who spent his life bringing relief to those in pain.

“One thing that gives us comfort in his passing is he accomplished everything he wanted to get out of his life,” Ava Kavoossi said tearfully. “Having an impact on his patients and being part of a community that needed help was one of the things he was very passionate about. So I am grateful we can have an impact to help Adventist Health White Memorial too.”

Dr. Kavoossi, a true healer of East Los Angeles and Boyle Heights, dedicated his life to relieving pain and restoring mobility to his patients. Through his selfless efforts, he gave his patients a new lease on life, allowing them to fully engage in life’s joys and pleasures once more. Though he may be gone, the community will never forget his impact, as his spirit lives on in the hearts of those he touched.

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