Survivors of Torture: Prevalence in an Urban Emergency Department

Academic Emergency Medicine
Volume 19, Issue 10, Article first published online: 25 SEP 2012
Survivors of Torture: Prevalence in an Urban Emergency Department
Braden Hexom, MD, Dinali Fernando, MD, MPH, Alex F. Manini, MD, MS, and Lars K. Beattie, MD, MS
This article examines attempts to estimate the prevalence of survivors of torture presenting to an urban ED. Through data collected at Elmhurst Hospital (home of Libertas Center) in New York, the authors concluded that self-reported survivors of torture did present to that urban ED.

Relationship of Childhood Abuse and Household Dysfunction to Many of the Leading Causes of Death in Adults

Relationship of Childhood Abuse and Household Dysfunction to Many of the Leading Causes of Death in Adults
Felitti, Vincent J et al.

American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Volume 14 , Issue 4 , 245 - 258 

This study found a strong graded relationship between the breadth of exposure to abuse or household dysfunction during childhood and multiple risk factors for several of the leading causes of death in adults.

Link is to full article available for free.

Oral Health Status of Refugee Torture Survivors Seeking Care in the United States

Singh HK, Scott TE, Henshaw MM, Cote SE, Grodin MA, Piwowarczyk LA. Oral Health Status of Refugee Torture Survivors Seeking Care in the United States. American Journal of Public Health 2008;98(12):2181-2182. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2007.120063.

This study assessed the oral health status of 216 refugee torture survivors seeking care at an urban torture treatment center in the United States. Results showed that patients' dental health ranged from poor to fair; 76% had untreated cavities, and approximately 90% required immediate or near-immediate dental care.

Nicole Chow Ahrenholz, MD

Nicole Chow Ahrenholz, MD is an attending physician in Internal Medicine at Harborview Medical Center and a Clinical Instructor at the University of Washington School of Medicine.  She divides her time between seeing patients and teaching medical residents and students in the International Medicine Clinic and in the inpatient setting.  In addition, she provides medical consultations for survivors of torture through Northwest Health and Human Rights, and evaluates new arrival refugees through the Refugee and Immigrant Health Promotion Project.

Kate Sugarman, MD

Family Practice Physician, Kate Sugarman, MD

Dr. Kate Sugarman is a family practice physician working in Washington, D.C.  Dr. Sugarman received a B.A. cum laude in general studies from Harvard College and earned an M.D. from Jefferson Medical College.  She has a Diplomate from the National Board of Medical Examiners and from the American Board of Family Practice.  In the past, Dr. Sugarman served as a family doctor at the Lighthouse AIDS Clinic in Rehovot, Israel, where a majority of the patients were from Africa.  Most recently, she worked at the Community of Hope clinic in Washington, D.C.

Michael Hollifield

Medical Director of the Program for Traumatic Stress, Long Beach VA

Previously, Dr. Hollifield held positions at the University of New Mexico and the University of Louisville where he was medical director of biobehavioral oncology and the anxiety disorders program. Most recently he was a research scientist at the Behavioral Health Research Center of the Southwest. Dr. Hollifield received his M.D. from the University of Washington in Seattle, and completed a dual residency training in Family Medicine and Psychiatry at the University of New Mexico.


Thomas Buckley

Dr. Buckley is Associate Clinical Professor of Pharmacy Practice at the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy, where he coordinates the Public Health & Healthcare Policy course and co-coordinates the Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience program. He is a clinical consultant and evaluator for the Khmer Health Advocates, a Cambodian-American healthcare organization in West Hartford, CT, where he also is a preceptor for students on clincial healthcare rotations.

Ellen Silver Highfield

Director of Acupuncture Programs and Assistant Research Professor, Department of Family Medicine at Boston Medical Center

Ellen Silver Highfield has over 30 years experience as an acupuncturist. In addition to her aformentioned titles, she is also an Associate in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, and Adjunct Professor at the New England School of Acupuncture. She was instrumental in the inception of four free-care clinics at Boston Medical Center and has worked on NIH-funded projects to evaluate the efficacy and safety of acupuncture in various populations. 

For more information

Michael Grodin, M.D.

Director of the Medical Ethics and Human Rights Programs, Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health

Dr. Michael Grodin is the descendant of four generations of Rabbis and Jewish Educators, is Director of the Medical Ethics and Human Rights Programs at , where he is also a Professor of Psychiatry, Family Medicine, Health Law, Bioethics and Human Rights. He is Co-Director of the joint project in Jewish Legal Bioethics of the Institute of Jewish Law at the Boston University School of Law.

An Innovative Model of Culturally Tailored Health Promotion Groups for Cambodian Survivors of Torture

Cambodians living in the U.S.A. suffer from depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and chronic medical disease at rates far in excess of national averages. The Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma’s Cambodian Health Promotion Program seeks to address this burden of disease by offering them culturally tailored health education in a group setting.
A health professional and a bicultural health educator co-facilitated a five-session health promotion group for Cambodian survivors of torture from 2007 to 2011. The program covered five major topics from Western and Cambodian worldviews. They 

Does Integrated Care Affect Healthcare Utilization in Multi-problem Refugees?

Carol C. White, Craig A. Solid, James S. Hodges, Deborah H. Boehm. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, August 2014.

A history of trauma is common in refugee populations and appropriate treatment is frequently avoided. Using a convenience sample of 64 patients in a Somali primary care clinic, a culture and trauma specific intervention was developed to address retention into appropriate treatment.


Subscribe to RSS - Medical