New Center for Immigrant Health Opens in Memory of Beloved Local Physician


Dr. Leah Zallman was struck and killed by a van in Somerville in November 2020.

Leah Zallman Document via the Boston Globe

A new center dedicated to immigrant health will open this month, named after a beloved local doctor who was fatally hit by a van while walking around Somerville in 2020.

  • New Center for Immigrant Health Opens in Memory of Beloved Local Physician

    Authorities are investigating a fatal pedestrian accident in Somerville that claimed the life of a beloved local doctor

The Leah Zallman Center for Immigrant Health Research is launched by the Malden Community Health Institute, where Zallman served as director of research. The 40-year-old also worked as a primary care physician at Cambridge Health Alliance’s East Cambridge Care Center.

“Leah was a gifted researcher, a valuable colleague and a wonderful friend to everyone at ICH,” said Sarah Jalbert, executive director of the Institute for Community Health, in a statement. “We are so proud to be able to honor his research legacy through this center.”

Zallman has dedicated her career to improving the lives of vulnerable communities, both through direct clinical care and policy, according to a press release from CHA, co-founder of the Institute for Community Health. She has examined health disparities, such as immigrant health care funding, in her research.

“His publications have influenced the national conversation about reducing barriers to care for vulnerable populations,” the hospital said in a statement. “She was also instrumental in shaping the CHA’s organizational commitment to addressing the social determinants of health for her patients and communities.

New center named for dedicated doctor and mother of two will ‘expand’ her mission to advance ‘immigrant justice, economy and health’, by partnering with immigrant communities , policy makers and advocates for “actionable” research and will create change, according to the hospital.

“We envision a center that embodies Leah’s optimistic spirit of generosity, collaboration and respect,” said Dr David Bor, one of Dr Zallman’s mentors and director of studies at the Cambridge Health Alliance, in a statement. communicated.

Members of Boston’s medical community, who reacted with an outpouring of grief following Zallman’s death in 2020, applaud the creation of the new center.

“Anyone who knew Leah knew what a strong advocate she was for immigrant rights research,” Dr. Sarah Kimball, director of Boston Medical Center’s Center for Immigrant and Refugee Health, said on Twitter. “I can’t think of a more fitting honor in her memory than the launch of the Leah Zallman Center for Immigrant Health Research.

Dr. Jessica Santos, who most recently served as Director of Community Research at Brandeis University’s Institute for Economic and Racial Equity, will take on the role of inaugural director of the Zallman Center.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to build on Dr. Leah Zallman’s legacy and create a vibrant interdisciplinary research center focused on immigrant health,” she said. “Leah is my co-director in spirit.”

The new center will host a virtual launch celebration on February 13.


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