Getting Involved in Refugee Health
UNC & Chapel Hill
- Volunteer with Refugee Health Initiative (RHI) – a student run initiative of home visiting support for resettled refugees, usually twice annual “start dates” and at least a semester long commitment. Leadership roles for RHI may also be available to help plan and develop RHI
- Become a member of the Physicians for Human Rights group, locally and nationally, and volunteer to help with N-648 refugee health screening clinics (and potentially asylum exams). Consider going for training in asylum examinations (offered frequently through PHR chapters at Georgetown, DC and Columbia, NYC)
- Learn from the experts at UNC SPH – Humanitarian Health Initiative
- Complete a refugee health medical student elective course (see OGHE website)
- GLBE 402 – MS4 elective, can be completed at a global site of refugee care or through work in the Triangle (Moses-Cone) – contact Dr. Sylvia Becker-Dreps to discuss
- Plan your OWN elective with a supporting faculty member. Previous students have developed experiences through the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), the Mae Tao Clinic in Thailand and Samaritan’s Purse – the location of elective must be an approved site for travel by US State Dept and UNC Global.
- Volunteer with Carolina Doctors Without Borders (Acronym: C-DWoB). Contact Liana Kostak.
North Carolina (and “the Triangle”)
- • Directly volunteer with a local refugee resettlement agency or community organization. There is enormous diversity of opportunity available, from being a “good neighbor” to a new refugee family, providing airport pickups and accompanying refugees to health and social service appts, to working alongside refugees in a CSA farm, etc.
o Refugee Community Partnership
o World Relief in Durham
o Church World Service in Durham
o USCRI in Raleigh
o Transplanting Traditions
o Art Therapy Institute of NC
o NC Justice Center
- Observe or participate in planning/coordinating meetings of refugee stakeholders
• The Triangle Refugee Stakeholders Community Consultation is held quarterly and organized by Church World Service in Durham (contact office for information)
The NC Dept of Health and Human Services offers various refugee assistance programs and the state refugee health coordinator is Jennifer Morrillo – many other small refugee health providers and resources are listed on their website.
More broadly in the US and Globally
- Join the North America Society of Refugee Health Providers (or at least subscribe to the list-serv for interesting articles and updates) and consider going to the annual North American Refugee Health Conference
- Consider taking the International Red Cross training course for health providers in emergencies –
- Consider joining the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on International Child Health. Review the AAP’s Immigrant Child Health Toolkit.
- Learn from UNCHR, ORR, CDC and other state refugee health programs
- Learn from other universities and organizations with on line curricula and resources
- Canadian Collaborative for Immigrant and Refugee Health
- Cultural Orientation Center (info on specific groups)
BOOKS – Your Heart is the Size of Your Fist (Martina Scholtens), My Heart it is Delicious (Bilione Young), The Middle of Everywhere (Mary Pipher), Seeking Refuge (Matthew Soerens), The New Odyssey (Patrick Kingsley), The City of Thorns (Ben Rawlence), The Late Homecomer (Kao Kali Lao), What is the What? (David Egger), The Translator (Daoud Hari),
Last updated by Dr. Martha C. Carlough MD MPH, Office of Global Health Education (5/2021)