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Published on August 06, 2018

Greensboro Refugee Health Project Wins National Award

Two Cone Health employees helped develop a coalition to improve the health of refugees.


North Carolina historically ranks in the top 10 among states for refugee resettlement. Refugees often arrive with big health care needs but little knowledge of how the system works. Two Cone Health employees were awarded the 2018 Andy Nichols Award for Social Justice for work in bridging that gap. 

The award was presented to Shawn Houck, RN, and Jeffrey Walden, MD.

Shawn Houck & Jeffrey WaldenShawn Houck, RN & Jeffrey Walden, MD

They are members of Greensboro Area Health Education Center (AHEC). The two help develop the Guilford Refugee Health Coalition. The coalition is eight community agency partners, including the Cone Health Congregational Nursing Program, the University of North Carolina-Greensboro Center for New North Carolinians, Church World Service and African Service Coalition (two local refugee resettlement agencies), Cone Health Center for Children, the Cone Health Office of Inclusion, and the Cone Health Family Medicine Refugee Clinic. The coalition’s first project was the creation of a refugee health literacy toolkit called “Welcome to Health.”

The toolkit is written in English with Swahili translation. It contains information from basic nutrition to how to make a medical appointment. The hope is that refugees will be able to quickly figure out the American health care system. The toolkit will be translated into other languages in the future. 

Houck and Walden received the award at the 2018 National AHEC Organization Biennial Conference in Washington, DC.

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