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Fink, Sheri

Fink, Sheri

PERSONAL:

Daughter of Herschel Fink (an attorney). Education: University of Michigan, B.S., 1990; Stanford University, Ph.D., 1998, M.D., 1999. Religion: Jewish.

ADDRESSES:

Home—New York, NY. Office—ProPublica, 1 Exchange Plaza, 55 Broadway, 23rd Fl., New York, NY 10006. E-mail—[email protected]; [email protected]

CAREER:

Physicians for Human Rights, Cambridge, MA, researcher, 1990s, member of advisory council, beginning c. 2003; International Medical Corps, Santa Monica, CA, physician, beginning 2003; ProPublica (nonprofit news organization), New York, NY, reporter, 2008—. Students against Genocide, founder and activist, 1993-98; The World (radio program), correspondent, 2004—; has taught at Tulane University, Harvard University, and New School for Social Research. Member, board of directors, Center for Balkan Development.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Human Rights Center fellowship, University of California, Berkeley, 1998-99; Madeline Dane Ross Award Citation for Excellence, Overseas Press Club, 2003, Heroes for Health Award, Good Housekeeping, 2003, special book award, American Medical Writers Association, 2004, and nomination for Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction, PEN American Center, 2004, all for War Hospital: A True Story of Surgery and Survival; Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights fellow, Harvard School of Public Health, c. 2004—; Harvard Humanitarian Initiative senior fellow, c. 2006—; Kaiser Media fellow in health, Kaiser Family Foundation, 2007.

WRITINGS:

War Hospital: A True Story of Surgery and Survival, Public Affairs (New York, NY), 2003.

Contributor to books, including This Time We Knew: Western Responses to Genocide in Bosnia, edited by Thomas Cushman and Stjepan Meštrović, New York University Press, 1996. Contributor to periodicals, including American Journal of Public Health, Detroit Free Press, Discover, Health and Human Rights, International Herald Tribune, JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, New York Times, Scientific American, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Wilson Quarterly.

SIDELIGHTS:

Fresh out of medical school, Sheri Fink bypassed a comfortable life in medical practice or academia; instead, she went to Bosnia to study the work of physicians who had been involved in that country's brutal war of the early 1990s. Her book, War Hospital: A True Story of Surgery and Survival, focuses on one group trapped in Srebrenica, Bosnia, whose members tried to save victims of the fighting—often without electricity, anesthesia, medicines, or surgical training. Calling the book "an engrossing, detailed description of the humanitarian disaster that occurred in the former Yugoslavia in the early 1990s," Alfred Jay Bollet in Perspectives in Biology and Medicine commented that it "reads like a novel and is intensely gripping." New York Times reviewer Chris Hedges felt that what makes Fink's book successful is "her decision to describe the Bosnian war through the eyes of the doctors." Fink discusses their various motives and struggles "eloquently," according to Michael VanRooyen in JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, revealing them as ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, doing what they can in the face of enormous challenges. VanRooyen found Fink's accomplishments "significant" and deemed the book "an insightful account of the complexity of armed conflict and humanitarian assistance and a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the personal tragedy of war." The book was recognized with a number of awards and nominations.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

American Book Review, May-June, 2004, Chris Lombardi, "Balkan Chorale," review of War Hospital: A True Story of Surgery and Survival, p. 21.

Detroit Free Press, November 4, 2003, John Masson, "When Doctors Confront War: A World-Traveling Physician Writes about Unsung Healers," review of War Hospital.

JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, June 2, 2004, Michael VanRooyen, review of War Hospital, p. 2648.

Kliatt, May, 2005, Edna Boardman, review of War Hospital, p. 43.

Library Journal, October 15, 2003, James Swanton, review of War Hospital, p. 90.

New York Times, December 22, 2003, Chris Hedges, "The Battle of Srebrenica, in Its Operating Rooms," review of War Hospital.

Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, spring, 2006, Alfred Jay Bollet, review of War Hospital, p. 303.

Washington Post Book World, October 12, 2003, "Theater of Operations," review of War Hospital.

ONLINE

Fresh Air,http://www.npr.org/ (August 19, 2003), Dave Davies, "Doctor Sheri Fink," interview with Sheri Fink.

Identity Theory,http://www.identitytheory.com/ (November 24, 2003), Matt Borondy, "Sheri Fink, M.D," interview with Sheri Fink.

Leonard Lopate Show,http://www.wnyc.org/ (September 2, 2003), Leonard Lopate, "War and Darkness," interview with Sheri Fink.

War Hospital by Sheri Fink,http://www.warhospital.net (June, 2008).

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