2017 Conference

Thank you!

The North American Refugee Health Conference 2017, the largest refugee health conference of its kind, was held this June in Toronto. Designed for those at the frontline in addressing refugee health needs, this biennial conference welcomed over 650 speakers and participants making this year a great success.

This one of a kind event provided participants with access to the most recent research, best practices in refugee health, and a great opportunity for networking. Dr. Peter Polatin, a world expert in psychiatry opened the conference with a talk on PTSD in refugees. This was followed by 12 concurrent sessions, 52 workshops and 88 oral presentations over the three days of the conference. Between sessions, there were over 100 posters on display covering the latest research and best practices in refugee integration, education and mental health. Topics included: updates in refugee health policy in North America and overseas; Global Challenges for LGBTI Refugees; Recommendations for Future Humanitarian Action; and the migrations of vulnerable populations from American to Canada, and from Latin America.

The personal stories of those who witnessed or experienced the refugee crisis stood out. Susan Ormiston, a journalist with the Canadian Broadcast Corporation gave her accounts of reporting as the Syrian crisis unfolded and following the challenges and successes of a young Syrian family on their journey to Canada. Courageous individuals who lived the perilous refugee journey, shared their stories of loss, resilience and success. Dr. Vanig Garabedian a Syrian gynaecologist, described what it was like to continue to work in Syria despite the hospital being bombed and conducting procedures without electricity; Nevzat Keskin a Kurdish television journalist, in a heart-wrenching account, showed pictures of his house before and after it was bombed in Turkey; Wanes Moubayed, a Syrian violinist, is now playing with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
Dr. Anna Banerji, Conference Director and Chair, noted that the commitment and dedication of participants as key to the conference’s success. “These individuals are so passionate. Their continued efforts are improving health care for refugee populations and protecting human rights. There is a sense of hope and commitment to make things better. It is great to be a part of this.”

The next North American Refugee Health Conference will be held in 2018 in Portland Oregon and then return to Toronto in 2019. View highlights from the 2017 conference here.

Peter Barth Polatin MD, MPH
Clinical Faculty, Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma
Cambridge, MA
Volunteer Consultant in Refugee Mental Health
International Rescue Committee
Dallas, TX

Martin Cetron MD
Division of Global Migration and Quarantine
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Atlanta, GA

Jordan Jay Feld MD, MPH, FRCPC
Gastroenterologist & Associate Professor of Medicine
Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
Toronto, ON

Brian Gushulak MD
Migration Health Consultants, Inc.
Vancouver, BC

Michael Mackinnon
Senior Director of Migration Health Policy and Partnerships, Migration Health Branch – Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Toronto, ON

Alex Neve
Secretary General
Amnesty International Canada
Ottawa, ON

Susan Ormiston
Senior Correspondent
CBC News
Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
Toronto, ON

Barbara Raymond MD, B.Sc.
Senior Medical Advisor to the Assistant Deputy Minister,
Health Security Infrastructure Branch
Public Health Agency of Canada
Ottawa, ON

Bertrand Rossier
General Coordinator
Médecins Sans Frontières

Gabriel Schirvar
LGBTI Training Specialist
International Organization for Migration (IOM)
Washington, DC

David R. Shlim MD
Travel Medicine Specialist and Author
Kelly, WY

Paul B. Spiegel MD, MPH
Professor and Director
Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health,
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Baltimore, MD

Andrea K. Boggild MSc, MD, DTMH, FRCPC
Clinical Director, Tropical Disease Unit, Toronto General Hospital
Parasitology Lead, Public Health Ontario Laboratories
Assistant Professor
Department of Medicine, University of Toronto
Toronto, ON

Nancy E. Glass PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN
Associate Dean for Research
Associate Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health
Baltimore, Maryland

Crista Johnson-Agbakwu MD, MSc, FACOG
Maricopa Integrated Health System
Phoenix, AZ

Kamran Khan MD, FRCPC, MPH
Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute
St. Michael’s Hospital
Toronto, ON

Jay S. Keystone CM, MD, MSc (CTM), FRCPC
Tropical Disease Unit, Toronto General Hospital
Professor of Medicine
Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
Toronto, ON

Jay MacGillivray
Registered Midwife
Adjunct Professor, Ryerson University
Co-Director, Positive Pregnancy Programme,
Saint Michael’s Hospital
Toronto, ON

Karen Musalo
Professor of Law and Director, Center for Gender & Refugee Studies
Hastings College of the Law, University of California
San Francisco, CA

Kimahli Powell
Executive Director
Rainbow Railroad
Toronto, ON

Maya Prabhu M.D., LL.B
Assistant Professor
Yale School of Medicine
New Haven, CT

Hanni Stoklosa MD, MPH
Instructor in Emergency Medicine
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Boston, MA

Janine Young MD, FAAP
Medical Director, Denver Health Refugee Clinic
Medical Advisor, Colorado Refugee Services Program
Associate Professor, Dept of General Pediatrics
University of Colorado School of Medicine
Denver Health and Hospitals
Lowry Family Health Center
Toronto, ON

Hoori Hamboyan MSW, LLB
Department of Justice Canada
Ottawa, ON

Dilshad Tavawalla BA, LLB, LLM
Family and Child Protection Lawyer
Toronto, ON

Georgi Kroupin Ph.D., LMFT, MA, LP
Centre for International Health, Healthpartners
St. Paul, MN

Kathleen Connors PhD
Director, GARefugee Health and Mental Health
Clarkston, GA

Christopher M. Jones Esq.
Staff Attorney, The Citizenship Project
Legal Aid Society of Mid-New York
Utica, NY

Tedd Judd PhD, ABPP-CN
Adjunct Faculty
Seattle Pacific University
Seattle, WA

William Bradford MD
Resident, Internal Medicine
Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals
Philadelphia, PA

Special Invitees

Vanig Garabedian MD, OB/GYN
Syrian Gynecologist
Toronto, ON

Nevzat Keskin
Journalist, Ph.D. Candidate
Toronto, ON

Wanes Moubayed
Syrian Violinist
Toronto, ON

Vanig Garabedian MD, OB/GYN
Syrian Gynecologist
Toronto, ON

Nevzat Keskin
Journalist, Ph.D. Candidate
Toronto, ON

Wanes Moubayed
Syrian Violinist
Toronto, ON

Major Themes

  • Advocacy
  • Chronic Disease
  • Global Refugee Health and Migration Settlement
  • Infectious Disease
  • LGTBQ Health
  • Mental Health and PTSD
  • Nutrition
  • Pediatric Health
  • Refugee Educational Development
  • Refugee Screening
  • Research
  • Syrian Refugee Crisis
  • Vaccination
  • Women’s Health

Target Audience

  • Allied Health Workers
  • Dentists
  • Family Physicians
  • Mental Health Workers
  • Nurses
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Policy and Public Health Specialists
  • Primary Care Practitioners
  • Refugees
  • Specialists
  • Settlement Workers or other Professionals interested in Refugee Health

ASTMH announces new partnership with NARHC!
Please read details here.