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Doctors of Distinction Awards Recognize WMCHealth Director of Surgery Rifat Latifi, MD, FACS for Global Health Efforts
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Westchester Medical Center
Rifat Latifi, MD, FACS
While many physicians travel around the globe to treat patients in underdeveloped nations, few like Rifat Latifi, MD, FACS, Director of the Department Surgery and Chief of Trauma and General Surgery at Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth), can say they are responsible for bringing advanced medicine to those countries in a more permanent form.
Dr. Latifi was recently honored by the Westchester County Business Journal with a Doctors of Distinction award in the No Land Too Far category, recognizing his efforts to bring advanced medicine to people around the world.
Dr. Latifi has spent the past 17 years building a telemedicine network in developing nations. Telemedicine allows physicians to examine patients and consult with other healthcare providers virtually, making long distance treatment possible. In addition, the telemedicine network is used for healthcare system development and education of healthcare providers in some of the most remote sites of developing countries, by making expertise from around the world available through a virtual presence.
Since 2002, through his work with The International Virtual e-Hospital, an organization he helped found, Dr. Latifi has helped to create virtual telemedicine programs at 45 hospitals in three countries and is working to add more. Countries like Kosovo, Albania and Cabo Verde (West Africa) are already connected, and Dr. Latifi is currently working to establish a program in northern Vietnam. He has also done telemedicine projects in other parts of the world, including in the remote Amazon River region of Peru and Brazil, and in the Philippines.
Dr. Latifi, who resides in Katonah, joined Westchester Medical Center in January 2016.
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