Refugee Health Initiative

Refugee Health Initiative



2022/2023 Executives: 

  • Bader Zeer, Sandy Hassoun, Farhad Ghaseminejad, Torin Halvorson, Vivian Ngo, Kendrew Wong

What is the Refugee Health Initiative (RHI)?

  • Partnership program which aims to help refugees transition to life in Canada
  • Medical students are paired with a family for two years to help them with resettlement as well as navigating the Canadian health care system
  • Our goal is to empower refugees so that they can feel comfortable addressing their own health needs
  • RHI was first founded in 2016 and is proud to have worked with over 400 refugees and carried out 4 research projects with the help of over 50 medical students.

What else does RHI do? 

  • Advocate for meaningful participation of refugees in Canadian society
  • Learn, discuss, and address challenges and barriers refugee families face
  • Hold workshops for medical students to teach them about various aspects of refugee resettlement
  • Create and present workshops to refugees at local non-profit organizations
  • Create instructional healthcare videos and other knowledge translation materials
  • Participate in ongoing refugee health related research projects

What are the benefits to the participating medical students?

  • Learning about the process of refugee resettlement in Canada
  • Gaining experience in communicating through the use of interpreters
  • Developing skills to interact with people from different lived-experience and cultures
  • Improving cross-cultural communication skills
  • Learning how to navigate our healthcare system and teach newcomers to do the same
  • Developing advocacy skills for the needs of refugees and identifying available resources
  • Participating in research projects and developing health-related workshops.

Where can I find out more?