Who We Are
Our Staff & Board
Sarah K. Clarke
Board Chair (USA)
Conference Chair (Canada)
Board Vice Chair (Canada)
Peter J. Cronkright
Board Secretary (USA)
Board Member (Canada)
Board Member (Canada)
Board Member (Canada)
Board Member (USA)
Board Member (USA)
Board Member (USA)
Board Member (Canada)
Board Member (USA)
Become a Member
The Society of Refugee Healthcare Providers is a one-of-a-kind association dedicated to any (not just healthcare providers) professionals interested in refugee and immigrant health in North America and abroad. Become a member today to receive access to an influential network, educational opportunities and resources, and more.
Dr. Zaaeed, DrPH, LMSW, MPA,CHES® lives a holistic life that includes professionals and real-life experiences, all of which infuse her passion for improving the quality of life for all populations, including immigrants and refugees. In addition to being an assistant professor in the Department of Health Promotion and Department of Counseling and Psychological Services and School of Education at SUNY Oswego, Dr. Zaaeed is a licensed master social worker in New York State. Dr. Zaaeed is also a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). Dr. Zaaeed currently serves as vice-chair on the North American Refugee Health Society (NARCH) and is a NARCH ethics committee member. In addition, Dr. Zaaeed is the Central Division Director for the National Association of Social Workers New York Chapter. Zaaeed’s interests include examining the intersections of social determinants of health, education, and quality of life among refugees, immigrants, persons with special needs, and women and children.
Favorite food: a Palestinian dish called Maqlooba (upside down) and dawali (grape leaves).
Sarah Kimball MD is a board-certified internist and is an Assistant Professor at Boston University School of Medicine. She completed her medical school training at Harvard University Medical School and did residency training in Internal Medicine at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Residency Program in Primary Care and Population Medicine. She joined the faculty at Boston University School of Medicine in 2014.
Dr. Kimball has an expertise in immigration-informed medical care, where she has helped to research and build health systems that are responsive to the needs of im/migrant patients. She is currently the Director of the Immigrant & Refugee Health Center (IRHC) at Boston Medical Center, a comprehensive medical home that addresses the barriers that immigrants face to being holistically healthy. She has served previously as the Medical Director of the Boston Accountable Care Organization (BACO) Complex Care Management (CCM) program at Boston Medical Center. In addition to a love of primary care, Dr. Kimball’s main interest is in teaching social justice and advocacy skills. She is an associate editor at the Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, with an expertise in Health Services Research. She was a founding member of the Society of Refugee Health Providers, and serves at the co-Chair of the Research, Evaluation and Ethics Committee.
Favorite food: potato cheese pierogies.
Fatima Karaki, M.D., is an associate professor at the University of California, San Francisco, Department of Medicine. She obtained her medical degree from the University of Michigan and completed her internship and residency at Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Karaki cares for adult inpatients on the hospital medicine service and resident inpatient service at San Francisco General Hospital.
Dr. Karaki is the founder and director of the Refugee and Asylum seeker Health Initiative (RAHI) at UCSF, which fosters academic activity, research, education, advocacy, and community awareness in refugee health. Her academic and clinical interest is in refugee and asylum seeker health, with a focus on the Syrian refugee crisis in the Middle East. She is a founding member and board member of the North American Society of Refugee Healthcare Providers (NASRHP) and co-chair of its Research Committee.
Dr. Karaki collaborates with national and international experts to advance refugee health research and education in order to improve the quality of refugee healthcare. She has provided emergency medical relief to patients in refugee camps and slums throughout Europe, the Middle East and India. She has volunteered and performed research in Beirut, Lebanon; Lesvos, Greece; and along the Balkan route in Europe, in the context of the Syrian refugee crisis. She has also worked and done research in the Rohingya refugee crisis in Bangladesh. She developed and directed the first graduate level course in refugee health at UCSF.
Favorite food: hummus.
Assistant Clinical Professor
University of Saskatchewan
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.
Favorite food: a Persian dish called Ghormeh sabzi.
Dr. Janine Young, MD, FAAP 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.
She is one of the lead authors of the American Academy of Pediatrics Immigrant and Refugee Toolkit screening guidelines and has consulted for the Office of Refugee Resettlement and the International Organization of Migration on medical screening of unaccompanied children and refugee children, respectively. She is the lead author of the CDC’s Refugee Pediatric 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.
Favorite food: homemade tamales.
Jim Sutton, PA-C, DFAAPA is a Physician Assistant. 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.
In addition to his full-time employment, he serves on the U.S. National Disaster Medical System where he has been deployed 12 times over the last decade. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Innovation in Prevention Award. He has also authored a book entitled Top 5 Questions to Ask Your Doctor (Outskirts Press, 2010).
He spent most of his career as the Director of Community Medicine at Rochester Regional Health where he created Rochester’s Center for Refugee Health. He is the founder and Chair of the North American Refugee Health Conference as well as the founder and Executive Director of the Society of Refugee Healthcare Providers.
Favorite food: mashed potatoes.
Sarah Clarke, MSPH has a Master of Science in Public Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a Certificate in Global Mental Health: Trauma & Recovery from the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma.
Sarah is a global health consultant who has worked with organizations in the United States, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Canada and Mali. Her previous work includes medical case management for the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and program manager for a team investigating COVID-19 outbreaks in southern Alberta’s meatpacking plants through the University of Calgary’s refugee health research program, Refugee Health YYC.
