January 8, 1996

Media Contact: Sarah Goodwin at 404/727-5686, e-mail:

Eleven mid-career health professionals from around the world are calling Atlanta and Emory University home this year while they receive specialized training and education as Hubert Humphrey Fellows. Emory is one of 14 campuses in the nation to host some of the 166 fellows in this year's program.

The Hubert Humphrey Fellows Program, established by former president Jimmy Carter in 1978 in memory of his late friend and colleague, provides a means to support the continued training and education of accomplished professionals from developing countries around the world. Since its inception, the program has trained 2,061 professionals representing 135 countries in areas ranging from agriculture to finance to civic planning.

The Rollins School of Public Health at Emory has the prestigious job of serving as a health campus for the program. The 1995-1996 fellows on campus at Emory hail from Africa, Asia, Central America, Europe, the Middle East, the South Pacific and the Caribbean. Each participant has a particular agenda and many plans for the 11 months spent in the United States.

"The fellows come recognizing that they have only one year to accomplish everything they want to do," according to Philip Brachman, M.D., coordinator for the Emory Humphrey Fellows. "They are mature and conscientious about their work. The problem we have is holding them back. They hit the ground running with lots of ideas the minute they arrive."

During the year the fellows will pursue an individual curriculum in public health policy and management and American government. Emory fellows take advantage of resources around the city that include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Morehouse Medical School, Georgia State University, Georgia Tech, Georgia Department of Human Resources, American Cancer Society, and county health departments.

Professor Sevil Atasoy, an internationally recognized forensic scientist from Turkey, is working with the State Crime Lab and the FBI laboratory to learn more about methods of analyzing blood for DNA identification as well as illegal substances. She is also working with SmithKline Beecham laboratories on drug testing, and may participate in the testing of athletes during the Olympic Games. While in the United States, Atasoy will also consult with administrators from the University of South Florida who wish to set up a forensic sciences laboratory similar to the one she began at Istanbul University.

Anandhi Ranganathan Johri has come from Delhi, India to learn about creating a cancer information network in India. Her goal is to begin a multi-media cancer information service, the first such service in the country. She also hopes to set up a bone marrow transplant facility in the hospital where she serves as head of medical oncology. She is working with Emory oncologists to learn about creating and administering such a facility.

Miguel Anget Mejia Merino comes from Honduras where he serves as a pediatric specialist in the Honduran Ministry of Health. Mejia is intensively studying nutrition science in hopes of being able to address some of the devastating health problems arising from malnutrition and intestinal diseases in Honduras. He is particularly interested in methods of detection and control of this world-wide problem.

These fellows and their colleagues at Emory look forward to a year in which they will take academic courses in their interest areas, attend professional meetings and conferences, and attend workshops on government, civic planning, health and finance. Emory fellows in particular will attend weekly seminars on issues like leadership training, surveillance of disease and even the Olympics. They have field trips planned to the Carter Center and the CDC.

Professional knowledge is not the only thing these fellows will gain. The fellows will be learning about United States history and culture through field trips to historic places in Georgia like Madison and Andersonville. They will get to have dinner in a Mennonite restaurant, and they will share many experiences with their host families. Their American experience began this year with a retreat at Amicalola Falls, Ga., and they attended an American movie complete with popcorn.

Not only will they learn more about American culture, but they will learn about the cultures of each of the countries of their colleagues. They will also share cultural information with the Americans they meet during the year. Fellows are available to meet with community groups and schools for talks and lectures about their countries and their work.

This cultural exchange may be one of the most significant contributions of the program according to Dr. Brachman. The Alumni of the Humphrey Program form an important and active network that allows people from all over the world to understand each other and work toward common goals that can improve health standards and quality of life around the world.

"The Humphrey program makes a small but significant contribution to bringing diverse people of the world together to work on common problems. It helps pull the world together and is therefore one of the finest programs this country has ever supported." stated Dr. Brachman.

For more general information on The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center, call Health Sciences News and Information at 404-727-5686, or send e-mail to

Copyright ©Emory University, 1997. All Rights Reserved.
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