3/01/17

Dr. Brasch found more than a country, she found a home

It can be a process complicated by many factors, but the 10-year path Andrea Brasch, MD, took to United States citizenship came down to a clear theme.

It is about people, and it’s about a sense of community.

A fourth-generation physician in her family, Dr. Brasch, who was born in Hungary, chose to live in the United States because of what this country offered. She remained here because of relationships she built with her patients and her colleagues.

Dr. Brasch works at Carle Heart and Vascular Institute in the Heart Failure Clinic.

Last year she attended a citizenship ceremony at the federal courthouse in Urbana.

As “lovely” as the ceremony was, though, Dr. Brasch didn’t feel the effect of the day until she returned to the office where a group of coworkers surprised her with a party in honor of her citizenship.

And that moment reaffirmed to Dr. Brasch that she is home here.

“I don’t think you begin to think of yourself as ‘American’ because of one day,” Dr. Brasch said. “Rather, you have to have a history, get roots and sink into a culture. We all want to feel accepted and be a part of the community.

 “I have the best job, because the patients make every day different,” she continued. “Building these relationships takes time and effort, but the reward is immediate and every day is a surprising reward.”

Dr. Brasch understands the great responsibility of being a physician, and for a helping hand she usually turns to the same person—her 83-year-old father, Dr. Zoltan Brasch. She speaks with him daily, and reminders of him pepper her office—despite the fact that he lives nearly 8,000 miles away in Budapest, Hungary.

“I still look up and can see my father’s award in my office. With his friend, he won first prize for a review of treatment of chronic heart failure—and this was in 1957,” Dr. Brasch said. 

“This generation's technology amazes him, but he also is a little bit skeptical of it. He comes from a prior generation that practiced medicine differently, and I always appreciate his input.”

Dr. Brasch spends her short vacations either in Budapest or taking her father to other travel destinations.

Despite all the things she loves about visiting her old country, she can’t shake one thought.

“When I come back, I feel like this: ‘I am home now,’” Dr. Brasch said.