November 14, 2017 - 7:00pm

Forced to Flee: Responding to the Humanitarian Crisis in Central America

Tuesday, November 14

7:00 PM PT

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) presents a moderated panel discussion about the medical challenges faced by more than 65 million people currently displaced in the global refugee crisis. The program will focus on the physical and mental health consequences of displacement on individuals and entire communities, with a special focus on the humanitarian crisis in Central America. The panel will explore the specific health care needs of people on the move, and the impact of border closures and other restrictive measures.


Join us 6:00 PM for light refreshments at our pre-event reception.



Kelly McEvers, co-host of All Things Considered, NPR West.



Jason Cone, Executive Director for MSF-USA, has an extensive background in crisis management, advocacy, and communications. He assumed leadership of MSF-USA following 11 years with the organization, the last six-and-a-half as communications director. In his former role, he oversaw emergency and advocacy communications campaigns on issues ranging from the West African Ebola outbreak and Haiti earthquake and cholera epidemic, to global childhood malnutrition and HIV/AIDS. 


Dr. Henry Rodríguez, MSF Head of Mission for Mexico and Central America, is a Colombian general surgeon and graduated from the School of Medicine Juan N. Corpas de Bogotá. He also obtained a master's degree in Tropical Medicine and International Health from the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Since 2001, he has been working as a national general practitioner in Colombia for Médecins Sans Frontières (Médicos Sin Fronteras) (MSF). He has worked with the medical and humanitarian organization in different missions and positions in countries such as: Ecuador, Sudan, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Bolivia, Paraguay, Mexico and Honduras. In HIV / AIDS projects, population displaced by violence, sexual and reproductive health, sleep disease, Chagas disease; has coordinated emergency response in epidemics of Cholera, Measles and famines in Africa and Dengue, Chikungunya, Zika in Central America. He currently serves as regional head of mission for Mexico and Central America, where MSF has projects in mental health, care of victims of violence and sexual violence, and sexual and reproductive health.


Elizabeth G. Kennedy is a social scientist who focuses on the experiences and needs of child, youth and forced migrants and their families. Since 2013, she completed a research Fulbright Fellowship in El Salvador and has completed multiple studies about migrants and numerous government officials, NGOs and researchers throughout the Northern Triangle. Since June 2017, she has been based in Honduras, with 2016-2017 Fulbright recipient, Marna Shorack, to conduct a comparative study on child and family migration from Honduras. Elizabeth also has over a decade’s experience in youth programming with children from low-income backgrounds in multiple countries and has consulted for UNHCR, the Open Society Foundation, and others, including film makers, journalists, and a playwright. She will soon publish in English and Spanish a series of reports on deportees to the Northern Triangle who were murdered and departmental reports for the interviews she and Salvadoran Karla Castillo conducted in 2014, with their attendant supporting materials. In previous years, Elizabeth published articles, briefs and editorials on why Central American children are leaving, their potential unmet mental health needs, and high rejection rates of Central American asylum claims. Most rewarding, she remains in contact with a number of the children and families who she has met through her research and who now reside in various parts of more than five countries. 


Rebecca Tortzky-Sirr is a family doctor in the Emergency Department of LAC + USC and the Medical Director of Urgent Care and Continuity Care Center, and Jail Health Services. She opens the doors to Los Angeles County Department of Health Services for all regardless of immigration or insurance status. As a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar, Rebecca designs the nation's largest immigration medical legal partnership, with Office of Immigrant Affairs and our public hospitals. She is faculty at Keck School of Medicine at USC, and lectures on immigration as a modifiable health determinant. Additionally, Rebecca is the medical consultant with Al Otro Lado, a bi-national legal service non-profit at The Wellness Center in LA providing medical forensic documentation for asylum cases. In Tijuana, Mexico the group focuses on successful re-integration and family reunification of Los Angeles County's deportees. During medical school, Rebecca was a Fulbright Scholar in Venezuela studying health care system transformations. After residency at Harbor UCLA and Kaiser Permanente, Rebecca was staff at Program for Torture Victims treating asylum seekers.


NOTE: Seating i​s available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please check in at least five minutes before the start of the panel in order to guarantee your reservation.


Kelly McEvers, co-host of All Things Considered, NPR West.

Museum of Tolerance

9786 West Pico Boulevard Pico - Robertson
Los AngelesLos Angeles County, California 90035
United States