UConn professors address refugee health care issues - Connecticut

"UConn professors and students are working in a collaborative effort to address the problem of inadequate healthcare for Cambodian-American refugees....

“How do we change curriculums in the health professional school to help students understand the downstream consequences for a person exposed to trauma or torture,” said Buckley....

Buckley and Berthold were surprised to learn how many people don’t realize the impact that trauma has on the development of chronic diseases. There is widespread awareness on mental health issues such as PTSD and depression, but the long-term effects of physical illnesses, such as diabetes or strokes, are often left unrealized. By starting a conversation about the clear evidence of this phenomenon, and including both students and professionals in the discussion, KHA [ Khmer Health Advocates] is working to improve the overall health care for Cambodian refugees....

KHA seeks to draw attention to the huge health disparity issue and raise awareness for appropriate and fair funding to serve survivors with long-term health issues....

“We need to make sure that policies are actually implemented after they have been passed,” Berthold said....

“There is a synergistic relationship between the students and the community health workers. They teach the students about the culture and the students teach them about healthcare services,” said Buckley."



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