Johannesburg Family Physician Receives National Honor From American Academy of Family Physicians
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237 Ext. 5204
The Humanitarian Award honors an AAFP member for extraordinary and enduring humanitarian efforts both within and outside the United States. From Lowell, Mass., to Johannesburg, South Africa, Black has provided quality, compassionate medical care to patients on five different continents over the course of her 37-year medical career.
Black began her career in the city of Lowell, where she established the Tewksbury Family Practice and Lowell Family Practice, both community-oriented group practices, which expanded from two to 13 health care providers during her 27-year tenure.
Black engaged in a number of philanthropic pursuits within her local community, first as a founding member of the Rape Crisis Services of Greater Lowell, Inc., which provided support to rape victims. Concerned that sexual assaults were underreported, she later served as a medical advisor for the county’s Sexual Abuse Investigative Network. And, in 1989, she helped establish the Greater Lowell Alzheimer’s Association to provide support to patients and their families dealing with the disease.
With her Lowell practice as her home base, Black’s first foray into international medicine came in 1987 when she made the first of two trips to the Ukraine as part of a contingent with Citizens for Peace offering assistance to Chernobyl victims. In 1999, she spent six weeks in war-torn Kosovo working at the Stankovitch II refugee camp and later helping to establish a training center for Albanian doctors. Her next trip took her to the Indian subcontinent where she worked to establish the first family medicine residency in Gujurat Province. And, in 2003 and 2004, she served as medical advisor for the National Youth Leadership Forum’s trips to Australia and South Africa.
At a time in life when most people are looking forward to retirement, Black chose a different course. Two years ago, she left her medical practice and moved to South Africa, where she works today as the resident physician at Nkosi’s Haven, a long-term residence in Johannesburg. Founded with the aim of caring for and keeping HIV-infected mothers and their children together, Nkosi’s Haven was named for Nkosi Johnson, South Africa’s longest surviving child born HIV positive.
Black also serves as medical director of Usindiso Ministries, a shelter for homeless women and their children, and she is a guest lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand Medical School in Family Medicine.
“A testament to her compassion, Susan spends her days caring for mothers and children, most of whom she will likely outlive. Yet, even amidst such unending sorrow, she manages to find joy,” commented Patricia A. Sereno, M.D., M.P.H., president of the Massachusetts Academy of Family Physicians (MassAFP). “Her selfless work in Johannesburg and beyond firmly establishes her as a remarkable humanitarian.”
Throughout her career, Black has served in the leadership of a number of professional medical organizations, including the AAFP, American Medical Women’s Association and MassAFP. Her professional excellence has been recognized time and again with honors and awards from these organizations and others. Most recently, she was named 2004 Teacher of the Year by the Tufts Medical School Department of Family Medicine.
Black earned a bachelor of arts degree in literature from University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and her medical degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit. She completed her residency at Detroit Receiving Hospital.
She has three children and six grandchildren who appreciate her drive to care for those less fortunate. Her partner of 14 years, Charles Goldstein, lives with her in Johannesburg and works to support the women weavers of Lesotho by selling their work.
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Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 110,600 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.
Approximately one in four of all office visits are made to family physicians. That is 240 million office visits each year — nearly 87 million more than the next largest medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.
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