Experts travel to Bangkok to conduct Training of Trainers for United Nations Agency for Migration (IOM) clinicians

September 20, 2018

Group of 23 posingIn August, the Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility organized a training in Bangkok, Thailand for United Nations Agency for Migration (IOM) clinicians, an effort that drew expertise from over a dozen trainers from the University of Minnesota and its partners. Thirty-five participants, primarily physicians and nurses, came from IOM missions in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe to advance their clinical skills, including physical examination and clinical assessment, patient communication (including through interpreters), and interprofessional collaboration. Participants also learned training skills so that they may build the capacity of their colleagues at their home missions.

This training was part of a larger project led by Dr. Bill Stauffer - a partnership between the University of Minnesota and IOM to help build the agency’s capacity to conduct health assessments and ensure the safe travel of US-bound refugees. Health assessments conducted by IOM clinicians identify health issues that would prevent a refugee from traveling to the US (e.g., diseases of public health significance) or that require additional pre-departure and post-arrival plans (e.g.,specialist evaluation for travel fitness, medical escort, hospitalization upon arrival). IOM clinicians work in challenging environments in which their clients often do not disclose complaints or their medical history for fear of not being allowed to travel to the US. This can make diagnosis difficult and accentuates the importance of conducting proper physical examination.

The training team for the Bangkok training was comprised of the following experts:

  • Megan Brandeland, Global Health Chief Resident, University of Minnesota Medical School
  • Stephen Dunlop, Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota Medical School; Physician, Hennepin County Medical Center
  • Brett Hendel-Paterson, Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota Medical School; Physician, Regions Hospital
  • Sarah Hoffman, Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota School of Nursing
  • Scott Homler, Director, University of Minnesota Program in Translation and Interpreting
  • Christine May, Retired Navy and Public Health Nurse
  • Fowsia Musse, Lead Nurse, HealthPartners Center for International Health
  • James Nixon, Professor, University of Minnesota Medical School
  • Mary O’Donnell, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Community-University Health Care Center
  • Cristina Plaza Ruiz, Psychotherapist, HealthPartners Center for International Health
  • Miguel Ruiz, Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota Medical School; Internal Medicine Hospitalist, Regions Hospital
  • Nikki Siddons, Family Nurse Practitioner, HealthEast
  • Larisa Turin, Clinic Manager, HealthPartners Center for International Health
  • Janine Young, Medical Director, Denver Health Refugee Clinic

Since late 2017, the UMN and partners have also conducted international trainings with IOM staff in Tanzania, Malaysia, Uganda, and Thailand. The next training is scheduled to be held in Kampala, Uganda in December 2018.