Committee

Conference Chair

Anna Banerji

Anna Banerji O.Ont. MD MPH FRCPC DTM&H CTropMed
CPD Conference Chair, Indigenous and Refugee Health
Post MD Education – Continuing Professional Development
Associate Professor Pediatrics and Dalla Lana School of Public Health
Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

Dr Anna Banerji is an associate professor in pediatrics at the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, and at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and is a pediatric infectious and tropical disease specialist. She graduated from medical school at U of T and trained at Ottawa University (pediatrics), McGill University (infectious disease and tropical medicine). She received an MPH in International Health from Harvard School of Public Health where she was selected “promising graduate” for the class of 2003.

Dr. Banerji has been working with refugees for most of her career. She founded the Canadian Refugee Health Conference in 2009 and is the co-founder of the North American Refugee Health Conference (NARHC) which she chairs in alternative years in Toronto. She is also the co-founder and president of the North American Society of Refugee Healthcare Providers. In 2014 she created the COSTI Pediatric Clinic where she screens most of the government assisted refugee (GARS) children coming to Toronto. In 2016 she set up a clinic at a hotel in response to the mass resettlement of Syrian refugees and screened over 700 Syrian refugee children.

In 2014 Dr. Banerji created the inaugural Indigenous Health Conference which she continues to co-chair. She has travelled to numerous Indigenous communities across Canada in various capacities and has been to the Arctic over 50 times. Her research on lower respiratory infections in Inuit children has spanned over 25 years and has resulted in changes to the national guidelines for the prevention of RSV. Recently Dr. Banerji has been successful in advocating for more resources for Indigenous communities to fight COVID-19 through petitions.

Dr. Banerji has travelled extensively around the world including work in Haiti after the earthquake with the Canadian Red Cross. She uses a human rights framework for her work, research and education and is an advocate for both Indigenous and refugee populations. She has given hundreds of media interviews and invited lectures mostly advocating for health equity. She has won several awards including the Order of Ontario in 2012, and in 2019 she was the recipient of the Dr. Peter Henderson Bryce Award for her advocacy with Indigenous children.

Planning Committee

Marc Altshuler

Marc Altshuler MD
Professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine
Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia Pennsylvania

Marc Altshuler, M.D. is a Professor of Family and Community Medicine at Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University. Dr. Altshuler also serves as an Attending Physician and the Residency Program Director for the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. Dr. Altshuler’s volunteer work began in the late 1990’s with his involvement in Jeff HOPE, Jefferson’s free student-run clinic serving the homeless communities of Philadelphia. Dr. Altshuler’s passion for the underserved community’s health has expanded beyond the homeless population to the refugee population in Philadelphia. In 2007, Dr. Altshuler started and is now serving as the Director of the Jefferson Center for Refugee Health (CRH), one of the largest medical providers of refugee healthcare in Philadelphia. At CRH, refugee clients receive comprehensive care in a medical home model. This model has been recognized both locally and nationally, and replicated throughout Philadelphia, as well as several other U.S. cities. In 2010, Dr. Altshuler worked closely with the Nationalities Service Center, a local refugee resettlement center, to form the Philadelphia Refugee Health Collaborative—a coalition of local refugee resettlement agencies and eight area medical clinics, focusing on comprehensive refugee health care. In 2015, the Jefferson Center for Refugee Health was awarded a 5-year grant from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as part of the Centers of Excellence in Refugee Health Grant. As part of this grant, Dr. Altshuler and CRH work closely with national leaders to rewrite the national guidelines for refugee health, as well as working collaboratively on several research activities. Dr. Altshuler has been recognized for his work, both locally and nationally, where he has routinely presented at national conferences, as well as published articles in several peer-reviewed medical journals.

