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Features: March/April 2018

2018 North American Refugee Health Conference In Portland, Oregon

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Abiy Tsom 2018

Feb 12 - April 7, 2018 is the Ethiopian Orthodox Great Holy Lent Fast lasting 55 days culminating on Easter April 8, 2018, observed by followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. For information about the fast and medical implications to consider for some patients, Read more...

Recent Features


Winter Weather Risks

Public Health - Seattle & King County provides translated  resources related to events of concern that may occur more often during winter months such as flooding, hypothermia, power outages and the risk and prevention of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. Materials are typically available in Chinese, English, Korean, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Vietnamese with some information available in additional languages.  

Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning fact sheets are available in 24 languages. Power outages can lead to especially dangerous situations when people bring generators and/or barbecues into their homes for heat and food preparation.  A number of people have died from carbon monoxide poisoning as a result.  This has affected some of the immigrant communities hardest. Click here to read about a 2006 carbon monoxide epidemic among immigrant populations in King County, Washington, including recommendations for educational campaigns to prevent CO poisoning.

Healthcare Advocacy

Excerpt from EthnoMed Newsletter, February 2018: "The trust between physician and patient is a core tenant of the medical profession. By extension, trusting relationships with nurses, technicians, hospitals and clinics are where this relationship plays out. This trust is now threatened by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). In a startling breach of precedent, ICE agents have begun to target clinics and hospitals to enforce immigration policy. It is our opinion that these enforcement actions actively jeopardize patient care." Read more...

Making a Case for Sanctuary Hospitals
Saadi A, Ahmed S, Katz MH. Making a Case for Sanctuary Hospitals. JAMA. Published online October 16, 2017. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.15714

Advocating that health care professionals support and advocate for health care facilities to be sanctuary places that protect the undocumented and vulnerable.

Care for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Community

In the midst of the harsh political climate EthnoMed is reminded we are part of a larger educational and health system that supports and cares for all people.  Our Harborview Medical Center mission statement includes priority care to persons who are non-English speaking poor, persons who are uninsured or underinsured, and many other vulnerable populations.  The words of the University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce provide us with a reminder that the work is important and a call to action: 

"...Ending DACA diminishes us all. It breaks the promise our country made to these students when we urged them to enroll in the program, to be proud and unafraid. We join with leaders in higher education, industry, government, religious institutions and humanitarian agencies across the nation in calling for congressional action to restore the program quickly.

Discontinuing the program doesn’t just threaten the security and futures of Dreamers. It also threatens to erode our nation as a democracy that has embraced the diverse talents and contributions of generations of immigrants, including our country’s founders."  Read the entire letter 

Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) has compiled a list of important resources in light of the President’s September 5th announcement that the DACA program is being terminated. Update February 14, 2018: USCIS is currently accepting DACA renewal applications, as well as applications from DACA eligible community members whose DACA status has expired. NWIRP and partners at Perkins Coie will be holding free DACA renewal clinics in Seattle, Wenatchee and Granger offices.    

National Diabetes Month 2017 


Each November communities across the country observe National Diabetes Month to bring attention to diabetes and its impact on millions of Americans. 

Evidence shows that the risk for development of diabetes and associated complications among immigrants increases in the years after arrival to the United States. 

Find information on EthnoMed about diabetes (Clinical Topics and Patient Education) and other external resources of education materials in multiple languages: National Library of Medicine's HealthReach and Medlineplus websites.    

For more information about National Diabetes Month including ways organizations and health care professionals can get involved, visit National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

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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.

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Refugee Health Weekly Roundup

This summary is compiled by the Washington State Department of Health Refugee Health Program. The Weekly Roundup highlights upcoming events and opportunities, resources and news relevant to refugee health. Some information is local to WA, but also what's on the national agenda. Read the latest edition of the Refugee Health Roundup.

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.

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.