Press Releases

American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s (JDC) Medical Director in Ethiopia Receives Mastership From American College of Physicians

Long Island Native, Dr. Rick Hodes Recognized for Excellence and Contribution to the Medical Field


Michael Geller / JDC Telephone: (212) 885-0838

Jamie Epstein / JDC Telephone: (212) 885-0849

For Immediate Release

JDC’s Medical Director in Ethiopia, Dr. Rick Hodes, will be honored at a convocation ceremony held in Washington DC on May 15th by The American College of Physicians (ACP), the nation’s largest medical-specialty organization. At the ceremony, Hodes will be officially recognized as one of 46 Masters of the college (MACP), a highly selective position which recognizes outstanding career accomplishments. In December, CNN selected the Long Island native as a finalist in the “Championing Children” category of “CNN Heroes,” a program which highlights “ordinary” people for their extraordinary achievements for his exemplary work caring for those with heart disease, spine disease, and cancer in Ethiopia over the past two decades.

Now communicating with specialists around the world to help diagnose and treat the ailments of his Ethiopian patients via the Internet, Hodes has historically been engaged in international medicine: during medical school, he spent a summer working in Bangladesh and also spent time interning in India. Upon graduating from the University of Rochester Medical School and training in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins University, Hodes headed to Ethiopia in 1985 as a Fulbright lecturer in Medicine. In addition to his work in Ethiopia, he was dispatched by JDC during crises in Goma Zaire (1994) and Albania (1997) to set up medical protocols and assistance for Rwandan and Kosovo refugees. Hodes also serves as an advisor to the Israeli Ministry of Health.

New MACP Masters have made a notable contribution to medicine, including but not limited to: teaching, outstanding work in clinical medicine (research or practice), contributing to preventive medicine, improving the delivery of health care, and/or contributing to medical literature. Volunteer and community service is also taken into consideration. MACPs have been recommended by their peers, endorsed by their local ACP chapter Governor, and reviewed by a national credentials subcommittee.

To learn more about JDC’s programs in Ethiopia or to donate, go to:

About JDC

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is the world’s leading Jewish humanitarian assistance organization. JDC works in more than 70 countries and in Israel to alleviate hunger and hardship, rescue Jews in danger, create lasting connections to Jewish life, and provide immediate relief and long-term development support for victims of natural and man-made disasters.

For more information, please visit

Background on Hodes:

In 1990, Dr. Hodes’ position as a physician in Ethiopia for JDC was to care for 25,000 Potential Immigrants to Israel. Since that time, he has been attending to all of the medical needs of those in the area. Hodes is also a Senior Physical and Medical Consultant at a catholic mission medical facility, where the sick destituted come for medical care. He has found doctors to perform life altering surgery on Ethiopian children at low cost, and he purchases drugs from India and Kenya at pennies to the dollar. There are hundreds of examples of Dr. Hodes’ selflessness, ingenuity, academic curiosity, persistence against all odds, and clinical acumen that have resulted in hundreds of lives saved and suffering alleviated. His memoir essay “A Birth in Tedda,” was published in Annals of Internal Medicine and in On Being a Doctor.

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