HISTORY of the "Notebook Project", now the Tucson Refugee Health Informatin Wiki project
The Tucson Refugee Health Information wiki page began through the collaborative efforts of the Refugee Primary Care Work Group in Pima County, Arizona. The Work Group was formed in 2009 by the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, Health Promotion Sciences Division at the University of Arizona, on behalf of the Pima County Community Health Task Force, through funding for a primary care needs assessment from St. Luke's Health Initiatives and the Arizona Health Facilities Authority.

The project was led by Jean McClelland as principal investigator, and a report was submitted in May 2010, Refugee Primary Care Access and Delivery Needs in Pima County. To read the report, CLICK HERE --> ProfileRefugeePrimaryCare_Final_Report.pdf. A series of recommendations were developed by the Refugee Primary Care Work Group through this project, and one central recommendation was to make appropriate health information materials available to health care providers to use in patient education for their refugee patients. To see all of the recommendations developed by the Refugee Primary Care Work Group, CLICK HERE.
The principal recommendations addressed by this site are as follows:
  • Improve and increase language support services through: ... increasing availability of written materials and other language resources reflecting the literacy levels of clients.

  • Creation and regular updating of web-based health education materials in multiple languages for health provider use and dissemination, as well as web-based orientation materials for providers regarding refugee populations (culture, language, etc.) in Tucson.

  • Creation of health system orientation curricula and training for all newly arriving refugees and include, where possible, opportunities for information update (“booster”) sessions for refugees who have been in Tucson for any length of time to include: RMAP/AHCCCS coverage including EPSDT; making appointments; referral and prior authorization process; right to and process for requesting interpreters and appropriate language services; right to receive medically necessary care; refilling medications and pharmacy resources; roles of primary care, medical specialists, urgent care and ER; and the importance of preventative medicine. This training should involve and be available to providers and volunteers serving refugees.

The first two recommendations grew into this Tucson Refugee Health Information wiki page, under the dedicated guidance of Pat Auflick, librarian at the Arizona Health Sciences Library. Pat led a team of School of Information Resources and Library Science (SIRLS) students who are also Knowledge River fellows (Andrea Goodrich and Wanda Cecilie Davila) in the initial search for appropriate health information materials and sources responsive to the unique needs of Tucson-based providers serving refugees.

This team is now headed up by Mary Riordan, Yamila El-Khayat and Sara Tankersley (also a Knowledge River Fellow and SIRLS student). Sara and Jean also work closely with Refugee Primary Care Work Group members to make the overall wiki responsive to their information and resource needs, and to address the third recommendation to improve health care system navigation and provider understanding of the refugee experience.