Aniyizhai Annamalai

Aniyizhai Annamalai MD
Associate Professor
Departments of Psychiatry and Internal Medicine
Yale School of Medicine
Medical Director, Yale Adult Refugee Clinic

Dr. Annamalai is the medical director of the adult Yale Refugee Clinic that partners with the local refugee resettlement agency to provide comprehensive health screening and longitudinal care for all newly arrived refugees in New Haven, Connecticut. She has been working with refugee populations for the last ten years, and as both an internist and psychiatrist, provides both primary care and mental health services. The clinic serves as a central point for several clinical, educational and research programs to improve health of refugees resettling in New Haven. Dr. Annamalai is the editor of ‘Refugee Health Care’, a reference book, currently in its second edition, used by clinicians caring for refugees. Her academic interest is in integrating physical and mental health care for vulnerable populations, including refugees.

Neil Arya

Neil Arya BASc MD CCFP FCFP DLitt
Fellow- Balsillie School for International Affairs
Fellow- International Migration Research Centre
Adjunct Professor- Health Sciences, Wilfrid Laurier University
Assistant Clinical Professor- Family Medicine, McMaster University (part-time)
Adjunct Professor- Environment and Resource Studies, University of Waterloo

Neil Arya is a family physician in Kitchener Ontario. He is Chair of the PEGASUS Institute (www.pegasusconference.ca), Fellow at the Balsillie School for International Affairs. and at the International Migration Research Centre and Scholar in Residence and Adjunct Professor in Health Sciences at Wilfrid Laurier University. He remains Assistant Clinical Professor in Family Medicine at McMaster University (part-time) and Adjunct Professor in Environment and Resource Studies at the University of Waterloo.

He is a past Vice-President of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), which won the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize and of President of Physicians for Global Survival (PGS) and of the Canadian Physicians for Research and Education in Peace (CPREP) (www.cprep.ca), He has written and lectured around the world about Peace through Health.

He was the founding Director of the Global Health Office at Western University (3009-2013), Scholar in Residence at Wilfrid Laurier University (2018-2020) and has conducted research around international experiences as well as the impact of overseas electives on host communities and students and on various aspects of refugee health.

Dr. Arya continues as founder Director of the Kitchener/Waterloo Refugee Health Clinic in collaboration with the Kitchener Waterloo Reception Centre where he provides case-specific care to newcomers and those in need of specialized care and was lead physician developing the Psychiatric Outreach Project, providing mental health for those homeless or at risk in St. John’s Kitchen in Kitchener, tasks which led to him receiving the 2009 College of Family Physicians of Canada Geeta Gupta Award for Equity and Diversity. In 2013 he was given a College of Family Physicians Canada (CFPC) Award of Excellence. In 2011 Dr. Arya received a D. Litt. (Honorary) from Wilfrid Laurier University and the mid-Career Award in International Health from the American Public Health Association.

As well as many journal articles he has edited or co-edited four volumes- Peace through Health,

Global Health Experiential Education: From Theory to Practice; Preparing for International Health Experiences: A Practical Guide and Under-Served: Health Determinants of Indigenous, Inner-City, and Migrant Populations in Canada.

Carolyn Beukeboom

Carolyn Beukeboom NP-PHC MSc
Adjunct Lecturer, Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing, Western University
Refugee Health Clinic, Centre for Family Medicine, Kitchener

Carolyn Beukeboom is a primary health care nurse practitioner and current Interim Manager of the Refugee Health Clinic at the Center for Family Medicine in Kitchener, Ontario – providing primary health care to Government Assisted Refugees in their first year in Canada. Carolyn completed a Master of Science in Public Health from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and is an Adjunct Lecturer at Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing, Western University.

Mahli Brindamour

Mahli Brindamour MD FRCPC
General pediatrician
Assistant Clinical Professor
University of Saskatchewan

Mahli Brindamour provides care to mothers and infants cared for at Sanctum 1.5 prenatal and postnatal home for women at risk of HIV exposure in pregnancy, HIV positive, or at risk of child apprehension. Sanctum 1.5 is leading innovative practice by ensuring trauma informed care for women before their infants are born and then continuity of mother-infant care after delivery. Infants are discharged from the hospital in the care of their mothers with supervision from staff. Sanctum 1.5 also provides monitoring for neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) and is piloting the assessment and treatment of NAS in a community setting with pediatric oversight, which is a novel approach not yet developed elsewhere.

