Majid Sadigh, M.D., UVM Associate Professor and Director, UVM/Western Connecticut Health Network Global Health Program (Photo: UVM COM Design & Photography)
Majid Sadigh, M.D., director of the Global Health Program at the University of Vermont College of Medicine and Western Connecticut Health Network (WCHN), was recognized as a 2016 Healthcare Hero by the Connecticut Hospital Association during the organization’s 98th Annual Meeting held June 28, 2016, in Wallingford, Ct.
The award, created in 2002, celebrates the invaluable contributions of healthcare workers, both to their field and to the community at large.
As a four-year-old boy living in impoverished Iran, Sadigh knew he wanted to become a physician to help alleviate the pain and suffering he witnessed in his embattled country. Despite the challenges of his youth and his family’s tumultuous escape from war-torn Iran, he landed in the U.S. as a refugee in 1984 and began his mission in global health immediately following training in internal medicine and infectious disease. While Sadigh cannot return to his homeland, he actively pursues his greater mission of being a “physician of the world.”
Sadigh, who also serves as an associate professor of medicine at UVM, travels the globe responding to various calls for humanitarian aid, and is particularly devoted to improving health in resource-poor countries in which inhabitants often experience great hardships and unavoidable health crises. Each year, he leads medical students, residents and physicians to resource-limited countries to be trained in understanding the complexities of healthcare delivery across many borders with the hope of reducing health inequity. One of the program’s recent trips to Uganda was featured in a five-part series, titled “A Connecticut Doctor in Africa,” that was featured by Hearst Connecticut Media Group.
Aside from his work in global health education, Sadigh has dedicated most of his career to fighting HIV worldwide. He alerted public health officials about the impending HIV epidemic in 1997 in Kazan, Russia, where he continues to play a role as teacher and clinician. He has worked to help end the HIV crisis in Uganda since 2002, in Zimbabwe since 2004, in Botswana since 2005, and in Rwanda since 2010. In addition to these efforts, Sadigh provided assistance following the 2004 tsunami in Sri Lanka, and after the genocide in East Timor in 1999. In 2014, he was called upon by AmeriCares and the Centers for Disease Control to serve as chief medical officer at an Ebola Treatment Unit in Liberia, and provided Ebola prevention and treatment training to national healthcare workers there. Sadigh also trained his Connecticut clinical colleagues in these practices.
“Dr. Sadigh has taught us all that borders can stretch beyond the boundaries of one’s heart, talent, and imagination,” stated a Connecticut Hospital Association press release.
Learn more about the Global Health Program.
(This article was adapted from a press release produced by Elizabeth Hamilton of the Connecticut Hospital Association.)