Public Release: 

Macy Foundation President's Grant supports refugee health education at Georgetown

Georgetown University Medical Center

WASHINGTON (June 30, 2015) -- The Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation has awarded a President's Grant to Georgetown family medicine physician Ranit Mishori, MD, MHS, FAAFP, to create a comprehensive curriculum to educate health professions students, residents and clinicians about the health needs of immigrants, migrants, torture survivors, asylum seekers and refugees.

President's Grants are awarded at the discretion of Macy's president for projects that align with the Foundation's priority areas.

According to the UN High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR), in 2014 nearly 60 million people were displaced by conflict and persecution; 20 million of them are refugees. Last year, the U.S. admitted the highest number of UNHCR-designated refugees for resettlement. In addition, more than 3 million refugees have come to the U.S. since 1975, nearly 1 million migrant workers come annually and 41.3 million of the total U.S. population are immigrants.

"Practicing clinicians and medical trainees are encountering individuals from these populations who bring with them a wide variety of health practices, risks and conditions," says Mishori, director of Global Health Initiatives in Georgetown University School of Medicine's Department of Family Medicine. "Clinicians at all levels must become familiar with cultural, social, psychological, rights-based and clinical issues affecting these populations to provide optimal clinical care and community support."

The Macy Foundation grant of $35,000 will fund the creation of a comprehensive curriculum focused on teaching culturally competent, ethical and clinically sound care of patients from around the world. The curriculum may serve as the basis for establishing a summer institute at Georgetown University Medical Center.

"Providing quality health care for these populations requires cross-cultural competence and unique medical knowledge," Mishori explains. "A very limited number of undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate medical education programs around the country offer a comprehensive approach."

In addition to her other responsibilities as a faculty member, Mishori is the faculty leader of the newly established Georgetown University School of Medicine's Physicians for Human Rights [PHR] Asylum Clinic. She is one of three Georgetown family medicine physicians who work with the PHR Asylum Network, conducting forensic evaluations on a pro bono basis. She is among 350 members nationwide who handle about 500 physical and psychological evaluations each year, looking for signs of abuse, torture or trauma. Mishori also founded and directs the Georgetown University/Providence Hospital Family Medicine Residency Program's Global Health Track where residents work with asylum seekers, refugees and victims of female genital mutilation as part of their training.

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About Georgetown University Medical Center

Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) is an internationally recognized academic medical center with a three-part mission of research, teaching and patient care (through MedStar Health). GUMC's mission is carried out with a strong emphasis on public service and a dedication to the Catholic, Jesuit principle of cura personalis -- or "care of the whole person." The Medical Center includes the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing & Health Studies, both nationally ranked; Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, designated as a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute; and the Biomedical Graduate Research Organization, which accounts for the majority of externally funded research at GUMC including a Clinical and Translational Science Award from the National Institutes of Health.

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