Webinar: Healthy Communities: Immigrants helping immigrants access healthcare

February 23, 2011

Cities of Migration hosted a 60 minute webinar to explore innovative strategies for connecting internationally trained health workers and immigrant patients to the health care system. Staying healthy means knowing when and where to go for medical help and having access to experts who can speak your language, culturally and linguistically. Find out how programs in San Francisco and Hannover are actively connecting internationally-trained health care professionals to employment and training diverse cultural mediators to improve health literacy within immigrant communities.

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Ramazan Salman
Executive Managing Director and Co-founder, Ethno-Medizinisches Zentrum

Mr. Salman is a leading expert in health care in Germany and Turkey, who founded Ethno-Medical Centre (Ethno-Medizinisches Zentrum – EMZ) in Hannover in 1990 while studying sociology and medicine. Key to Mr. Salman’s vehicle to pursue his vision of integration is a system of nationwide networks called “MiMi- (Migrants for Migrants)” which are led by socially integrated immigrants who reach out to assist other new immigrants. For his innovative and entrepreneurial work in creating MiMi, in 2006, Ramazan Salman was awarded the Ashoka Fellowship as Social Entrepreneur of the Year. In December of 2008, he was named Germany’s “Social Entrepreneur” in a competition organized by the Schwab Foundation.

José Ramón Fernández-Peña
Founder and Director, Welcome Back Initiative

José Ramón Fernández-Peña, MD, MPA is an Associate Professor of Health Education at San Francisco State University. Here, he is focused on health workforce diversity and cross cultural communication in health. Dr. Fernández-Peña is the founder and director of The Welcome Back Initiative” (WBI) a programme developed to assist internationally trained health professionals successfully navigate the requirements needed for them to enter the US workforce. The WBI currently includes centres in California, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Washington, Maryland, New York, and Texas. Previously, Dr. Fernández-Peña worked at the Mission Neighborhood Health Center in San Francisco as the director of Health Education. Before arriving in California, he was an Associate Director for quality management at Bellevue Hospital Center in New York City. Dr. Fernández-Peña has a degree in medicine from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and a masters’ degree in public administration from New York University.

Kristina Mason
Director, Puget Sound Welcome Back Center

Kristina H. Mason has an MA in Adult Ed/TESOL from Seattle University. She has 20 years of experience in marketing and communications and 15 years of experience in Adult Education, with an emphasis on Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. In 2007, Ms. Mason was introduced to the Welcome Back Initiative and was able to help replicate a Welcome Back Center for Washington State. She is now Director of the Puget Sound Welcome Back Center hosted at Highline Community College. As Director, she conducts trainings for the Welcome Back Initiative, supervises teachers of English for Medical Professionals and Welcome Back Center staff, coordinates educational interventions for her Welcome Back participants, and acts as a consultant for other local programmes helping immigrants and refugees transition into the healthcare workforce.

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