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Features: March-April 2016

EthnoMed Survey: we invite your feedback about which of our resources are most useful to you and what types of content to develop in the future. Thank you for taking the time to complete this brief survey!

Fasting Holiday: Abiy Tsom

March 7 - May 1, 2016 is the Ethiopian Orthodox Great Holy Lent Fast lasting 55 days culminating on Easter, observed by followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Medical implications of fasting may be important to consider with some patients. Read more...

What are mammograms and Breast Cancer - a Guide for Somali Women

Somali Mammogram Provider Patient

This 18-minute video slideshow presentation, narrated in Somali with optional English subtitles, is intended to be used by clinicians during discussion with patients about mammograms and breast cancer. It is culturally tailored to reflect common questions and concerns, with a focus on addressing major barriers to screening. It includes images of the various stages of the mammogram process and signs/symptoms of breast cancer.


Recent Features

How Foods Affect Blood Sugar: A Guide for Latino Patients with Diabetes


This bilingual presentation is intended to be used by clinicians during discussion with patients about carbohydrates and blood glucose. It is culturally tailored to reflect foods commonly consumed by Latino Americans and includes photos of foods, meal comparisons, and portion sizes. Also, includes tips for eating healthily during holidays, and cooking tips. Authored by Elizabeth Hulbrock.


Hepatitis B Research and Immigrant and Refugee Communities

By: Margaret Shuhart, MD, MS, Director, Hepatitis and Liver Clinic Harborview Medical Center

Vietnamese Hep Brochure imageHepatitis B research traditionally has been underfunded, as diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C have been given higher priority by funding agencies. More recently, the NIH has established the Hepatitis B Research Network (HBRN), a group of 28 clinical sites across the US and Canada designed to address important clinical questions pertaining to hepatitis B in both children (7 sites) and adults (21 sites). Seattle has both adult and pediatric sites. Broad questions being asked by the HBRN include why some develop severe liver disease and liver cancer while others have inactive disease, how to improve the response to current treatments, and whether indefinite treatment is really required in those who have e antigen-negative disease. Most Southeast Asian/Asian adult persons have e antigen-negative hepatitis B, and many of these have active disease that places them at risk for cirrhosis and liver cancer. Despite the well-known benefits and excellent safety records of hepatitis B oral treatments, those with active disease are often reluctant to be treated, particularly if it is expected that such treatment will be lifelong. Identifying those for whom shorter duration treatment may be successful is critical if we are to engage more in treatments that can prevent the development of significant liver disease and liver cancer.

African-born individuals also have a high prevalence of hepatitis B infection. Through the HBRN studies, which to date have enrolled nearly 175 people from East and West Africa, we are able to explore risk factors for disease in these less frequently studied populations and include them in ongoing treatment trials. African Americans enrolled in our study, whether African or US-born, recently were found to be at increased risk for diabetes. Diabetes is known to further increase the risk for liver disease and liver cancer in people with chronic liver disease.

Additional HBRN studies in progress include the effects of hepatitis B on quality of life (in both children and adults), maternal knowledge of children’s hepatitis B infection and vaccination status, the impacts of alcohol and tobacco use on liver disease, the impact of pregnancy on hepatitis B activity, the role of the immune system in hepatitis B disease, and several others.

For more information about research studies, see:

  • Hepatitis B Research Network (this site includes related links to CDC, clinical, American Liver Foundation, Immunization Action Coalition, among others)
  • Registered Clinical Trials (nationwide) 
  • Research contacts for local HBRN studies: Alycia Wolfstone RN, 206-744-7053, and Dr. Margaret Shuhart, 206-744-7054,

Caring for Survivors of Torture - Selected New Resources

Obtaining Survivor Histories - Video Clips and Clinical Pearls
Absence4These videos are the newest additions in a series of short clips giving examples of issues to be aware of when obtaining a patient history. The clips are from interviews with patients of Dr. Carey Jackson (used with permission) demonstrating aspects of torture histories commonly encountered among torture survivors. New clips: 

EthnoMed offers information for clinicians and others who care for survivors of torture, with training materials developed through the Northwest Health and Human Rights (NWHHR) coalition. Read more...

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DSM-IV Diagnostic Codes
Tests / Procedures Radiology Communication Phrases Translated
LTBI Treatment
Welcome to EthnoMed

EthnoMed contains information about cultural beliefs, medical issues and related topics pertinent to the health care of immigrants to Seattle or the US, many of whom are refugees fleeing war-torn parts of the world.

EthnoMed Newsletter

Subscribe to our e-Newsletter to receive updates about what's new.  Read more...

Migrant Children and Health

The Migrant Children and Health Campaign has created a video featuring leaders in immigrant and refugee health advocacy introducing the facts about migrant children health and the continued history of racial and ethnic disease scaremongering in the U.S. For more information about this Campaign and to view the video "Migrant Children and Health: Borders, Boundaries, and Bigotry" click here.

Extreme Winter Weather Risks

Click here for links to translated and multimedia resources related to flooding, hypothermia, power outages and the risk and prevention of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.

Torture Resources

Resources for clinicians and advocates around issues of torture, often related to warfare and political repression.  Includes information about Northwest Health and Human Rights (NWHHR) coalition serving refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants in Washington State.  Visit Caring for Survivors of Torture page for additional information.

Scams Targeting Refugees and Immigrants

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provide information about common immigration services scams and other kinds of scams targeting refugees and immigrants. To find information about recent scams, tools and education about avoiding scams, and to learn what victims should do if targeted, read more...