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Iraqi Medical Sciences Association honors Dr. Jamil with Lifetime Achievement Award


A Wayne State University professor of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences has been recognized for his contributions to medicine and research with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Iraqi Medical Sciences Association.

Hikmet Jamil, M.D., D.V.D., D.I.H., MS.c, Ph.D., director of Occupational and Environmental Medicine Graduate Courses and a member of the Division of Occupational & Health Sciences, received the award from IMSA President Saad Shakir on May 28 during the association’s ninth annual convention in Troy, Mich.

“I feel very honored to be recognized for my work,” said Dr. Hikmet, whose primary areas of research include Iraqi refugee and immigrant health disorders, and the impact of hookah (water pipe) smoking on health. “Awards such as these are always appreciated, and I will use it to fuel my efforts to improve medical science and the health of those I can.”

The IMSA is a non-profit, non-political educational and humanitarian organization whose members include physicians, dentists, pharmacists, scientists and other health science professionals of Iraqi descent. The association works to develop and promote professional, educational, cultural and humanitarian charitable efforts for the community and for Iraq.

Dr. Jamil received his medical degree from Baghdad University. While there, he served as program director for postgraduate studies in Occupational Medicine and Community Medicine. He acted as an external examiner for the Board on Community Medicine of the Jordanian Medical Council for seven years. The president of the International society of Iraqi Scientists, he has been recognized with awards from a number of academic institutions, non-profit organizations and the World Health Organization.

He has worked for six years with the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services and two years with the Arab American and Chaldean Council in southeast Michigan. He has twice been invited to present by the Iraqi Ministry of Higher Education and Research.

Dr. Jamil is co-investigator of a National Institutes of Health-funded study that is tracking Iraqi refugees in metropolitan Detroit who have been exposed to war in their home country to determine the effect of post-migration factors such as employment, language classes, and mental and social health services in mitigating stress and post-traumatic stress disorder. Metropolitan Detroit has long been home to one of the world’s largest populations of Arabic peoples outside of the Middle East. Increasingly, more are relocating to the region to escape the horrors of war and ethnic and religious conflict. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 35 percent of U.S. residents who were born in Iraq now live in Michigan. This number includes about 12,000 Muslims and 90,000 Chaldeans or Christian Iraqis. Much of the Chaldean population has settled in Oakland and Macomb counties. Many of these new immigrants suffer effects associated with the horrors they saw and experienced in their homeland.

The study, designed to measure stress resiliency and social programs designed to ease post traumatic stress disorder among Iraqi war refugees, may be the largest to date that investigates stress resiliency and risk factors in Iraqi refugees who have experienced war as noncombatants. It is also the first study ever of refugees in which there will be a mechanism to study a random sample of immigrants at the time they arrive in their host country.

“Dr. Jamil is a respected and internationally recognized occupational and health researcher. He has dedicated his research and services to improving the health and well-being of workers in general as well as vulnerable community members, including persons exposed to war and refugees,” said co-investigator Bengt Arnetz, M.D., Ph.D., professor of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences, and director of the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. “He plays an important role in our occupational and environmental health division’s global work on environmental health justice, including studies of Iraqi refugees in Sweden, the Middle East, as well as in Detroit. I am truly delighted that Dr. Jamil has received this distinguished award. It will further cement his commitment to environmental health issues.”

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