Called “Dr. Hope” by many of her patients and students, Hope Ferdowsian grew up on a small farm and knew as a child she wanted to become a doctor soon after she learned about human rights violations around the world. From the time she was a child, she became concerned about the treatment of other children around the globe. Like many children who grow up around animals, she also grappled with the treatment of animals in society. By the time she entered medical school, she began to seriously consider the links between the treatment of people, animals, and our shared environments.
Today, Hope is president of Phoenix Zones Initiative, a nonprofit organization that advances social and ecological justice and the interdependent rights, health, and wellbeing of people, animals, and the planet. Over two decades, as a double-board certified internal medicine, preventive medicine, and global public health physician, Hope has cared for individuals who have experienced homelessness, displacement, torture, and sexual violence, while she has also worked with others to end structural inequities, abuse, and human, animal, and environmental exploitation. Her public health expertise covers climate change, hunger, chronic diseases, emerging infectious diseases, poverty, forced migration, and conflict. Her work across six continents has included the development of medical, public health, and educational resources for nongovernmental organizations, national governments, and intergovernmental organizations. Hope has appeared on local, national, and international radio and television programs, and in 2017 she was named a Humanitarian of the Year in the American College of Physicians.
Many of Hope’s publications focus on the prevention of and response to violence and disease, including important links between the health and wellbeing of people, animals, and the planet. Her book Phoenix Zones: Where Strength Is Born and Resilience Lives, which depicts foundations for individual and societal resilience, was published in 2018 by the University of Chicago Press. In 2019, she co-founded Phoenix Zones Initiative to advance the essential links between human, animal, and environmental health and wellbeing, and to fuel the creation of more Phoenix Zones—places where individuals and communities can rise and thrive.
Hope received a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and bioethics from the University of Southern California, a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, and a Master’s Degree in public health, with an emphasis in community medicine, from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She completed an internship in internal medicine at Yale University/Griffin Hospital, a residency in general preventive medicine and public health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and an internal medicine residency at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Hope served as faculty at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences and the Georgetown University School of Medicine, and she now serves as a professor at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine.
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