Dinali Fernando, MD MPH
With experience across numerous cultures, Dinali Fernando, MD, MPH is uniquely qualified for her position as the Libertas Center's Medical Director. Dinali was born in Sri Lanka, where she lived until the age of five. She then moved to Muscat, Oman for nine years, before returning to her native country for high school. Dinali and her sister were offered scholarships to attend Our Lady of the Elms College, so the two ventured alone to the United States. After graduating college, Dinali went on to earn her MD and MPH degrees at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Public Health. Despite the financial and cultural challenges of relocating across the world and adjusting to a new home, Dinali was very grateful for her opportunities in the U.S. Cognizant of her roots, and having an understanding of resource poor settings, Dinali's journey to the U.S. inspired her to help those less fortunate across the world, instilling her interest in global, refugee and immigrant health. She was first exposed to torture survivors during her time, with the Program for Survivors of Torture and Severe Trauma at Northern Virginia Family Services during her psychiatry rotation in medical school. Subsequently, during her residency in Emergency Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Dinali rotated at Elmhurst Hospital Center where, given her interests, she started working with torture survivors under the mentorship of Dr. Lars Beattie and Dr. Rajeev Bais, the founders of the Libertas Center.
Throughout her years here, Dinali's admiration for her patients has only grown. With an awareness of the difficulties of adjusting to a new country, she empathizes with them and appreciates their resilience, despite everything they have endured. Dinali regards her work with the Libertas Center as her true passion, and she feels fortunate for the collection of personal experiences that led her here