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Notes from the Field: Lending a Helping hand to the African Diaspora

July 29, 2016

Notes from the Field: Lending a Helping hand to the African Diaspora

Dr. Demetri Blanas is an alum of the  Harlem Residency in Family Medicine program. He graduated last month with the class of 2016.  As part of his residency training, Dr. Blanas assisted local nonprofit, African Services Committee(ASC), with health-related initiatives. (Photo: Dr. Demetri Blanas)


African Services Committee(ASC) is a non-profit organization that provides legal, nutritional, case management, and housing services to members of the African Diaspora in New York City, and operates five HIV and TB treatment centers in Ethiopia. The Harlem Residency in Family Medicine supports residents’ efforts to work with local non-profit organizations such as ASC.

I’ve had the opportunity to work with ASC on projects such as a viral hepatitis screening and linkage to care program, clinical care of West African patients living with HIV/AIDS, ongoing research on commercial sex workers in Ethiopia and a capital campaign that is part of an ASC effort to find a new home in New York City. The Harlem residency program created protected time for residents to work with community organizations, like ASC. The administrative and clinical leadership at the Institute were always happy to provide invaluable advice and to introduce me to other helpful connections. My experience with ASC was an invaluable aspect of my training in the Harlem Residency in Family Medicine.