New York, NY (January 23, 2017) – HealthRight International’s Human Rights Clinic (HRC) was recently awarded a two-year grant from the Pritchard Family Trust to expand the successful HRC program model to Long Island, NY. The project will serve immigrant survivors of torture, persecution, abuse and neglect in Nassau and Suffolk Counties of New York State, particularly in areas where access to specialized forensic evaluation and trauma services are most limited. Between 2010 and 2015, Nassau and Suffolk Counties experienced an influx of nearly 50,000 international immigrants, including nearly 7,500 unaccompanied migrant children,  many of whom have fled horrific abuses in their home countries. By establishing a local cohort of clinicians trained and available to provide forensic evaluations for immigrants requiring documentation of trauma suffered, and by building partnerships with and linking clients to needed follow-up care in their communities, vulnerable immigrants will be connected with services that would otherwise be out of reach. The project will also serve medical and mental healthcare providers and trainees in Nassau and Suffolk counties, who will gain critical skills in evaluating, screening, and serving vulnerable immigrants in their communities.
As part of this project, HealthRight will be developing a unique partnership with the Gordon F. Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies at Adelphi University. Through this partnership, HealthRight will train and support faculty and doctoral candidates to provide needed psychological evaluations for asylum seekers and other vulnerable immigrant adults and children living on Long Island. “At Derner Institute, we are always trying to expand the range of clinical training in community relevant settings we provide our graduate students. This grant will support and broaden our efforts into an area where there is a huge need but not many providers,” shared Dr. Jacques Barber, Dean of the Derner Institute. Professor Michael O’Loughlin, a longtime volunteer clinician with HealthRight International, will coordinate this project on behalf of the Derner Institute and in partnership with HealthRight.
“We are thrilled to receive this support to address an important unmet need in the New York metro area. HealthRight is excited to work with local partners to ensure that immigrant survivors of torture and abuse on Long Island gain access to the support they need to begin rebuilding their lives,” said Lauren Pesso, who oversees HealthRight’s programs on Migrant Health, including the Human Rights Clinic.
About HealthRight’s Human Rights Clinic
HealthRight’s Human Rights Clinic (HRC) was established in 1993 in the Bronx, NY, and currently provides forensic and follow-up case management services to immigrant survivors of torture and abuse in 12 locations around the U.S., including New York City. The HRC has trained more than 1,500 volunteer clinicians throughout the country, and assisted over 5,000 immigrant survivors of torture and other human rights abuses with forensic evaluations and follow-up support.
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