Greek-American Physician Uses Community Engagement to Help Baltimore Patients

Baltimore, Maryland’s Dr. Panagis Galiatsatos. Photo by Hopkins Medicine.

Dr. Panagis Galiatsatos is a second-generation Greek-American whose innovative and groundbreaking work is helping Baltimore‘s community to thrive.

Galiatsatos, the son of two Greeks who came to the US decades ago, was born and raised in Baltimore City.

He completed his undergraduate degree at Temple University and took his medical degree from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He also completed two masters degrees, one in health sciences from the Duke University School of Medicine and one in tobacco addiction treatment at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

Working now as a physician at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Galiatsatos oversees an initiative called “Medicine for the Greater Good,” a project which he helped establish in 2013.

The mission of Medicine for the Greater Good is ”to promote health and wellness beyond the confines of the hospital through an interactive and engaging partnership with the community as well as a impacting professional identities of future doctors and nurses.”

Speaking to the Greek Reporter, the Greek-American doctor notes that the initiative he is in charge of ”highlights training future healthcare professionals about health disparities and community engagement.”

His team’s innovative approach was created to promote wellness in the community while overcoming the many socioeconomic barriers to health that many parts of American society face.

A recent task of the team was to fight chronic absenteeism from Baltimore’s schools.

By visiting churches, schools and local communities, Galiatsatos’ team realized that many children were not attending school because of asthma.

The Greater Good team figured out that these students were not getting better because they were living in houses with mold and polluted air, and had to endure unhealthy conditions in their everyday lives. This is something that no doctor can really understand from the comfort of his or her office.

By following the principle of community engagement, the team was able to prescribe specifically-aimed medication for the individual conditions of each and every child, rather than offering the ordinary medications used by asthma sufferers who live in healthy conditions.

Dr. Galiatsatos, being proud both of his origins and his achievements, believes that because he was raised inside the Greek community of Baltimore, he managed to recognize ”the strengths of mutual care for one another,” which helps him to ”implement those same skills and lessons towards this initiative.”

You can watch Dr. Galiatsatos explaining the initiative below: