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AIC Presents Dr. Norbert Goldfield – Founder of Healing Across the Divides in Archbishop Desmond Tutu Lecture on Public Health

Baystate Health Physician and Colleagues Appearing Remotely from Israel and the West Bank will Address Public Health Initiatives in the Embattled Region    


American International College (AIC) is pleased to present the Archbishop Desmond Tutu Lecture in Public Health, featuring Dr. Norbert Goldfield, MD, a physician at Baystate Health and Founder and Executive Director of Healing Across the Divides (HATD). The lecture, scheduled for Wednesday, April 3, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., will be held in AIC’s Schwartz Campus Center Auditorium, with remote presentations from speakers in Israel and the West Bank.


Dr. Goldfield will discuss the work of HATD, an organization based in Northampton, Massachusetts, which he established twenty years ago. HATD works to enhance healthcare for Israelis and Palestinians by providing grant funding and technical support to community groups in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. The lecture will focus on HATD’s approach to fostering peacebuilding through initiatives designed to improve health. 


HATD supports organizations employing evidence-based approaches to address health challenges, including diabetes, lifestyles, youth mental health, heart disease, stroke prevention, and reproductive health. However, due to the ongoing conflict in the region, the group's priority is delivering essential emergency services.


Dr. Goldfield is a practicing internist at Baystate Brightwood Health Center, a community healthcare facility in Springfield. With over thirty years of experience, he has led restructuring efforts in healthcare systems at national and community levels. Additionally, he has extensive experience collaborating with those in the Israeli and Palestinian communities.


The lecture will also include virtual appearances from Veronica Vigdorchik in Israel and Nehad Fatah in the West Bank, both program specialists with Healing Across the Divides. They will discuss the health programs funded by HATD in those areas and address the impact of the current conflict on residents.


Vigdorchik, originally from Russia, immigrated to Israel at six with her parents. In addition to her role as an HATD representative, she serves as a facilitator for Israeli-Palestinian dialogue. Fatah, a Palestinian American living in Ramallah, West Bank, has been affiliated with HATD since 2016.


This lecture provides an opportunity for the campus and local communities to hear compelling stories about people on opposite sides of a conflict working together to advance community health, even amidst stressful and challenging conditions.


“The mission of Healing Across the Divides to advance peace through health is powerful,” said Karen Rousseau, PhD, RN, Dean of AIC’s School of Health Sciences. “Their work promoting health among Israeli and Palestinian people with a focus on community-based interventions is critical, especially at this time.”


AIC established the Desmond Tutu Public Health Lecture Series in 2010 to bring awareness to the issue of public health. Its namesake, Archbishop Tutu, served as the event’s inaugural speaker. The lecture, presented with generous sponsorship support from Baystate Health, is free and open to the public.



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