Jennifer Cochran

Jennifer Cochran MPH
Director, Division of Global Populations and Infectious Disease Prevention
Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Jennifer Cochran is Director of the Division of Global Populations and Infectious Disease Prevention in the Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences, Massachusetts Department of Public Health. She directed the Refugee and Immigrant Health Program for over 20 years prior to leading the integration of tuberculosis and refugee immigrant health activities. She is a past member of the CDC Advisory Committee for the Elimination of Tuberculosis (ACET), Past Chair of the Association of Refugee Health Coordinators, and co-founder of the American Public Health Association’s Caucus on Refugee and Immigrant Health.

Peter Cronkright MD FACP
Professor of Medicine
Clinical Associate Professor of Family Medicine
Update University Hospital

Andrea E. Green

Andrea E. Green MDCM FAAP
(She/her/hers)
Professor of Pediatrics
Director Pediatric Global Health
Larner College of Medicine at University of Vermont
Director Pediatric New American Program
Pediatric Primary Care
University of Vermont Children’s Hospital

Andrea E. Green, MDCM, FAAP is a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Vermont’s Larner College of Medicine. She is the Director of the Pediatric New American Program and Pediatric Global Health; her scholarship is in providing care to children in immigrant families. Areas of academic focus include mental health screening and multigenerational trauma, social determinants of health especially food insecurity and non-traditional US diets, health literacy, care coordination, community collaboration and advocacy. She has authored peer reviewed primary research, commentary and a policy statement and well as spoken regionally and nationally on health equity issues.

Aisha Khatib

Aisha Khatib MD, CCFP(EM), CTravMed, DTM&H, CTropMed
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Family & Community Medicine, University of Toronto
Clinical Associate, St. Michael’s Hospital, Unity Health Toronto
Clinical Director of Travel Medicine, Medcan, Canada
Co-Chair, ASTMH Course in Clinical Tropical Medicine & Travelers’ Health
Councilor, ASTMH Clinical Group

Dr. Aisha Khatib is an Assistant Professor with the Department of Family & Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. She trained in Family Medicine, specializing in inner city, immigrant and refugee health at the University of Toronto, and in Emergency Medicine at McGill University in Montreal. She recently completed an Infectious Diseases fellowship in Clinical Tropical Medicine at the University of Toronto. Her scholarly projects during her fellowship looked at the cross section of tropical diseases presenting in primary care such as the impact and management of parasites in pregnancy and also the epidemiology and management of febrile returned travelers presenting to the emergency department or primary care clinics. She holds certification in Travel Medicine from the University of Otago in New Zealand, and a Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene from the Gorgas Course at the Tropical Medicine Institute in Peru.

Dr. Khatib has done global health work in India doing HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis education, in Nepal focusing on women’s health with Himalayan Healthcare and National Geographic, and in Haiti during the cholera epidemic in 2011. She holds certification in global health through the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at UofT, and Disaster Response & Humanitarian Relief training through Harvard School of Public Health. She currently works as a staff physician at Immigrant Women’s sexual health clinic with Toronto Public Health and as a Medical Assessor at a COVID-19 Assessment Centre. She is the Clinical Director of Travel Medicine at Medcan, the President-Elect of the Alberta Association of Travel Health Professionals, and the Co-Chair for the American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene Update Course in Clinical Tropical Medicine & Travelers’ Health.

Patricia Li

Patricia Li MD MSc FRCPC
Assistant Professor, Pediatrics
McGill University Pediatrician, Montreal Children’s Hospital
Scientist, Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre

I am a pediatrician who cares for refugee and immigrant families at the Montreal Children’s Hospital Multicultural Clinic and the CLSC Parc Extension. I am also a researcher with a program that examines the organization and delivery of health services to children, especially those who are medically and socially vulnerable. I am principal investigator or co-investigator in studies using large health administrative data, clinical cohorts, trials, and qualitative designs. I have published on the gaps in refugee care for children in Canada and have completed studies funded by CIHR and FRQS examining the quality of primary care for children in Quebec, focusing on the disparities in socioeconomic status. I am co-lead of the Montreal site for TARGet Kids!, a primary care research network, focused on optimizing health and healthcare in childhood to improve lifelong outcomes.

