The Refugee Clinic at University Pediatric and Adolescent Center celebrates World Refugee Day June 20
Syracuse is a beacon of light for refugees, settling more per capita than any other city in the state of New York. According to the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, more than 1,400 refugees were resettled in 2016, 50 percent of which are children.
The Refugee Clinic at Upstate’s University Pediatric and Adolescent Center (UPAC), located in University Health Care Center, works with a team of health care providers to offer medical care to new refugees resettling in Central New York during their first two years post-arrival. After that, the patients are woven into the diverse fabric of UPAC’s General Pediatric Clinic.
The Refugee Clinic at UPAC, led by pediatrician Andrea Shaw, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics, takes in 200 to 250 new refugee patients each year. Shaw, who began working with refugees during her high school years, now cares for refugees from Sudan, Liberia, Syria, Somalia, Afghanistan and the Republic of Congo, and many others. Shaw was appointed to Upstate’s faculty in December 2016 and received her medical degree at Upstate in 2009. Her new appointment will allow her to spend nine months of the year treating patients in the Refugee Clinic and the three remaining months working in Africa, where she is developing a global health pathway for pediatric residents in conjunction with Upstate’s Center for Global Health and Translational Science (CGHATS).
In honor of World Refugee Day, June 20, the Refugee Clinic will host a panel for UPAC staff. The panel consists of three parents of pediatric patients seen at UPAC’s clinic, two of whom arrived as unaccompanied refugee minors, settled here, married and now bring their children to UPAC. The third parent is a recently settled refugee with nine children who are all seen in the General Pediatric Clinic.
“Every refugee has a story,” Shaw said. “These parents bring unique perspectives that deepen our understanding of the refugee experience. I have asked them to share with our staff the stories that brought them here as well as the stories of their experiences with healthcare overseas and here in Syracuse. These stories help us connect with our patients on the human level and improve the care we provide.”
Shaw will host a luncheon for UPAC staff featuring international dishes representing flavors from across the various cultures served at Upstate, including cuisines from Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya. The luncheon is Shaw’s way of thanking the staff of UPAC for the excellent care they provide to all the refugees seen at Upstate.
Upstate has a long history of serving the refugee community beyond the medical clinic.
The refugee work Sean Haley and Nicole Watts were involved in when they were in students at Upstate led to the creation of HopePrint, a Syracuse-based organization created to empower refugees to thrive in their new communities during the post-resettlement time.
Rozlynn Jakes-Johnson started the PhotoVoice photography project with area refugees, most of whom had never before used a camera, when she was a student of the Central New York Masters of Public Health program. PhotoVoice was designed to empower those in marginalized populations, to give refugees a voice.
Peter Cronkright, MD, FACP, associate professor of medicine and refugee health and a refugee advocate, has dedicated his career to serving the refugee population.
For more on Upstate’s commitment to providing safe and respectful care to refugee populations, visit:
Upstate’s With Distinction blog
The Refugee Clinic at University Pediatric and Adolescent Center (UPAC) will host two events for UPAC staff June 20 in celebration of World Refugee Day. Details are as follows.
- A panel of former refugees will offer their perspective on what it is like to access health care in the United States. The panelists are parents of Upstate pediatric patients. The panel will be held from 8 to 9 a.m. in the conference room on the fifth floor at University Health Care Center. The panel is open to UPAC staff only.
- A luncheon featuring international dishes representing flavors from across the various cultures served at Upstate, including cuisines from Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya. The luncheon will be held from noon to 1 p.m. in the conference room on the fifth floor at University Health Care Center. The luncheon is open to UPAC staff only.
Caption: The Refugee Clinic at UPAC is led by Andrea Shaw, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics.