A. Janelle Goetcheus


School of Medicine Distinguished Alumni Award (1992)
Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)
School of Medicine
M.D., 1965


A. Janelle Goetcheus, M.D., is a significant figure in the Washington District of Columbia for providing quality health care to its homeless population for over 25 years. She graduated from Indiana University School of Medicine in 1964 and came to the D.C. area in 1976 with her minster husband. In 1979, she founded Columbia Road Health Services, a medical clinic to serve the capital city"s tens–of–thousands of Central American refugees and other extremely poor persons. In 1985, Dr. Goetcheus founded Christ House, a 32–bed, temporary residential respite care facility for homeless men and women, the only one of its kind in the nation—and moved in with her husband to raise their three children there. In the same year, she helped establish the Health Care for the Homeless Project. She guided it from a handful of dedicated health care providers to eventually become Unity Health Care, Incorporated, a 450–employee organization which operates two medical vans and 25 neighborhood health centers located in the neediest areas of the city, in 1998. Dr. Goetcheus also founded Kairos House, a permanent housing program for former Christ House patients who have medical disabilities preventing them from working, in 1992. Its community supports and encourages spiritual growth, volunteer service and addiction recovery. She has also been involved in the recent formation of the D.C. Health Care Alliance, a consortium of private entities providing inpatient services among several hospitals and outpatient services through community health centers.

Due to her community service, Dr. Goetcheus has been recognized by the medical and local community. She was deemed a "Woman of Mercy" by the Sisters of Mercy in 1988, and was named Doctor of the Year by the American Academy of Family Physicians in 1991. Dr. Goetcheus was inducted into the District of Columbia Women's Hall of Fame in 1989, received the 1990 Good Samaritan Award from the National Catholic Development Conference and was named the 1995 Washingtonian of the Year by the Washingtonian magazine. She has been bestowed the Indiana University School of Medicine Distinguished Alumni Award and the American Medical Association Pride in Profession Award.