Letter from IMP Executive Director Huda Ayas

Photo of Huda Ayas
December 19, 2019

Dear friends and colleagues,  

Season’s greetings and happy new year from the George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences Office of International Medicine Programs (IMP)! As we begin a new year, we invite you to join us as we reflect on several of our major accomplishments of 2019 and exciting initiatives we are looking forward to in the coming year.   

This year marked an exciting milestone for IMP as we celebrated our 25th anniversary. Founded in 1994, our growth and success has been nothing short of astonishing. As a pioneer in international medical education and research, IMP has developed, coordinated, and completed more than 150 projects, touching the lives of health care professionals, students, and patients around the globe. 

As we celebrate our 25th year, we at IMP would like to express our sincerest appreciation to you, our partners, our colleagues at GW and around the world, and our participants and alumni through the years. We could not deliver our programs year after year without your continued support and engagement. 

IMP began with just two employees sharing a small office that included a telephone and a fax machine. At that time, we could hardly foresee our growth globally in over 50 countries and the development of so many unique and visionary international medical education and research training programs. This growth was made possible through the dedication and hard work of each member of the IMP team, and as of this year we have now grown to a team of seven current full-time staff members and a part-time medical director and research director. 

IMP had another productive year as we managed both new and ongoing initiatives. We hosted a diverse group of students to participate in our Summer Research and Medical Enrichment Program. The countries represented by this year’s group of students included the UAE, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, India, Nepal, and South Korea. In addition to the summer program, we are pleased to share that we recently appointed a new research director who was instrumental in leading a new and innovative course in Saudi Arabia on precision medicine as part of GW’s Continuing Medical Education program. 

Our team also has been hard at work preparing for programs in the coming year. This includes two new Global Health Spring Break programs that will take place in Uganda and Mexico in partnership with our partners Omni Med Uganda and Child Family Health International. Our Global Health Spring Break Program has served as a great opportunity to introduce GW students to the importance of global health training over the years. 

One of IMP’s strategic goals for the next five years is to strengthen and renew our relationships with stakeholders, partners, participants, and alumni. In doing so, IMP would like to share our story via a semiannual enewsletter. I welcome you to learn more about our work and our impact on more than 15,000 health care professionals, and I encourage you to reach out and connect with us whether you are a long-standing partner, alumnus of one of our programs, or a member of our faculty. We would love to share your story in a future IMP enewsletter. 

As IMP celebrates 25 years, we are excited to continue increasing GW’s presence and prestige worldwide by providing expanded GW educational programs overseas for the GW community, additional education opportunities at GW for international participants, as well as broadening humanitarian outreach. Many new lives will be transformed through the work of our faculty, residents, students, and partners, and we will continue to fulfill our vision to “Fly the GW flag around the world and bring the world to GW.”  

Sincerely, 

Huda M. Ayas, EdD, MBA, MHSA 

Associate Dean, International Medicine 

Executive Director, Office of International Medicine Programs