A Message From Jim Sutton

Hi Folks!

As we pass the halfway point of 2021, and (at least for the US – not sure about Canada) we passed the halfway point of our population being vaccinated…. I thought this was a good time to go back and reflect on the last year and a half and speculate what the next year and a half might look like.

As the pandemic hit, we turned our focus on Covid-19 and what that meant for the unique populations our members serve. Thanks to a joint effort by all our members we were able to immediately compile links to educational materials in multiple languages for Covid-19 and post on our website. We also published a perspective piece on Covid-19 in the Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health as well as a brochure for service providers on assessing barriers to following Covid-19 prevention guidance.

You would think that the pandemic would have slowed us down but 2020 was one of our most productive years! Our membership increased by a whopping 68% and we launched our Twitter account and immediately received over 1,000 followers. We kept up our webinars and added a two-day virtual course on how to perform a forensic evaluation for asylum seekers. And of course…We still held our annual conference. Let that sink in for a minute…..The 2020 North American Refugee Health Conference was our most successful conference to date and it was held in the middle of a pandemic!

Now what?

On the US side, things have begun to change politically…. Refugee admissions are rising, the Afghan crisis has just unfolded, and migration on our southern border is at an all-time high.

All these people are going to need healthcare, and the Society’s mission of educating providers about evidence-based best practices for refugees and asylum seekers has never been more relevant! YOUR Society is hitting its stride and we are poised to do great things in the coming year. Thank you everyone for your membership and support.

Jim Sutton, PA-C
Executive Director
Society of Refugee Healthcare Providers

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