UMN Expert: Serving health needs of refugees
World Refugee Day is observed by the United Nations each June 20. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, there are nearly 25.9 million refugees in the world. About half are under the age of eighteen.
University of Minnesota expert Sarah Hoffman is available for comment on the best approaches and methods to address the health needs of refugees post-resettlement.
Sarah Hoffman, PhD, MPH, MSN, RN
“The nature of conflict and forced migration is changing and the health needs that come as a result are becoming more apparent. Within my area of focus, there is a developing understanding of the critical role of gender in forced migration outcomes; the generational effects of trauma; and the observed health of refugees over time. Health care providers seem to be working less to maintain as separate the paradigms of mental and physical health and with more urgency to treat the whole person in the context of their environment.
“This new and refined knowledge is most impactful in places where it is translated to practices that ultimately reach communities of refugees. This application requires approaches to scientific inquiry that engage community organizations as equal partners and that build sustainable collaborations with key systems of support.”
Sarah Hoffman, PhD, MPH, MSN, RN is an assistant professor in the School of Nursing. Her areas of expertise include gender and forced migration and generational effects of war trauma and torture. She is the lead faculty representing the field of nursing for the UN Migration Agency Project housed at the Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility.
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