President Dr. Michael S. Firstenberg


ACAIM Positions

  • 24 Mar 2022 11:02 AM | Anonymous

    Prominent ACAIM member and Cardiac Alliance's Dr. Bill Novick, was featured on MSNBC on March 14th, 2022 while assisting efforts in Ukraine.

  • 15 Mar 2022 3:52 PM | Anonymous

    During the past few weeks, the world has witnessed a ruthless and violent war of aggression in Ukraine. The thousands of injured and killed, including children, pregnant women, and the elderly, reflect the dehumanizing and barbaric nature of war. In fact, this is one of the worst humanitarian crises in decades. As of today, an estimated 2.8 million refugees from Ukraine, mainly women, children, and elderly, have fled the conflict, seeking safety in surrounding countries. Many Ukrainians are also internally displaced. Men of fighting age are not permitted to leave the country, adding to the difficult and often tragic decisions faced by families and children. In their recent communique, the World Health Organization has reported an increasing number of verified attacks on health care facilities, workers, and ambulances. These human rights violations are unacceptable and must stop immediately. In addition, we are deeply concerned about the negligent and extremely dangerous behavior of the invading Russian forces around civilian nuclear power plants.

    The American College of Academic International Medicine opposes this and other armed conflicts around the world and promotes the peaceful resolution of international disputes. We call on our members to assist those in need, to protect the vulnerable from harm, and to ensure respect for human life and dignity.

    We hope that the global awareness and outpouring support for the Ukrainian civilians who are facing this humanitarian crisis will also extend to the other communities who are facing similar atrocities throughout the world. We must stand together to prevent human rights abuses wherever, and whenever, they occur. Furthermore, we must stand united in supporting those whose lives have been devastated by acts of aggression across the globe.

    Please consult the U.S. State Department website for the most recent updates on the situation in Ukraine.

    The following list of charities has been compiled for those who would like to donate to the relief efforts.

  • 27 Feb 2022 7:10 AM | Anonymous

    On behalf of ACAIM members worldwide, we mourn the loss of a great friend, teacher and mentor, Dr Paul Farmer. With his lifelong commitment to global health initiatives, Dr Farmer was an inspiration to many of us. His leadership and wisdom served as the foundation for many of the goals and principles for which ACAIM was founded, including a commitment to high quality medical care for all and the belief that health care is a human right. His tireless contributions included domestic efforts in the early phases of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as decades-long efforts in Haiti and elsewhere in South/Central America, Africa and Asia. He focused on helping provide the highest level of care with a belief that “location and circumstances of your birth should never dictate that quality of your care." All of us, including those of us at ACAIM who are committed to his beliefs, are better international medicine professionals from standing on the shoulders of such a Giant. He will be missed and our collective thoughts and prayers go out to his wife and three children.

    Press Notes:

    1. https://www.cnn.com/2022/02/21/health/paul-farmer-partners-in-health/index.html
    2. https://www.pih.org/article/remembering-dr-paul-farmer
    3. https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2022/02/21/1082117707/global-health-champion-dr-paul-farmer-has-died

    About Dr. Paul Farmer

    Paul Farmer, M.D., Ph.D., was the professor and chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Additionally, he was the chief of the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He Co-founded Partners In Health and he continued to pioneer approaches to delivering high-quality patient care in resource limited areas of the world.

    He was the recipient of the 2018 Public Welfare Medal and was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

    His notable authorships includes books titled: In the Company of the Poor: Conversations with Dr. Paul Farmer and Fr. Gustavo Gutiérrez, Reimagining Global Health: An Introduction, and To Repair the World: Paul Farmer Speaks to the Next Generation.

    (Photograph of Dr. Farmer sourced from https://www.pih.org/article/remembering-dr-paul-farmer and Biographic Information Sourced from www.PIH.org )

  • 27 Nov 2021 11:04 AM | Anonymous

    ACAIM has been greatly impacted by the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, which has claimed over a million lives and sickened many, many more. We have cared for innumerable critically ill individuals with COVID-19, and have found our professional and personal lives greatly changed by the ongoing crisis. We have learned that even the most robust health systems can quickly become overwhelmed when need outstrips resources. The pandemic has also exposed fissures in society within the United States and abroad. There has been a significant toll on health care provider morale and health, and many additional challenges in international medicine, clinical care and education have been brought to light.

    ACAIM has risen to these challenges. Our members have stepped up to the plate to care for sick patients under uncertain conditions. Programs have pivoted to local initiatives and virtual formats, focusing on the dissemination of best practices, the provision of mentorship and support, and exploring novel approaches to these unprecedented times. The networks and partnerships established through ACAIM have helped our members weather these storms.

