Global conflicts and natural disasters have contributed to the growth of refugee populations around the world and in our local community. Refugees are at risk for a number of medical and mental health conditions, in addition to sociocultural and language differentials that may act as barriers to health care. Students will participate in the process of identifying the unique health needs of our local refugee population and will work with the Newport News Refugee Settlement and community partners to improve the health of the refugee population in Hampton Roads.

This initiative will:

  • Familiarize students with the health needs of refugees related to presence of cultural and language differentials, resettlement housing conditions, impact of conflict and displacement on mental health and barriers to accessing the local healthcare system.
  • Introduce students to the particularities of refugee health and resettlement programs and study refugee health topics as they are related to local economic, geographic and demographic factors in Hampton Roads.
  • Collaborate with staff of Newport News Refugee Settlement and other community partners to evaluate and directly address health needs of local refugee community through realization of service-learning experiences such as health and wellness fairs to contribute to their community integration.
  • In partnership with EVMS' Brock Institute for Community and Global Health, organize panel of refugees to describe their experiences and resettlement agency staff to explain their work.
  • Acquire competence and familiarity serving refugee patients through experience of medical, dental and mental health issues, cultural perceptions and societal barriers to healthcare experienced by refugee community.
  • Enhance awareness and promote change in students’ attitudes toward medical/mental health issues common to refugees and related to the process of resettlement.
  • Support students’ acquisition of knowledge and experience of refugee health issues and reinforce the growth of the EVMS Service-Learning Program as a vital component of the institution’s community focus.

For more information, contact Service Learning.