Upstate Medical University

Center for International Health Community-Clinic Partnership

Mission statement

To support collaboration between health systems and community partners in an effort to improve the health of the local refugee and immigrant population in Syracuse, New York.  


The SUNY Upstate Center for International Health is dedicated to supporting local refugee outreach and health outcomes research through a Community-Clinic Partnership (CCP) between SUNY Upstate and Catholic Charities of Onondaga County Refugee Resettlement Services. The Community-Clinic partnership connects leaders of healthcare systems and agencies, improves health outcomes, and facilitates outreach and disease surveillance of the refugee population in the city of Syracuse. With a team of dedicated clinicians, scientists, project leaders and students, SUNY Upstate engages in cross-cutting activities aimed at bolstering community health for the local Syracuse refugee population. This Community-Clinic partnership (CCP) improves health and wellness for the local refugee population through a variety of projects. 

Published work and presented posters

The CCP is also dedicated to advancing and contributing to the field through published works and poster presentations. The papers and posters linked here overview some of the CCP's initiatives in Syracuse and represent our commitment to disseminating health outcomes research.

Presented Posters


Shaw J, Anderson KB, Fabi RE, Thompson CA, Harris M, Aljabbarin N, Bolourchi D, Mozo N, Lichtenstein D, Lupone CD, Larsen DA, Shaw AV. COVID-19 vaccination intention and behavior in a large, diverse, U.S. refugee population. Vaccine. 2022 Feb 23;40(9):1231-1237. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2022.01.057. Epub 2022 Feb 1. PMID: 35125223; PMCID: PMC8806127.

Lupone CD, Daniels D, Lammert D, Borsuk R, Hobart T, Lane S, Shaw A. Lead Exposure in Newly Resettled Pediatric Refugees in Syracuse, NY. J Immigr Minor Health. 2020 Feb;22(1):34-43. doi: 10.1007/s10903-019-00880-y. PMID: 30895418; PMCID: PMC6952323.

Sous W, Lupone CD, Harris MA, Mohamed A, Mohamed L, Lakomski MJ, Seward S, Shaw AV. Integrated Care Management to Improve Diabetes Outcomes in Refugee and Immigrant Patients (I-Care). Health Equity. 2021 Nov 17;5(1):781-788. doi: 10.1089/heq.2020.0143. PMID: 34909549; PMCID: PMC8665810.

Harris, M. A., Lupone, C. D., Asiago-Reddy, E., Anderson, K. B., Cronkright, P., Blatt, S. D., … & Shaw, A. V. (2020). Community-Clinical Partnership: Engaging health navigators to support refugees and non-refugee immigrants amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kuroda M, Shaw AV, Campagna CD. The experiences of community health workers when communicating with refugees about COVID-19 vaccines in Syracuse, NY: A qualitative study. Heliyon. 2024 Feb 9;10(4):e26136. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2024.e26136. PMID: 38434037; PMCID: PMC10906162.

Harris, M. A., Colvin, K. F., Lindner, N. E., Manganello, J. A., Mohamed, L., & Shaw, A. V. (2021). Development and Initial Validation of the Refugee Health Literacy Assessment Tool (RHLAT). American Journal of Health Education, 52(6), 402-410.

Daniels D, Imdad A, Buscemi-Kimmins T, Vitale D, Rani U, Darabaner E, Shaw A, Shaw J. Vaccine hesitancy in the refugee, immigrant, and migrant population in the United States: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2022 Nov 30;18(6):2131168. doi: 10.1080/21645515.2022.2131168. Epub 2022 Nov 4. PMID: 36332155; PMCID: PMC9746503.

Goble G, Formica M, Lane SD, Sous M, Stroup C, Rubinstein RA, Shaw A. Refugee Births and the Migrant Health Effect in Syracuse NY. Matern Child Health J. 2023 Sep;27(9):1599-1606. doi: 10.1007/s10995-023-03694-5. Epub 2023 Jun 7. PMID: 37284922; PMCID: PMC10244839.

Olson BG, Kurland Y, Rosenbaum PF, Hobart TR. Rapid Weight Gain in Pediatric Refugees after US Immigration. J Immigr Minor Health. 2017 Apr;19(2):263-266. doi: 10.1007/s10903-016-0461-8. PMID: 27393334.

CIH funding page

Projects and initiatives

Initiatives have included projects on access to healthcare services such as dental care and cancer screening, and prevalence of pediatric stunting and obesity. The CCP also supports community health through community-based projects such as health screenings, youth health literacy sessions, vaccine clinics, and health fairs. Most of the projects and initiatives in the community are held at Catholic Charities Onondaga County (CCOC), Northside CYO, with medical students volunteers.

Examples of Community-based projects

  • Preventive health screening
    The weekly preventive health screening for newly resettled refugees provides screening for hypertension, diabetes, and obesity/overweight. It has contributed to detecting undiagnosed chronic conditions for refugees and provides informal opportunities to check their health status in the community. In addition to the screening at CYO, we began home visits to provide health screening for refugee families. Home visit screenings are effective in providing convent care for refugees and refugee health navigators as well as providing educational opportunities for medical student volunteers to learn about refugees' lives directly.
  • Vaccine pop-up clinics
    Vaccine pop-up clinics provide accessible vaccine sites in the community. The CCP has conducted vaccine pop-up clinics at CYO since 2021. In 2023, the CCP hosted four vaccine pop-up clinics at CYO; in April, September, November, and December. At each clinic, 30-70 refugee people received flu and/or COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Educational Health Literacy sessions for refugee adolescents
    Biweekly health literacy sessions for refugee youth began in February 2023. During these sessions, CCP speakers from SUNY Upstate and the community provide opportunities for refugee youth to participate in interactive sessions with the goal of improving health literacy. Participants learn about important health topics such as healthy eating, physical activity, prevention of substance abuse disorder, and more.
  • Assistance for immigration physicals for green card / special immigrant visa applicants
    To address a high need for assistance with immigration physicals, the CCP began helping refugees navigate immunization records and required physical checkups. We assist weekly both at CYO and the Center for International Health clinic.
  • Health fair
    The annual health fair at CYO provides refugees with opportunities for blood pressure and blood glucose checks, cancer screening, vaccinations, exercise information, and health literacy training. Health literacy training covers a series of topics including lead poisoning, tick-borne diseases, oral care, and more. We welcome over 200 participants every year.