Refugee Women’s Health Clinic

A Passion For Women’s Health. Refugee Women’s Health leader, Dr. Crista Johnson shares an evening with Queen City Links & Women’s Center supporters.

A Passion For Women’s Health.
Refugee Women’s Health leader, Dr. Crista Johnson shares an evening with Queen City Links &
Women’s Center supporters.

Imagine that you are in a country that is not your own, far from home, and pregnant. You don’t speak the language of your new country. You’ve been a refugee for nearly eight years. Your culture and customs are beautifully different from the culture and customs of the place you now call home. Imagine how you will feel when you seek medical services, and your expectations of what will happen are completely different from what actually happens.

You’ve never had a pelvic examination, or an IV, and you’ve never had your blood pressure taken with a blood pressure cuff. In your mind, these interventions are akin to being strapped down.  The medical personnel are there to help, but they have not had the opportunity to gain your trust. All communication is being done through a translator.

This is the experience of thousands of women who come to the United States as refugees. On May 9, 2013, a group of Cincinnati women, including members of the Queen City Links, came to UC Health Women’s Center to hear about Refugee Health Care. The women joined Dr. Crista Johnson, Director of the Maricopa Refugee Women’s Health Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona for a moving presentation about the clinic and the patients that they treat.

The Refugee Women’s Health Clinic provides culturally sensitive, comprehensive care across the reproductive life span to a largely African, Asian, and Middle Eastern refugee community in Maricopa County, AZ. The clinic is dedicated to reaching the underserved and supporting the mission of refugee resettlement, which is to promote self-sufficiency in the incoming population. The clinic staff works to build the trust that those patients new to the United States need in order for them to have successful health outcomes in our medical culture.

Not only did our guests learn about the important work of Dr. Johnson and her team, they toured the Women’s Center, met with Lisa Larkin, MD, the visionary and director behind the Center, and heard about the depth and quality of work that is being accomplished right here in the tri-state region. Guests learned about the uniqueness of the new UC Health Women’s Center and its patient-centered, evidence-based, collaborative approach to care.

While the settings are different, the Refugee Women’s Health Clinic and UC Health’s Women’s Center both take an innovative approach to women’s health by focusing on the whole person; their needs, background, culture, and preferences, in order to deliver exceptional care. The doctors and staff working within the UC Health Women’s Center hope to continue to spark meaningful dialogue about how groups such as the Queen City Links can partner with the Women’s Center to improve the health of all women in the greater Cincinnati region.

If you are interested in supporting the work of the Women’s Center at UC Health, please contact Carrie White at (513) 585-8407 or carrie.white@uchealthcom.

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