While the topic of migration and health has gained increasing interest in the past decade, it is still an area where academics, health professionals, researchers and other key stakeholders require further and in-depth training and education on the implications of migration on health to inform and create effective and efficient health interventions. An in-depth analysis is necessary to understand the full spectrum around migration and health, including their barriers to care, cultural perspectives of health, illness an risk, and health seeking behaviors. Since 2006, the Health Initiative of the Americas (HIA), an organization of UC Berkeley's School of Public Health, along with collaborating institutions have held an annual Summer Institute on Migration and Global Health to provide evidence-based information on migration and health from an international and multidisciplinary perspective to researchers, health professionals, and students. This year's Summer Institute on Migration and Global Health will apply a new method by taking a research training, infrastructure and career development approach. Through a combination of lectures and workshops taught by highly recognized national and international experts in the field of migration and health, and site visits to local health centers, the conference will disseminate research findings, evidence-based information, and research methodologies and tools to health providers, researchers, and students in the field of migration and health to expand research and facilitate effective health interventions among low-income migrant populations in the U.S. The overarching goal of the Summer Institute is to raise awareness and increase knowledge around topics of migration and health among health professionals, researchers, and students to facilitate culturally sensitive and effective interventions and public policies that will increase access to and utilization of quality and efficient health services among low-income immigrant populations. This goal will be achieved through the following objectives 1) equip health care professionals with knowledge and tools specific to immigrant populations to improve the quality, delivery, and effectiveness of services among mobile populations in the U.S., 2) build the capacity of young scholars to carry out research and translate their academic findings into public policy recommendations that contribute to the field of migration and health, and 3) to exchange information and build partnerships among organizations and individuals working on migration and health. Upon completing the Summer Institute, it is our goal that attendees will be armed with information on best practices and strategies for working with underserved populations in the U.S., and the partnerships and tools to achieve a greater impact.
Numerous studies show that migration and public health are intricately connected, with the experience itself presenting a series of physical and psychological risks to those who migrate, especially those with few resources. However, migration, in and of itself, does not exclusively lead to poor health;it is the stress of the migration process and often the exclusions and inequities that migrants face in their host country that exacerbates the risks to health and threatens their livelihood. It is essential to beter prepare health researchers, health professionals, and policy makers in areas of migration and public health to improve the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care for this population.