    As our borders become ever less well-defined, we are working together to address global health challenges. ACAIM is one platform for a multi-specialty approach to international medicine that can create effective solutions to improve the health of our populations around the world.


    Annelies De Wulf, MD MPH
    ACAIM President 2020

    Additional Resources

    • World Health Organization (WHO) information about Coronavirus
    • US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Situation Summary
    • Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Centers 
    • The 2019-2020 Novel Coronavirus (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2) Pandemic: A Joint American College of Academic International Medicine-World Academic Council of Emergency Medicine Multidisciplinary COVID-19 Working Group Consensus Paper. Journal of Global Infectious Disease. 
    • A joint american college of academic international medicine-world academic council of emergency medicine multidisciplinary COVID-19 working group consensus paper. Journal of global infectious diseases.  

    More Publications
  • 27 Nov 2021 10:36 AM | Anonymous

    The American College of Academic International Medicine stands in solidarity with our medical colleagues and the people of India in the midst of an unprecedented resurgence of COVID-19 infections, resulting in a devastating impact to the nation.

    As we learn of the rising number of cases and associated death toll from COVID-19, ACAIM lauds the support of the United States Government to India in its time of humanitarian crisis.

    The delivery of essential supplies, such as oxygen cylinders, oxygen concentrators and generation units, rapid COVID-19 tests, vaccines, and many more life-saving resources are a testament to the strength and durability of the relationship between the U.S. and India, medically and diplomatically.

    ACAIM emphasizes the importance of ongoing efforts towards health system strengthening, including training health workers and building infrastructure for surveillance and crisis response. These are the pillars upon which further support systems can be built.

    As an organization, ACAIM continues to monitor and assist our colleagues in India with regular evidence-based clinical information sharing. To that end, we continue our weekly educational meetings, jointly with our colleagues from around the world. We are unified by one goal – Defeating SARS-CoV-2 and extinguishing the COVID-19 pandemic through the discovery and dissemination of clinical scientific advances.

    ACAIM supports the strong emphasis on intensive and equitable vaccination efforts and implementation of scientifically-based and culturally acceptable clinical care protocols for patients with COVID-19 infections. We applaud the recent US waver of vaccine patents that will improve global health equity.

    The aftermath of this pandemic wave will have a deep and lasting impact on the mental health of the population of India. This will need to be a major focus area for the Academic International Medicine community for years to come, with an emphasis on robust support and rehabilitation programs. In addition to addressing mental health aspects of the COVID-19 crisis, ACAIM anticipates future projects aimed at pediatric pandemic preparedness and is in early stages of creating these programs. 

    The United States and India share a deep and well-established bond. Our common experiences are further reinforced by the tragedy of repeated waves of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated human suffering and loss. As a result, we are committed to building more resilient healthcare infrastructure, robust emergency response capacity, and critical care systems able to adequately face future international health security crises. As we fight the current pandemic, ACAIM is ready to collaborate with other organizations and to tirelessly support our essential global partners.

    Resources:

    https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/04/28/fact-sheet-biden-harris-administration-delivers-emergency-covid-19-assistance-for-india/ 

  • 5 Jul 2021 10:48 AM | Anonymous

    The American College of Academic International Medicine (ACAIM) denounces the structural racism, including incidents of police brutality, that led to the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner and so many others before them. The institutionalized beliefs, behaviors, actions and systems associated with, and responsible for, these tragedies must be confronted and reformed with urgency before more lives are lost. We join ours to the global chorus of voices calling for the cessation of deadly force use by law enforcement, for active review and elimination of discriminatory practices, and for justice for the lives that have been taken.

    The epidemic of structural racism is evidenced by not only the repeated incidents of unacceptable abuse and cruelty by law enforcement, but also by the disproportionate COVID-19 death toll among the people of color. These are only some of the manifestations of the glaring, pervasive, longstanding and unacceptable inequity that continues to exist in the United States. This health crisis has disproportionately affected minority communities, who have less access to adequate healthcare and who, as a whole, already suffer from a higher burden of chronic diseases and the ongoing trauma of racism. In response, we must strive for a more equitable distribution of health resources, and we must urgently address the social determinants that intrinsically lead to the development of disease and worsen its impact. 

    ACAIM stands with fellow academic and medical organizations in advocating for the protection of health and human rights and for a society free of violence and oppression. As a multispecialty organization of physicians advancing healthcare around the globe, we also accept the critical role of tackling the inequities and injustices affecting the health of our own home communities. We are committed to standing up for this change and for a better future.

