Harvard Medical School & Real Medicine Foundation team for student enrichment program in India

Harvard Medical School & Real Medicine Foundation team for student enrichment program in India

February 12, 2009

SSA Public Relations NEWS RELEASE

HMS Students Work With Real Medicine Doctors to Support Organization’s HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care Programs


LOS ANGELES,CA/JHABUA, INDIA (February 12, 2009) – Harvard Medical School (HMS) and the Real Medicine Foundation (RMF) have partnered for an ongoing student outreach course that will support the organization’s HIV/AIDS prevention and care programs in Jhabua, India. 

Taking place over an eight week period, this multifold project will allow HMS students to work alongside RMF doctors and volunteers at the Bhil Academy, teaching classes in English and Science and help monitor the health of the students. In addition, they will assist in the activities of the Jhabua District HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care Program that Real Medicine established in 2006.  The students will also help roll-out plans for a local center, including getting government approval, so that patients will not need to make the monthly journey to Indore (3 hour journey each way) to receive their HIV medicines, as well as take care of their healthcare needs.

Presently, Tyler Chernin and Matthew Oertli, four-year HMS students, are working in India under the guidance of Dr. Toegel, Real Medicine’s Country Director. 

Dr. Martina Fuchs, founder of Real Medicine states: “There have been substantial improvements in the overall condition of the community due to the work of the Harvard medical students. Harvard’s support of our project in India is remarkable and will make a lasting effect on the Jhabua people.”

“Tyler and Matt are incredibly hard working,” said Dr. Fabian Toegel, RMF’s India Country Director. “They are doing a lot of the ground work for the programs we are rolling out in 2009. In addition to teaching students and monitoring patients, they are looking after many community emergencies.”

HMS student Matt Oertli states: “My work here in India has been one of the most challenging and enriching experiences thus far in my career in medicine. As I help in bridging disparities in HIV care and treatment access to the tribal community of this district, I am confronted on a daily basis with many of the barriers to care that these people face, from language to education access, health literacy, and issues surrounding migration. Though immensely complex and intriguing, I appreciate the challenges facing this community and hope to do my part to bring about some amount of sustainable change to the people of Jhabua."

"Jhabua has been mind-opening to say the least,” said Tyler Chernin, another HMS student. “There are many issues to tackle here, from health care delivery in the largely isolated villages to education and social justice. But despite these problems, my work at the Bhil Academy has kept me in high-spirits. I have never met a group of such intelligent, caring and inspiring group of kids in my life."

The Real Medicine Foundation was founded in May 2005 by Dr. Fuchs following 2004’s catastrophic tsunami in Sri Lanka. Deeply affected by the disaster’s tragic aftermath, she flew herself over uninvited and began treating as many patients as she could, on the fly. Dr. Fuchs met other physicians like her and soon realized that through the power of personal involvement, a handful of people could change the world. Today, Real Medicine has built a strong network of like-minded doctors and others who are dedicated to help ease suffering throughout the world.

About The Real Medicine Foundation

The Los Angeles-based, Real Medicine Foundation is a registered 501(c)3 humanitarian charity that provides people around the globe with aid during emergency situations as well as on-going relief in areas affected by disaster, poverty or war. The foundation was founded in May 2005 by Dr. Martina Fuchs as a result of her experience helping children and families in Sri Lanka following the nation’s catastrophic 2004 tsunami.

Dr. Fuchs was inspired to create an organization that would provide long-term and sustained medical/physical, emotional, and economic support. By using a personal approach, Real Medicine has been able to form partnerships with individuals, doctors and existing organizations throughout the world to create and implement effective solutions that will improve the lives of people and communities in need. In just three short years, the foundation has expanded its global network to include branches in the United States, South America, Asia, Africa and Europe. For more information about the Real Medicine Foundation, please visit  www.realmedicinefoundation.org.

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SSA Public Relations Media Contact:
Shannon Kerr
(818) 907-5929/skerr@ssapr.com

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