There are over 25 million refugees worldwide with approximately half of those refugees being children under the age of 18 (UNHCR, 2018). The number of displaced persons globally continues to increase with over 37,000 new displacements every day (UNHCR, 2018). Historically, the United States was a global leader in accepting new refugees for resettlement; however, due to policy changes, the number of new refugees entering the United States has decreased due to reduced maximum numbers allowed and increased security vetting procedures (American Immigration Council, 2020). Policies will affect the refugee population in each asylum country, but the increase of refugees continue to pose a global health concern. Refugees have many health needs, such as chronic disease management, treatment for infectious diseases, and reproductive health among others (Matsumoto et al., 2019). Healthcare providers need to be prepared and trained to work with refugee populations to help meet their unique needs. This proposed symposium will highlight the Georgia-based organization “Friends of Refugees,” a non-profit serving a diverse refugee community with a range of programming, and their partnerships with local healthcare education programs that help train future healthcare providers in working with refugees. Also, future directions for training healthcare providers in working with refugees will be discussed.
Summarize the evidence that supports service learning opportunities for graduate healthcare students when working with a refugee population.
• Identify 2 examples of services from Friends of Refugees comprehensively work to meet the needs of children and their mothers of refugees in Georgia.
List outcomes of service learning opportunities for graduate students to serve a refugee population.
Identify and describe 3 emerging areas of need that occupational therapy practitioners could be educated in to work with refugees.