Meet ‘A Doctor Without Borders in Palestine’

“A Doctor Without Borders in Palestine” will be the topic at the next Coffee Talk, 7:30 p.m., Monday, Nov. 8, at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 4848 Turner St.

Special guest will be Michael Michalik, Ph.D., a licensed clinical psychologist from Rockford who spent eight months in the Gaza Strip helping children who were traumatized by the war. Dr. Michalik worked in private practice for 20 years at Glenwood Center, Rockford, and decided to end his practice two years ago. He joined Doctors Without Borders (Medicins Sans Frontiers) and was based on Gaza City. He worked for eight months in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Most of his work was centered in the South Gaza Strip in the town of Rafah, near the Egyptian border. The work focused on providing psychological treatment to families experiencing emotional trauma as a result of Israeli incursions into the area.

Doctors Without Borders/Medicins Sans Frontiers (MSF) delivers emergency medical aid and psychological treatment to victims of armed conflict, epidemics, and natural or man-made disasters, and to others who lack essential health care due to geographical isolation or discrimination. MSF unites direct medical care with a commitment to bear witness and speak out against the underlying causes of suffering. MSF has more than 400 projects in nearly 80 countries. The organization sends more than 2,500 volunteers into the field each year, where they work with 15,000 national staff delivering medical care. MSF received the 1999 Nobel Peace Prize.

Dr. Michalik’s presentation includes a video showing his work with Palestinian families in the Gaza Strip area. He will take questions from the audience.

Coffee Talks are free and open to the public and presented every Monday evening, 7:30 p.m., at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Rockford, 4848 Turner St. Rockford Peace & Justice Action Committee sponsors the Coffee Talks, with an assist from Rockford Urban Ministries, the Social Responsibilities Committee of the UU Church, and friends of George LaForrest and Rev. John Breck.

For more information, please call Stanley Campbell, director of Rockford Urban Ministries, at (815) 964-7111.

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