2015 Dean’s Awards honoree: M.E. Michele Heisler, M.D., M.P.A.
With so many clinical, educational, and research responsibilities, it can be hard for a faculty member to find time to volunteer. Since the early stages of her professional career, however, M.E. Michele Heisler, M.D., M.P.A., has made it a priority to give back to the communities in which she has studied and practiced.
Currently, she is part of the leadership team for the Community Health and Social Services (CHASS) Center, a community-based, not-for-profit organization formed to develop, promote, and provide comprehensive, accessible, and affordable quality primary health care and support services to all residents of Detroit and the surrounding communities — with emphasis on the underserved African American and Latino populations.
Ever since she was a medical student, she has worked with Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), a human rights organization that won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997. In her service with PHR, she has conducted field investigations on violations of medical neutrality in Turkey (1995 and 2013), surveyed forensic physicians conducting medical examinations of detainees in Mexico, and currently serves on the executive committee of PHR’s Board of Directors. She helped to found the PHR’s Asylum Program, a network of volunteer physicians and lawyers working to provide services to individuals who have suffered human rights violations in their home countries and are seeking asylum in the United States.
Heisler received the 2015 Medical School Global Community Service Award on Nov. 4 at the annual Faculty and Staff Awards Dinner.