IHAIG – Immigrant Health and Advocacy Interest Group


Co-Presidents Youlei Li & Ali Malik
Co-Treasurers Paola Trejo & Tasnim Hussein

Welcome to the Immigrant Health and Advocacy Interest Group!

The mission of the Immigrant Health & Advocacy Interest group is to create awareness of the unique challenges that a diverse population of immigrant and migrant families face and learn how as future providers, we can provide culturally and linguistically effective health care.


Immigrant families represent the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population; one in every four children (~ 18.4 million children) lives in an immigrant family. Immigrant children and their families face a variety of challenges to their health and well-being, including poverty, lack of health insurance, substandard housing and language barriers (Source 1 : AAP). Thirty percent of immigrant children are poor vs. 19% of children with US-born parents. For Mexican and Central American immigrant families, the poverty rate is almost 40%. And immigrant families qualify for fewer safety-net programs such as SNAP (food stamps), compounding the stress of their low-wages (Source 3). Common health problems among these patients include anxiety, depression, adjustment reactions, trauma and effects on the family depending on their past experiences (Source 2: AFP). In addition, immigrants are particularly vulnerable because they may not speak English, are often separated from loved ones, and may not understand the laws of the United States. For these reasons, immigrant victims of domestic violence have difficulty finding resources in the community. As future providers, it is important that we are connected to local resources and educated about this vulnerable population in order to sufficiently advocate for these families in our community.

What To Expect During the School Year?

  • Workshops focused on the Migrant Farmerworkers Healthfair in the Spring
  • Lunch meetings focused on advocacy and celebrating our diverse immigrant/migrant population
  • Focus on community resources that are available for undocumented immigrants
  • Collaboration with other organizations for meetings on health disparities for vulnerable populations, cultural competency, medical Spanish etc.