Regardless of where they come from or what their belief system is, safety is a human right, and everyone including refugees deserves access to medical treatment. It is a global responsibility to uphold these rights. World Refugee Day was created in 2001 by the United Nations General Assembly to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. World Refugee Day shines a light on these principles every year on June 20th, and is dedicated to honoring refugees and refugee families around the globe as well as their courage and strength.
The refugee crisis has reached new heights in 2022. Over the past decade, the number of people being forcibly displaced from their homes has more than doubled to over 84 million people, with 26.6 million of them being refugees. That’s over 84 million people forced to flee their homes, and 26.6 million refugees; more than at any other time in recorded history. These displaced persons are seeking safety from natural disasters, war, or persecution based on race, religion, or political beliefs.
World Refugee Day is a part of the longer Refugee Week, which raises awareness about the issues affecting refugees, and promotes togetherness and harmony. This year as we bring people together to celebrate World Refugee Day, Wellhart is keeping in mind the Refugee Week theme of healing; celebrating mutual care, community, and the resilient human ability to start anew.
We can all learn something about healing from those who have the courage to heal themselves mentally, emotionally, and physically from the conditions of their origin country and journey, all while going through a lengthy and arduous asylum seeking process. While Wellhart specializes in traditional healthcare staffing, we are also in the vocation of helping to heal those in need of medical care right when, and where they need it.
When humanitarian aid is needed, the fastest way to ensure that refugees’ medical needs are met is through the use of temporary staffing with locum tenens healthcare practitioners. Wellhart is able to efficiently staff large- and small-scale emergency needs on short notice because we put a large focus on two important aspects of locum tenens staffing: proactive action and relationship building.
Wellhart does not take a reactive approach to client staffing needs, we consistently build our network of, and relationships with assignment-ready healthcare professionals whether there is an open need or not. Every day, new providers, including physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, dentists, and CRNAs are added to Wellhart’s expansive database, and continually engaged with as our internal teams prepare them for prospective future needs.
As Wellhart’s provider client relations team collects all required documents to vet the practitioners’ quality and expedite credentialing, our licensing team is working with providers and state medical boards to obtain new licenses and geographically diversify our database.
Our proactive approach to recruiting and relationship building gives Wellhart the ability to get high quality healthcare providers on the ground at speeds that far outpace an organization’s capacity to provide a large population of refugees with necessary healthcare services using permanent providers.
This is vital, because when there is an influx of refugees, there must also be a rapid inrush of health care practitioners to meet their healthcare needs. Asylum seekers not only deserve access to immediate medical attention after enduring the conditions of their country of origin and strenuous journey, but they are also required by law to receive a medical examination when they enter the U.S.
Thus far, Wellhart has successfully staffed urgent humanitarian aid needs: Government Emergency Intake Shelter (EIS) Response for Unaccompanied Minors, and Operation Allied Welcome (OAW) Humanitarian Aid for Afghan Refugees.
Operation Allied Welcome (OAW) Humanitarian Aid for Afghan Refugees
In 2021, two of Wellhart’s clients were in need of locum tenens practitioners to provide medical care to an influx of refugees from Afghanistan. Wellhart responded by immediately delivering 120 healthcare providers on the ground of multiple locations.
Over a 6 month period, from October 2021 to March 2022, Wellhart continued to leverage our strong provider relationships and ability to make adjustments as needed to successfully staff all ongoing gaps in coverage with Doctors, Nurse Practitioners, Hospitalists, Pediatricians, Primary Care, Psychiatry and OB/GYN healthcare professionals.
Aiding refugees’ resettlement into their new communities, Wellhart’s locum tenens providers treated pregnant patients, tested & treated Covid positive patients, performed primary care and pediatric consults, initial medical exams, and immunizations.
Government Emergency Intake Shelter (EIS) Response for Unaccompanied Minors
Wellhart also placed over 100 healthcare providers on the ground of an emergency intake shelter in 72 hours while acting as a subcontractor to the Federal Government in 2021.
Over the course of the contract, from April to October of 2021, Wellhart placed over 425 physicians and nurse practitioners to provide 24-7 care to unaccompanied children who had crossed the US/Mexican border.
The assigned Primary Care, Pediatric, Family Practice, and Emergency Medicine physicians and nurse practitioners provided initial-stage care for unaccompanied children at the pop-up medical camp, which included healthcare screenings and other necessary services to thousands of minors seeking asylum from their country of origin.
In addition to locum tenens healthcare professionals’ ability to offer the same quality of care as a permanent provider, they are also always ready to pick up and travel where and when they’re needed, and appreciate the fulfillment they get from playing a part in refugees’ integration into their new communities.
If you are a healthcare provider who is interested in assisting in humanitarian aid projects or a client in need of providers to treat refugees, fill out our contact form to get in touch.