POSTPONED: WSU Applebaum refugee health conference

A migrant receives a vaccination
Photo by WHO/L.Mackenzie

This event has been postponed as part of Wayne State University's effort to adhere to the CDC’s recommendation for social distancing. The new date has yet to be determined. 


The world is witnessing significant displacement of populations due to war and unrest, food insecurity, economic displacement and ethnic tensions. These global events have impacts on immigration to Michigan and Detroit and on the health status of new immigrants. An upcoming conference is aimed at helping Wayne State University students better understand how to strengthen their skills and abilities to improve the health of refugee populations. 

The Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences invites students and faculty from across Wayne State to participate in “Local Solutions for Better Refugee Health,” a half-day conference focused on the barriers that refugees confront in attempting to access the health system, and the strategies and solutions shown to link these vulnerable populations to care.

Refugees have enduring trauma and other health burdens that challenge health care providers. They commonly experience higher rates of mental health disorders precipitated by the refugee experience, but also communicable diseases endemic to countries of origin, and then confront new chronic diseases endemic to host countries. Finding effective and sustainable interventions to address these health needs is challenging. Also, many health care professionals may not know where to turn to strengthen their skills and abilities to improve the health of refugee and immigrant populations. Our local community provides some services and has some expertise, but we need to learn more about how to strengthen our outreach and effectiveness.

Conference objectives

After participating in this event you will:

  1. Better understand key US laws and health and social policies that pose barriers to optimal refugee health
  2. Identify the local health agencies and advocacy organizations that are resources for refugee health
  3. Develop new skills to understand the complexity of refugee health care, based on case-based review and discussions of refugee health success stories in Detroit
  4. Learn how to leverage available US resources pertaining to refugees’ health.
  5. Review local community-based programs and services aimed at improving refugees’ health and well-being.

For more information about this event, please contact the conference organizer, Professor of Pharmacy Practice Linda Jaber, at

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