Blake Alkire, MD
Dr. Blake Alkire is an otolaryngologist—head and neck surgeon—at Massachusetts Eye and Ear in Boston, Massachusetts, and an assistant professor of otolaryngology at Harvard Medical School. Given his interests in global health initiatives, he also is on faculty with the Program in Global Surgery at Harvard and co-founded the Global Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgeon Initiative (globalohns.org), an international collaborative research group with hundreds of members from more than 40 countries with a mission to expand access for ear, nose, and throat conditions around the globe. His publications on global surgery are routinely cited by the World Health Organization (WHO) and World Bank. Blake received an MD from Harvard Medical School and an MPH in Global Health from the TH Chan Harvard School of Public Health. He is married to the love of his life, Leah, an oncologist in Boston. Dr. Alkire and Leah recently welcomed their first child in September and could not be more excited.
What is your favorite Texarkana memory?
My parents graciously threw a wedding reception at Texarkana Country Club for my wife and me. I absolutely loved the chance to show off how fun, funny, and loving everyone in T-town is; my in-laws and non-Texarkana friends still talk about how much they loved the people they met and the strong sense of community.
Who is someone from Texarkana who impacted your life?
Chuck Zach and Arnie Lawson rank at the top of the most influential teachers/mentors I have had in my life. Their teaching married a drive for excellence with the joys of intellectual/musical pursuit; I really felt as if I grew into adulthood in their classrooms.
What do you love about Texarkana?
Texarkana has such a beautiful sense of community—it is a place where people take care of one another.
Where was your favorite place to eat in Texarkana?
Any interesting story to tell about that place? TLC—hands down! It was a regular for the family on Saturdays and with friends after a day of losing discs at Spring Lake Park. Twisted Fork is a very close second—delicious and innovative food! Bryce’s pies also get a very strong honorable mention.
What do you think makes Texarkana famous?
I have a number of go-to factoids when people ask me, “is Texarkana a real place?” I lead with Texarkana likely being on the weather map of whatever daytime talk show they grew up watching. Then I hit them with the opportunity to stand in two states and two cities at the same time in the birthplace of Scott Joplin and Ross Perot! Then I transition to music—REM has that song called “Texarkana,” Creedence Clearwater Revival was “just about a mile from Texarkana,” and for those who have not heard “Texarkana Baby” by Fred Rose, I immediately google and play it for them.
What is your nickname for Texarkana?
What do you miss about Texarkana?
My family and friends!
What words do you live by?
I must give a shoutout to my mom for always impressing the golden rule upon my brothers and me. Following that, Teddy Roosevelt’s quotation about the man in the arena (“It’s not the critic who counts…”) always comes to mind.
TXK Roots is Texarkana Magazine’s forum to highlight and honor Texarkana natives who have accomplished big things in the world. These folks may have relocated, but they took the values, education, work ethic and creativity instilled in them by growing up in this unique border city and used these qualities to blaze extraordinary trails. We asked them to share their thoughts about growing up here. No matter how far from Texarkana they may find themselves, we will always consider them our neighbors and we are proud to claim them as forever members of our extended Texarkana community. After all, “everyone is famous in their hometown!”