Journal of Refugee & Global Health



Community-academic partnerships have demonstrated how collaboration can provide academic healthcare workers and non-medical community providers such as educators and social services with a comprehensive view of issues affecting refugee populations. The ICIH (Interagency Council on Immigrant Health) is a physician-community partnership consisting of healthcare professionals, non-medical educators, social workers, early childhood services and other community agencies. It was formed to address the well-being of a local immigrant population, strengthen bonds between the community and healthcare system, and educate and empower pediatricians to provide culturally aware services. The collaboration has been very successful as demonstrated by the production of multiple collaborative products in a very short time period with minimal funding. This article explores the experiences of community and physician members in order to share insights and recommendations for others working in small cities who wish to start such a collaborative. We collected data from 17 of 30 ICIH members through focus groups, interviews, and a survey and conducted a qualitative analysis using transcripts from these sessions. From our analysis, the following themes emerged: 1) increased awareness of challenges faced by refugee families, 2) making connections and collaborating with a diverse group of agencies, 3) improvement of care for the population using knowledge learned through the ICIH, 4) expanding perspectives through the sharing of information between agencies, 5) the importance of education for providers and community members about the refugee population, and 6) relational support gained through interaction with other service providers struggling to overcome similar obstacles. Results support the ideals of a productive community-academic partnership. With this information, we present recommendations for others working to establish similar community-academic collaboration efforts.


This qualitative research project was supported by The Leda J. Sears Charitable Trust supporting the University of Missouri Department of Child Health Research Fund.



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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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