By John Carruthers, contributing writer, July 01, 2014
Before she took a position as assistant professor of dermatology at Johns Hopkins University, Inbal Braunstein, MD, spent her residency at the University of Pennsylvania pursuing volunteer opportunities. One in particular, Puentes de Salud, allowed her to utilize both her dermatology skills and fluency in Spanish to deliver care to Philadelphia’s underserved immigrant residents. With her move to Johns Hopkins, she’s not only delivering care, but public outreach messages.
- "These were patients who didn't really have any other way to access medical care. It was nice to be able to demonstrate dermatology's care for the community."
- Beginning in 2010, during her residency at Penn, Dr. Braunstein worked at Puentes de Salud, a clinic for underserved Spanish-speaking Philadelphians. Together with other volunteers, they held 28 consecutive monthly dermatology clinics. In that time, 143 patients were seen and six skin cancers, including melanoma, were caught and treated. Many of the cases, however, dealt with vocational dermatoses in the undocumented immigrant population.
- “There was a lot of contact and hand dermatitis. The patients worked in dishwashing, restaurants, or janitorial jobs most of the time,” Dr. Braunstein said. “Their skin conditions were impeding their abilities to work and getting in the way of their ability to succeed.”
- Dr. Braunstein has joined a faculty committee at Johns Hopkins known as the Hopkins Organization for Latino Wellness (HOLA). She writes a newsletter column and appears on radio in the Baltimore/D.C. area on behalf of the committee.
- “There’s a real desire for information about skin cancer and the skin, and I’m going to continue to be involved with my community.”
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