The United States resettles tens of thousands of refugees annually, with hundreds placed in mid-sized Midwestern cities such as Omaha, Nebraska. Prior to resettlement, refugees have limited access to health services and arrive with inadequate knowledge on basic hygiene practices, general healthcare issues, and minimal understanding of the American healthcare system. Additionally, current training for healthcare practitioners in the United States on issues related to refugee populations and their unique health needs are insufficient. The enormous need coupled with inadequate preparation, poses great challenges for both newly resettled refugees and health professionals, and provides opportunities for improvement with creative initiatives. The Bridge to Care (BTC) project is a unique partnership between health professions students, leaders from city and state refugee service organizations, and refugee leaders. It is a student-led/community-engaged organization overseen by the Service Learning Academy (SLA) in the College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. The SLA facilitates campus wide inter-professional community-based experiences like Bridge to Care. Through BTC, students take the forefront in communicating directly with leaders from community organizations and engaging with refugee leaders to determine all relevant service activities. Bridge to Care provides opportunities for students to engage in experiences that are not otherwise available in their standard curriculum. While providing essential services, students are able to enhance cultural and communication skills and gain experience working with an inter-professional team, building an understanding of the vital role each profession plays within the full spectrum of care for patients and communities.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Public Health|
|Subtitle of host publication||Improving Health via Inter-Professional Collaborations|
|Publisher||Nova Science Publishers, Inc.|
|Number of pages||12|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 1 2014|
ASJC Scopus subject areas