Global Health

"If you are going to work with the poor, at least work with the poor who can tell you to get lost" - overheard at the CUGH-GHEC meeting, Montreal, 2011.

Service/Practice Opportunities

The Department of Family and Community Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University began a collaborative partnership with the Nationalities Services Center in 2007 to provide healthcare services to newly-arrived refugees in Philadelphia. This initial pilot program expanded into the Jefferson Center for Refugee Health (CRH). Under the supervision of its Director, Marc Altshuler, M.D., CRH has been performed initial refugee healthscreens on over 700+ new refugees to Philadelphia since 2007. 

CRH is unique in that, unlike the majority of refugee healthcare in the U.S., Dr. Altshuler and his residents perform initial domestic refugee examinations and then the refugee patients become continuity patients in the practice. All aspects of healthcare are addressed, including the usual concerns of new refugees (i.e. TB, hepatitis, PTSD, parasitic infections), plus chronic health conditions, appropriate cancer screening and health maintenance visits. CRH has become a refugee “medical home” for many and has been the model for other refugee health clinics in Philadelphia, including DuPont Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania Internal Medicine and CHOP Pediatrics.

Refugee health has become a mandatory part of the Jefferson Family Medicine residency curriculum and all 30 residents attend lectures and participate in seeing patients in the CRH clinic. In addition to the clinical aspect, many students and residents are actively involved in community service activities and research. For more information, please feel free to contact Marc Altshuler at