  • 1 Apr 2021 12:42 AM | Anonymous

    Dr. Christine J. Butts

    Although Women’s History Month may have come to an end, we cannot overlook the work of some of the amazing female heroes that we stand shoulder to shoulder with every day. Since graduating from Keck School of Medicine in California in 2003 with her M.D., Dr. Christine Butts has served as an inspirational figure in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Louisiana State University School of Medicine. As a member of the LSU team, Dr. Butts has gone on to become Director of both the Emergency Ultrasound Division and Fellowship, as well as a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at Louisiana State University in New Orleans.

    Among her most noteworthy contributions to the medical community are the seminars and presentations she has led both nationally and internationally. Dr. Butts has traveled to areas of Iraq, Zimbabwe, across Europe, and to numerous other locations, where she has shared her expertise and experience with the use of ultrasonography on topics such as basic ultrasound, F.A.S.T. exam in trauma, and cardiac ultrasound. Her outreach even extended to areas such as Haiti, where she worked side by side as a visiting professor, with medical professionals and trainees of the Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais, teaching emergency medicine and ultrasound technique and interpretation.

    Dr. Butts is an accomplished academic physician with multiple peer reviewed journals and book chapters, however these publications represent only a portion of who she is and her true passions. For the past seven years she has volunteered with Girls on the Run, a nonprofit organization designed to enhance young girls’ social, emotional, physical skills and behaviors to successfully navigate life experiences through lessons that incorporate running and other physical activities. Her international work allows her to play a role in strengthening the capabilities of medical professionals across the globe, and  with local programs like Girls on the Run she is able to guide the future of girls and young women, that may even one day carry on her work.

  • 24 Mar 2021 10:39 AM | Anonymous

    The American College of Academic International Medicine (ACAIM) condemns all forms of violence, discrimination, racism, harassment and xenophobia. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the combination of inflammatory political discourse, deeply embedded prejudices, and the general increase in intolerant behaviors has resulted in a significant increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans.

    Regardless of whether the manifestation of anti-Asian bias takes the form of social exclusion, non-verbal behaviors, verbal abuse or physical violence, we must stand united, respond firmly, and emphasize that racism and its consequences are deplorable and unacceptable. According to official statistics, anti-Asian American hate crimes reported to police rose by nearly 150% between 2019 and 2020. The group Stop Asian American and Pacific Islander Hate reported approximately 3,800 hate attacks between March 19, 2020 and February 28, 2021. Physical assaults, including injuries and homicides, comprised approximately 11% of the incidents. It is likely that incidence of hate crimes is much higher, as a significant proportion of such events goes unreported for a variety of reasons.

    The Leadership of ACAIM stands with the victims of anti-Asian American attacks, abuse, and discrimination, just as we stand against any forms of discrimination based upon race, religious and/or political beliefs, gender identification and orientation, sex, and socio-economic upbringing. Furthermore, as physician-scientists and humanitarians, we must learn from the current experiences and ensure more robust efforts to implement “educate and prevent” programs against racial violence and abuse. Our thoughts go out to families and communities affected by anti-Asian American hate crimes across the country. To combat the ignorance and hate, we must stand together! 

  • 12 Aug 2020 10:57 AM | Anonymous

    On August 4, large explosions in the Port of Beirut resulted in the extensive destruction of homes, businesses, hospitals, and other critical infrastructure. The result was more than 200 confirmed deaths with many more missing, over 5,000 injured, and approximately 300,000 internally displaced. In addition to major impact on Beirut’s health and economic sectors, a significant proportion of Lebanon's grain supply was destroyed as well.

    Our thoughts go out to the entire community of Greater Beirut as well as our Lebanese friends and colleagues who have been impacted by this disaster. Although the recovery process will be long and difficult, we believe that the determination, ingenuity and pride of the Lebanese people will help rebuild Beirut stronger than ever.

    For those wishing to contribute to the relief and rebuilding effort, please consider donating through established philanthropic structures, including the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (https://disasterphilanthropy.org/disaster/beirut-explosion/); the Lebanese Red Cross (https://supportlrc.app/donate/donate_guest.html); and Malteser International (https://www.malteser-international.org/en/our-work/middle-east/lebanon.html), among many other available support channels.

    There are many lessons that the international health security community needs to learn and urgently act upon as a result of the Beirut tragedy. Dangerous chemicals are all-too-often concentrated in relatively small spaces, near highly populated areas, with limited oversight, leading to unacceptable risks to local populations. Given previous similar incidents, including those in Tianjin, China (2015); West, Texas (2013); and Toulouse, France (2001) the time has come for a comprehensive, worldwide review of policies and procedures related to storage of chemicals with high explosive potential near densely populated areas. We must learn from these experiences to prevent any future similar catastrophes. 

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