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Proper health care

Gathering Humanity

Above: Photo by Charlie Leight

More than 62,000 refugees from 109 countries have made Arizona their home, roughly 80 percent of whom resettled in Mar - icopa County. Many do not have the resources for, or have never received, proper health care.

Two student-led programs in ASU’s Office of Global Social Work the Refugee Education and Clinic Team (R.E.A.C.T.) and Smiling Eyes are providing services to remedy this lack of health care and improve the well-being of refu - gees in Maricopa County.

“The communities and the resettlement agencies have struggled to address the health care gap,” says Smiling Eyes team member Clinton Reiswig.

But community partners and ASU students, working through the Office of Global Social Work, accepted the challenge.

Smiling Eyes, a dental clinic, runs solely on the generosity of community leaders, resettlement agencies, dentists, dental hygienists and students donating time and expertise to provide oral care for 100 refugee clients monthly.

In collaboration with Refugees and Immigrants Community for Empowerment, a support network, and Arizona Healthcare Out - reach, Smiling Eyes creates a sense of community among refugees in Maricopa County while improving their overall health.

With Smiling Eyes addressing oral health care, R.E.A.C.T. bridges the health care education gap.

Gathering Humanity, a refugee resettlement agency in the Phoenix area, along with other nonprofits and medical providers, lends its expertise and resources to facilitate R.E.A.C.T.’s workshops and books informing refugees of basic hygiene practices, including handwashing and exercise. R.E.A.C.T. is strengthening bonds with the local refugee community and nonprofits in the hopes of opening a free, student-run clinic.

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