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Immigrant families face barriers to accessing health care. A session at the virtual 2021 American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition discussed how 1 program in Houston, Texas tried to help those families overcome those barriers.
Barriers to health care exist for many children, but can be particularly arduous for the 18 million children who are members of an immigrant family. The session “Addressing Barriers to Care for Immigrant Families” at the virtual 2021 American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition presented by members of the Program for Immigrant and Refugee Child Health (PIRCH) at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston covered the major barriers that immigrants children face and the initiatives that PIRCH has created to tackle the challenges seen in their area.
Common barriers to care for immigrant children include:
The PIRCH program was founded in 2018 with the mission to improve the health of immigrant children by removing barriers to care and promoting clinical excellence. The program has developed a number of initiatives to tackle common barriers in the Houston, Texas area, including:
Creating a program that addresses immigrant care in the community requires leadership who believes in the mission of improving access to care for all children as well as faculty who are dedicated to it. Working in the field also requires navigating a political minefield, but that can be addressed by refraining from taking sides or citing specific political figures; using language that is inclusive; and starting from the presumption that health care is a human right.
1. Monterrey A, Fredericks K, Haq H, Russel E, Swamy P. Addressing barriers to care for immigrant families. American Academy of Pediatrics 2021 National Conference & Exhibition; virtual. Accessed October 8, 2021.