Buffalo is among the top locations for refugee resettlement in the United States. Coming from countries such as Afghanistan, Burma, Iraq, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, and Syria, refugees add to the diversity of Buffalo’s neighborhoods, schools, and businesses. Refugee and immigrant populations contribute to population growth, high rates of workforce participation, large tax contributions, and spending power.1
Cultural, religious, educational, economic, language, and political barriers impede the development of culturally competent environments and the opportunity for refugees to lead successful, healthy lives in the U.S. To ensure population level health and wellbeing, the available clinical and social services, economic opportunities, educational programs, and social networks must reflect and support this growing diverse population. The annual Western New York (WNY) Refugee Health Summit unites clinicians, resettlement representatives, community health workers, researchers, students, municipal leaders, and refugees to highlight innovative university-community partnerships that have resulted in research, programming, and solutions to improve health and wellbeing for refugees.
The 5th annual WNY Refugee Health Summit highlighted university-community partnerships that seek to build culturally competent environments, improve clinic operations, improve mental health care, advocate for positive change in Medicaid, and support rising leaders.