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Asqual Getaneh, M.D., M.P.H.

Asqual Getaneh, M.D., M.P.H.Dr. Getaneh is a Research Physician at MedStar Health Research Institute and an attending Physician at Washington Hospital Center. Her appointment is an Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at Columbia University in New York. Dr. Getaneh received her undergraduate degree in Biology and Nursing from Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, Washington; Medical Degree at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington and her graduate medical training at Montefiore Medical Center, the University Hospital of Albert Einstein Medical School in New York. She also earned a Master of Public Health in 1992 from the School of Public Health at the University of Washington. She has received additional training in conducting clinical trials and medical nutrition at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons. Dr. Getaneh has been in practice for 14 years.

At the Washington Hospital Center and New York Presbyterian Hospital internal, Dr. Getaneh has been involved in primary care and medical residents’ education clinical research. Her teaching experience includes physical diagnosis, ward attending, and clinic preceptorship. Dr. Getaneh has served as a reviewer in Predoctoral and Residency Training in Primary Care Objective Review Committees (ORCs) for the Health Resources and Services' Administration.

Dr. Getaneh has designed and carried out investigations to determine the extent of diabetes, obesity, hypertension and high cholesterol levels among Dominicans and other minorities, the results of which have been published in peer reviewed journals. She also conducts clinical trials and has been a co-investigator in the multi-center National Institute of Health funded study, Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes (ACCORD), and Diabetes Reduction Assessment with Ramipril and Rosiglitazone Medication Trial (DREAM), Trial Evaluating Cardiovascular Outcomes with Sitagliptin, and Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT).

In these trials she focuses on the relevant application of research results for the predominantly Dominican population with whom she works. As a result, she provides prevention education to reduce the metabolic diseases burden among her patients including free weight management classes. Additionally she has served as a diabetes expert for a large media company everydayhealth.com and has served on the planning committee for Diabetes Expo, New York.

Dr. Getaneh has also had a strong interest in International Health and was formally trained in International Health at the University of Washington. Early in her career, she received the International Health Award from the University of Washington Medical School and a Fogarty international research award which allowed her to conduct research on HIV and sexually transmitted infections among commercial sex workers in Lima and Callao, Peru. The results of this study have been presented at international conferences and has guided the prevention efforts in Peru. She also participated in the evaluation of HIV and sexually transmitted infections among truck drivers and commercial sex workers in Mombasa, Kenya. While a resident, Dr. Getaneh spent time at the regional hospital in Manguzi, South Africa, where she witnessed the devastating and ravaging effects of the AIDS epidemic among communities in Africa. Subsequently, she focused on providing HIV care and treatment during the time when there was little action from the International community to stave off the epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa. As a result, she started mobilizing both financial and intellectual resources and focused on Ethiopia, both individually and as a member of various organizations. She has since expanded her work to support medical education in Ethiopia.

Dr. Getaneh has also served the Assistant Director of Programs for the International Center for AIDS Prevention and Treatment Programs at Columbia University. The Center manages AIDS treatment programs in 12 African countries and Thailand.

Synopsis of selected International projects:

  1. Initiated and organized an annual comprehensive HIV medicine workshop in Ethiopia. This led to collaborations with the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, International AIDS Society and the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care. (2000-2005)
  2. Provided financial and technical support for 4 non-profit organizations working in the prevention of HIV and the care and support of AIDS individuals, through fund raisers in New York City. (2000-2005)
  3. Secured USAID funding for a program to provide home-based AIDS care which was funded by USAID. This program was implemented by Hiwot AIDS Prevention and Care Services Organization (HAPSCO) in one of the poorest communities of Addis Abeba. HAPSCO was selected to the Hunger Project leadership award in 2001.
  4. Designed a program to provide emergency obstetric training and services in semi-rural settings, Ethiopia. (2005)
  5. Facilitated the initiation of the first free AIDS treatment program at ALERT hospital in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia. (2005)
  6. Facilitated the first medical mission by the Organization of International Development to Ethiopia where direct medical and dental services were provided. (2001)
  7. Initiated a mission to provide cleft lip and palate surgery. Oral maxillofacial surgeons from New York area are now providing direct surgical service on a consistent basis. (2001)
  8. Assisted in creating the first dermatology residency program in Ethiopia, which has since doubled the number of dermatologist in Ethiopia. (2007)
  9. Medhen, a non-profit Ethiopian organization, on funding to provide home care and training support for HIV affected communities. Total Fund from PEPFAR Small Grants to community-Based Organizations. (received 2010)
  10. Initiated the first pulmonary fellowship training program, started in 2012.

She is currently a trustee for Medhen Orphan Relief Effort (MORE) and Hope International Development Agency (HIDA).

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[last update: July 9, 2014]