UB - Community Connections to Improve Refugee Health and Wellbeing

Co-sponsored by the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions, Office of Global Health Initiatives and the Community for Global Health Equity

2017 Refugee Health Summit

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 living in Buffalo and Western New York.

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. 

WNY Refugee Health Summit in the News


Summit aims to improve access to culturally and linguistically appropriate services, efficient clinic and transportation systems and operations, and available economic opportunities.


Speakers and workshop sessions addressed the theme of improving health literacy for Buffalo’s refugee population.


Annual summit convenes scholars, resettlement agencies, service providers, community support centers, municipal agencies and refugees to explore barriers and solutions to promote culturally engaged health care for refugees in Buffalo.


Refugee Health Summit and Global Innovation Challenge highlight offerings organized by two global-focused offices at UB.


She will discuss the work of the U.S. government to address the global refugee crisis and the efforts of cities like Buffalo to welcome refugees.


From refugee housing plans to help spur economic development on Buffalo’s East Side, to a health summit and a symposium, UB faculty and students are actively engaged in refugee efforts.


Issam Smeir is the keynote speaker for UB's third annual Refugee Health Summit, which runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 2, at the Arthur O. Eve Educational Opportunity Center, 555 Ellicott St., Buffalo.


The event is part of the School of Public Health and Health Professions' celebration of National Public Health Week.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions (SPHHP) will recognize National Public Health Week April 3-12 with a series of events that highlight and celebrate public health efforts locally and globally.

Every year, 1,500 to 2,000 refugees and asylum-seekers come to Buffalo, one of the top refugee resettlement areas in the United States, driven by social and political upheaval, war, economic and agricultural distress, and poverty. To explore these challenges and develop models for exemplary refugee health care systems, the University at Buffalo will sponsor Buffalo’s first collaborative Refugee Health Summit 2014 on April 24.

A History

2014 Summit Objectives:

  • Describe existing barriers of culturally engaged health care provision for stakeholder groups in WNY
  • Learn about successful models to providing engaged health care for refugees in Buffalo and beyond
  • Identify potential linkages and spark collaborations to adapt and implement solutions to expand culturally engaged health care for refugees in Buffalo

2015 Summit Objectives: 

2016 Summit Objectives: 

  • Build knowledge base related to culturally engaged care for refugees by providing CME training opportunities.
  • Understand current programs and projects serving healthcare needs of refugees throughout Buffalo.
  • Provide health education opportunities for community members.