Sarah is the coordinator for the Society of Refugee Healthcare Providers and co-organizer of the US North American Refugee Health Conference. Sarah is also Technical Advisor for Health Promotion with IRC, working as part of the CDC-funded National Resource Center for Refugees, Immigrants and Migrants (NRC-RIM) which is focused on COVID-19 prevention and mitigation.
Favorite food: anything with chocolate.
Dr. Michael Aucoin, MD, CCFP, DTMH is a Family Physician at the Mosaic Refugee Health Clinic in Calgary, Alberta, where he has worked for the last ten years in a leadership role helping to develop a busy multidisciplinary refugee clinic. He has interests in refugee related research and medical education. He completed his medical training at Dalhousie University, Family Medicine residency and Enhanced Skills training in Global Health at the University of Calgary, and a Diploma in Tropical Medicine & Hygiene at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. He is married and is the father of two young children. When not at work his favorite way to spend a day is skiing in the Rockies or paddling in a kayak.
Favorite food: pizza.
Dr. Peter Cronkright is grateful for the opportunity to serve the Syracuse community as a physician since 1986. Dr. Cronkright is a Professor of Internal Medicine and Associate Professor of Family Medicine at Upstate Medical University. Since 2008, his efforts have focused on the medical care of refugees resettling in our community. He is a Board Member for the Society of Refugee Healthcare Providers. He is co-author of the chapters on “Chronic Disease Management” and “Chronic Pain” in Refugee Health Care: An Essential Medical Guide. His honors include several community service and teaching awards.
Favorite food: potatoes.
Katherine C. McKenzie, MD, FACP is a faculty member at Yale School of Medicine and the Founder and Director of the Yale Center for Asylum Medicine (YCAM). She has practiced medicine at Yale for over 25 years. She teaches undergraduates, students and residents, and is a member of Yale Refugee Health Program. She is a physician advocate for social justice and human rights.
She is an expert advisor for Physicians for Human Rights and serves on the boards of the Society for Refugee Healthcare Providers, Project Access New Haven and Integrated Refugee and Immigrants Services. She is involved in medical-legal partnerships and collaborates with attorneys on civil litigation that supports human rights. She is a founder and director of the Society of Asylum Medicine.
She has written reviews, clinical case reports and opinion essays in publications including the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, the Journal of General Internal Medicine, the British Medical Journal, Time magazine and CNN, among many others.
At Yale, she received the Leonard B. Tow Award for Humanism in Medicine and the Faculty Award for Achievement in Clinical Care. She has been named a “Top Doctor” for many years by Connecticut Magazine. She is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and has been certified with the American Board of Internal Medicine since 1995. Her perfect day starts with a swim in Long Island Sound.
Favorite food: peach tart.
Dr. Vanig Garabedian M.D OB/GYN, LMCC moved with family to Canada from Syria on December 2015 as refugee. Worked as OB GYN for 15 plus years among them 4 years in war zone. Past medical director of the largest hospital in the Middle East. Practiced in both public and private hospitals. Teacher in OB/GYN residency program and nursing school.
He completed his medical training at Tishreen University, OB/GYN residency in Damascus and has master’s degree in OB/GYN, Board certified from Syrian Board of Medical Specialties. Registered physician in Canada. Passionate to assist people in integration into Canada and providing support in crisis. Married and has 3 daughters. Favorite time is with family.
Favorite food: Syrian kabab.
Dr. Gabriel Fabreau, MD MPH FRCPC is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Community Health Sciences, and active member of the O’Brien Institute for Public Health at the University of Calgary. He co-founded and co-leads the Refugee Health YYC research, innovation and education platform. Clinically, he works as an embedded Internal Medicine specialist at the Mosaic Refugee Health Clinic (MRHC) since 2014, as well as inpatient physician at the Peter Lougheed Centre.
He completed an MPH in Clinical Effectiveness at the Harvard School of Public Health and an academic fellowship in General Internal Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA. His research interests include health services, clinical and public health research with a focus on the health of recently arrived refugees, socially vulnerable populations and complex chronic disease.
Dr. Annalee Coakley, MD CCFP DTM&H is a graduate of Queen’s University where she completed both her medical training and family medicine residency. She worked in rural settings across Canada before moving to London in 2009 where she completed her Diploma of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene at the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Once she completed her training, she settled in Calgary where she started to work at the Calgary Refugee Health Program in order to maintain her skills in tropical medicine. However, once she started working with refugees, she became a passionate advocate for their health and wellbeing.
In 2012, Dr. Coakley became the Medical Director of the Calgary Refugee Health Program where she was immediately confronted by the challenge presented by the Federal Government’s decision to cut the Interim Federal Health Program, which provides coverage for health services and essential medications for newly arrived refugees. She worked with many stakeholders within Alberta, including provincial agencies, to minimize the impact of the cuts on Calgary’s most vulnerable newcomers. Since the reversal of the cuts in 2015 following the last election, she has been working with her team at the Refugee Clinic to help meet the health needs of the influx of Syrian refugees and most recently, the victims of Daesh. Her hope is to one day work herself out of job once the mainstream health system is able to meet the needs of our most vulnerable newcomers.
Favorite food: ice cream.