UB Hosts 8th Annual WNY New American and Refugee Health Summit Sept. 10 – UBNow: News and Views for UB Faculty

David J. Hill

Next month in UB, the 8th Annual Western New American and Refugee Health Summit will focus on the spirit of young people arriving as refugees and the challenges they face in their new homes.

The summit is free and open to the public and will be held on September 10th from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm at the Active Learning Center on the first floor of the Jacobs Medical School at 955 Main Street in Buffalo. Registration he closes on August 31st.

This year’s summit is titled “Movement Towards Perfect Health for New American and Refugee Youth.” The event will address and respond to a range of issues facing young people, including mental health challenges, cultural barriers between older and young people, difficulties in higher education, and access to culturally appropriate care. deal with.

“The Refugee Health Summit seeks to bring together healthcare providers, refugee community members, social workers, politicians and researchers to identify key challenges and create a platform to promote health across this population.” said Executive Director Lina Mu. She is Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health at the Global Health Initiative and UB’s College of Public Health and Health.

Buffalo’s refugee population, fleeing war and persecution, is revitalizing and diversifying the city, but challenges remain for both Buffalo and its new residents. In this context, young people face unique challenges as they grow up in different societies than their parents and navigate different cultures and environments.

A holistic approach to refugee youth health extends beyond physical health to include mental health, education, employment and social engagement. Buffalo has a range of programs to help refugee youth, which will be featured at this year’s summit.

“The summit provides a great opportunity to learn about the unique health care needs of refugees and to share and exchange their experiences among service providers,” said Raised in Burma (now known as Myanmar). says Steven Sanyu, who fled to Thailand as a refugee. He was a political refugee and later resettled to Buffalo, where he has been active with many refugee organizations.

The summit brings together clinicians, resettlement representatives, community health workers, researchers, students, local government leaders, and refugees to improve the health and well-being of refugees living in Buffalo and the New New West. shed light on the innovative university-community partnerships that have brought about research, programming and solutions to yoke.

“Refugees face serious mental health problems, especially among young refugees,” Mu said, adding that the summit would have a special panel to address these issues.

Dilli Gautam, a former refugee from Bhutan who immigrated to the United States in 2008, is this year’s keynote speaker. Gautam is a non-profit organization started and still operated by resettled Bhutanese refugees in Bhutan, Michigan, where he serves as president of the community. He is also the Associate Director of Community Engagement for He Bethany Christian Services, a Grand Rapids-based resettlement agency.

With his extensive background working with refugee and immigrant communities, leaders, and local elected officials, he is passionate about building capacity for refugee-focused organizations and new American leaders. In an effort to increase former refugees in leadership positions, Gautam helps them better equipped and connected to not only achieve personal success but to contribute to the larger community. To do.

He argued that one of the best ways to meaningfully integrate refugees and migrants into society is to shift policies, practices and attitudes from helping refugees and migrants to empowering them. believe.

Panels at the summit will focus on contributions to the New American workforce, cultural humility training for health care providers, and sessions for youth. Workshops will then be held to identify actionable changes in Buffalo and western New York.

The WNY New American and Refugee Health Summit is co-organized and hosted by UB’s Community for Global Health Equity, School of Architecture and Planning, School of Public Health and Health Professions’ Office of Global Health Initiatives, Providence Farm Collective, and Grassroots Gardens. increase. In western New York, he has worked with HEAL International, Burmese Community Services, the Karen Society of Buffalo, the Human Rights Initiative at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and the Immigrant and Refugee Research Institute at the School of Social Work.

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