By Maggie Cheng, JD, Staff Attorney (Asylum) and Malou Chávez, JD, Deputy Director, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP)
It is inevitable not to feel optimistic and yearn for long-awaited positive changes that would impact our immigrant communities. For decades, immigrant communities have been put on the back burner, and protection for the more than 11 million undocumented individuals in the U.S. has not been a priority for the country. Family separation, long waiting lists for family reunifications, limited protections for immigrant victims, children and youth with dreams in limbo, zero avenues to legal for farmworkers, the fear that at any moment a person will be arrested for lack of papers, and many more difficult situations are today’s reality.
EthnoMed is a program and website within Harborview Medical Center’s Interpreter Services Department that provides information about cultural beliefs, medical issues and other topics related to the health care of immigrants and refugees. Founded in 1994 in partnership with UW Health Sciences Library, the website was developed for clinicians and health care providers working with immigrant and refugee populations in the greater Seattle area. EthnoMed offers information about immigration, cultural norms and values, experience with Western medicine, culture specific information and tools pertinent to the clinical encounter and translated/culturally tailored information for patients. It is also an entree to “cross-cultural” practice.
A statement from the Northwest Immigrant and Refugee Coalition
It is critical for those of us charged with the well-being of children and families to speak out for their protection, as we have been reminded this week by the zero-tolerance policy separating and detaining families. We are a Washington State coalition of health professionals and public health practitioners; whose mission is to advocate and care for immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. The forceful separation of children from parents and the recent relocation of some of these children and parents to Washington State makes this national crisis also a local concern.
By Margaret Shuhart, MD, MS Director, Hepatitis and Liver Clinic, Harborview Medical Center
Hepatitis B research traditionally has been underfunded, as diseases such as HIV and hepatitis Chave 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.