Executive Director’s Message

Thank you for visiting our webpage!  The Society of Refugee Healthcare Providers was formed in 2015 as a non-profit organization recognized by the IRS with the mission to educate, coordinate, and provide a forum for communication by which members – and the public – can become more informed about appropriate medical care of refugee patients in North America. Download our 2018 Annual Report

Caring for refugees that have resettled in North America is a challenging endeavor.  Regardless of your political views or thoughts about resettlement or world conflicts, the reality is that there are millions of innocent people displaced from their homes due to wars, political upheaval, famine, and other conflicts.  Many can never return to their homes.  Governments try to find solutions but sometimes the only durable solution is resettling them to a neutral country to re-build their lives.

As caregivers, we are met with the challenge of delivering medical care for these new citizens.  Challenges to delivering appropriate care includes language and cultural differences; helping refugees understand how to navigate the western healthcare system; health literacy; social issues; trauma and behavioral health issues, as well as parasitic and disease states we might not normally see in North America.

The Society provides a forum and educational platform (along with resources) to help caregivers meet these challenges as well as connect with other caregivers around the world to understand best practices and stay up to date on issues regarding the appropriate delivery of healthcare for refugees.  Our most popular membership benefits include an on-line listserv which allows members to communicate with one another across the country, and discounted registration rates for the U.S.-based North American Refugee Health Conference.

Our Commitment to Equity!

The Society of Refugee Healthcare Providers believes in taking real action that addresses inequities in our work. Since incorporation of the Society, we have taken concrete steps towards inclusion.

Our Board of Directors held a strategy planning session shortly after we were formed, and based on comments and feedback from members, the Board asked Society leadership to increase refugee voices in our work and address diversity in our Society. As a result:

  • We intentionally recruit a diverse group of invited speakers for the NARHC.
  • We developed the NARHC scholarship fund that allows previously resettled refugees working or training in the medical field to attend for free.
  • We insisted that during the formation of our first Society committee (Our research committee) that there be a sub-committee of formerly resettled refugees who review all research.
  • Abstract submitters are asked to notify us if one of their authors is a previously resettled refugee. During blind reviews – if scores are equal – preference is given to submissions with a previously resettled refugee as an author.
  • We are developing a Student Ambassador Program to teach cultural competency early-on in the career of our future workforce.

We know that we have much more work to do and we are working on initiatives to continue to diversify Society membership, Board membership, and NARHC presenters. We are open to suggestions from members and take all suggestions seriously.

We recognize that healthcare & health in the U.S. and Canada is inequitable and our 3 year strategic plan is to pursue projects and research that focuses on these issues.


Best Regards,

James Sutton, PA-C
Executive Director
Jim Head Shot