Students and faculty at the School of Medicine showed their support for New Haven’s refugee and immigrant population on Sunday by joining in the 2017 Run for Refugees to benefit IRIS-Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services and raising more than $10,000. Many of the students are active in medical school programs that support immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers, like the Yale Center for Asylum Medicine (YCAM) and the medical school’s chapter of Physicians for Human Rights (PHR). Some of the 20 students who ran in the 5K race participate in the Refugee Patient Navigator Program, in which medical students help refugees to schedule health appointments and integrate aspects of their care; are involved in organizing health literacy classes for refugees at IRIS; or support YCAM in its work to provide medical evaluations and legal documentation of torture and persecution for asylum seekers. In addition, Dr. Katherine McKenzie, Director of YCAM, also participated in the race.
“Given recent executive actions on immigration and refugee admission, we wanted to show solidarity with our community's refugees by supporting IRIS's very essential role in their resettlement,” said first-year medical student Tara Torabi. “As physicians-in-training, we recognize the many social, cultural, and economic challenges facing these individuals, many of whom will be our future patients, and strive to shape a community that better supports and cares for them as they create new lives in New Haven.”