Sheikh Muhammad Zeeshan

Sheikh Muhammad Zeeshan Qadar B. Pharmacy MSc.
Project Manager
National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases
Rady Faculty of Health Science, University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB, Canada
External Affiliate to Centre for Refugee Health, York University

Mr. Qadar developed and has been managing the migration and public health knowledge translation project stream at the National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases. Numerous knowledge mobilization activities and resources were developed by Mr. Qadar including webinars, podcast, case studies, conference presentations (Canadian Public Health Association 2016 and 2018, North American Refugee Health Conference 2017, 2018, 2019).

Currently, he is managing COVID-19 response and has been involve as co-principal investigator on a project looking at the role of communication strategies and media discourse in shaping psychological and behavioral response to the COVID-19 outbreak, comparing Canada, Hong Kong and the Philippines. He’s also studying ethical frameworks and models for unproven treatments during a pandemic in Canada and around the world. He also developed a repository for public health resources related to COVID-19 created by provinces and territories in various languages. He also contributes behind the scenes to NCCID’s weekly “Infectious Questions” podcast, which covers issues like preparedness in nursing homes and stigma and discrimination. He is also looking into project related to use of big data in public health surveillance and mathematical modeling in infectious diseases public health.

William Stauffer

William Stauffer MD
Professor Department of Medicine
Division of Infectious Diseases and International Medicine
Pediatrics, Infectious Diseases & in the School of Public Health
University of Minnesota
Director of Human Migration and Health at the Center
for Global Health and Social Responsibility

Dr. William Stauffer is a Professor Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and International Medicine and also holds appointments in the Pediatrics, Infectious Diseases & in the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota. He is the Director of Human Migration and Health at the Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility. His clinical practice is at Regions Hospital, Infectious Diseases, with an outpatient practice at the Travel and Tropical Medicine Specialty Clinic. He is an expert in travel and tropical medicine working in clinical medicine, surveillance and policy development. Since 2005 he has served as the Lead Medical Advisor to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Division of Global Migration and Quarantine (Immigrant, Refugee, Migrant Health Branch) where he works on issues of human mobility and how it effects human health (e.g. refugee & immigrant health). He Co-Directs the UMN/CDC Global Health Course and other online courses. He works extensively overseas in clinical medicine education, research and in public health in more than a dozen countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle east. He is the director for the United Nations Migration Agency, University of Minnesota Collaborative. He is also the Director for a new COVID National Resource Center for Refugees, Immigrants and Migrants. His research areas have included refugee and immigrant health issues, infectious disease surveillance, diagnostics, neglected tropical diseases, evaluations of public health programs. He acts as an advisor to the European Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and chairs an Inter-Governmental Refugee Health Work-Group aimed at aligning medical management of refugees.

James Sutton

James Sutton PA-C
Executive Director
Society of Refugee Healthcare Providers

Jim Sutton has been a practicing Physician Assistant for 34 years. He graduated from the University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine in 1987 and completed a residency in Pediatrics at Yale School of Medicine in 1993. He is the founder and Executive Director of the Society of Refugee Healthcare Providers and Chair of the U.S. North American Refugee Health Conference.

Hassan Vatanparast

Hassan Vatanparast MD PhD Professor
College of Pharmacy & Nutrition, School of Public Health
University of Saskatchewan
Board of Directors Member- Society of North American Refugee Healthcare Providers
Scientific Advisory Panel Member-Osteoporosis Canada

Hassan Vatanparast, MD, PhD, is a Professor with Joint Appointment to the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition and School of Public Health, University of Saskatchewan. Hassan is actively involved in research and health promotion initiatives targeting mainly the health status and access to care for newcomers, particularly children. Hassan is leading several research and health promotion initiatives at the local, national and global levels aimed to improve the nutritional health of the newcomers, particularly refugees and indigenous communities. Hassan and his co-researchers benefit from multi-sectoral collaboration in these initiatives. The team has published several papers as well as presented their findings at national and international conferences. Hassan and his colleagues continue their collaborative work with the goal of improving the nutritional health of at-risk populations, particularly refugees.

