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Richard M. Hodes ’82M (MD)

Richard HodesDr. Richard “Rick” Hodes is the Ethiopian medical director for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He received his bachelor’s degree in geography with honors from Middlebury College in 1975 and his doctor of medicine degree from the University of Rochester in 1982. He was awarded an honorary doctorate in science from Middlebury College in 2006. Dr. Hodes attended Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, and completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at Baltimore City Hospital.

Twenty-five years ago, Dr. Hodes initiated a project to send Ethiopian children suffering from heart disease and congenital spine disease to the United States for specialized surgeries at no cost to the patients. He also manages a program that provides free medication to patients with Hodgkin’s disease who cannot afford to pay. Dr. Hodes has overseen the health of Ethiopian immigrants to Israel, and has also managed the medical care for thousands of refugees and displaced people in Albania, India, Somalia, Sudan, and Turkey. From 1996 to 1997, Dr. Rhodes directed the health care for 50,000 Rwandan refugees at a camp in Goma, Zaire, while also serving as medical director for up to 10,000 refugees at a holding camp in Kigoma, Tanzania.

Today, Dr. Hodes supervises two clinics and treats severely or terminally ill patients at Mother Teresa’s Mission for Sick and Dying Destitutes in Addis Ababa, where he treats cancer patients and continues to arrange free heart and spine surgeries abroad. In addition, Dr. Hodes has maintained ties to Rochester and the School of Medicine and Dentistry through his support of the SMD Annual Fund, the International Medicine Fellowship Gift Fund, and the Rural Medicine/International Health Fund.

In 1985, Dr. Hodes received a Fulbright Fellowship to teach medicine at Addis Ababa University. Since 2005, he has held several academic posts including assistant professor of medicine at McGill University (Ethiopia) and Dozor Visiting Professor of International Health at Ben Gurion University in Beer-Sheva, Israel. Dr. Hodes is a distinguished global faculty member at University of Toledo, Ohio, and he currently serves as an associate faculty member in the Center for Medical Humanities and Ethics at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas. Dr. Hodes resides in Addis Ababa. He has adopted five Ethiopian children (the maximum allowed) and, in addition, he provides a home for up to 20 Ethiopian children with special medical needs.