Patricia F Walker

Patricia F Walker MD DTM&H FASTMH
Professor of Medicine and Associate Program Director, Global Medicine
University of Minnesota
Medical Director, HealthPartners Travel and Tropical Medicine Center
Past President, American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

Dr Patricia Walker is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute, Professor of Medicine at the University of Minnesota, Department of Internal Medicine, and core faculty in Global Medicine. For 22 years, she served as the Director for the HealthPartners Center for International Health, in St Paul, Minnesota, where she practiced internal medicine with refugees and immigrants for 31 years. She also served as Dept. Chair for HealthPartners Travel and Tropical Medicine Center for 31 years, and continues to see patients for pre-travel consultations and post travel evaluations of ill returning travelers. She served as a President of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene from 2015-2018, and currently serves as a special advisor to the Board of Directors. She has published articles and book chapters on refugee and immigrant health, tropical and travel medicine, and co-edited the first textbook of its kind, Immigrant Medicine. Her career has focused on globally mobile populations, defining and implementing best practices in care, reduction of health disparities, and development of medical education interventions. She has worked to translate best practices in refugee and immigrant health care to useful electronic medical record tools for clinicians, particularly focused on identification and management of chronic hepatitis B. From 2002 through 2004, she chaired the State of Minnesota Immigrant Health Task Force, a statewide group of 70 experts who developed best practices in care for refugees and immigrants in Minnesota. These best practices are still used nationally and internationally. She has served as PI and co-investigator on the CDC National Refugee Centers of Excellence grant from 2016 to the present. In addition to other awards, in 2004 she was honored as one of the Top 100 Influential Health Care Leaders in Minnesota. In 2010, she received the Distinguished Alumnus in Medicine from her undergraduate alma mater, Gustavus Adolphus College, and in 2019 received a Mayo Alumni Humanitarian Award from Mayo. Her work was profiled in the Lancet in February, 2017. http://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lancet/PIIS0140-6736(17)30274-X.pdf

Vanessa Wright

Vanessa Wright NP
Nurse Practitioner Crossroads Refugee Health Clinic
Women’s College Hospital
Adjunct Lecturer, Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing
University of Toronto

Vanessa Wright is a nurse practitioner at the Women’s College Hospital’s Crossroads Refugee Health Clinic. She and her team provide comprehensive medical services to newly arrived refugee clients for their first two years in Toronto. She has also worked across a variety of community health centres in Toronto and provided primary health care and emergency nursing care in medically under-serviced First Nation communities in Northern Ontario. Vanessa worked as an Emergency Nurse at Mount Sinai Hospital from 2007-2012, and as a result became the nursing lead for the Toronto Addis Ababa Academic Collaboration Emergency Medicine Team, where she supports the educational partnership between Addis Ababa University and the University of Toronto, as well as emergency medicine development in Ethiopia and the concept of emergency nursing.Her other professional experiences include working as a Field Nurse for Doctors Without Borders in South Sudan, Zambia, and India. She also volunteers for the Health Bus at Sherbourne Health Centre, and serves as a public speaker for OXFAM and an association member for Doctors Without Borders.

Janine Young

Janine Young MD FAAP
Medical Director, Denver Health Refugee Clinic
Medical Co-Director, Denver Health Human Rights 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 Cente

Dr. Janine Young is a general pediatrician at Denver Health and Hospitals and an Associate Professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Department of General Pediatrics.

She was an undergraduate at Columbia University, received her medical training at Harvard Medical School, and pediatric residency training at the Boston Combined Program and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland.

Her career focus is health care and access to care for new immigrants and refugees and has presented talks nationally regarding the development of standard of care medical screening guidelines for these populations. She is one of the lead authors of the American Academy of Pediatrics Immigrant and Refugee Toolkit screening guidelines

She is the Medical Director of the Denver Health Refugee Clinic, Co-Medical Director of the Human Rights Clinic at Denver Health, and serves as the Medical Advisor for the State of Colorado Refugee Services Program. She is also a grantee working with the Minnesota Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control to develop a Newcomer Centers of Excellence.

She is on the Executive Committee of the AAP’s Council of Immigrant Child and Family Health.

She is a certified Spanish medical interpreter and speaks French.