Community Intervention for Syrian Refugees in Baltimore City: The Lay Health Educator Program at a Local Mosque

  • Anila Chaudhary
  • Niccolo Dosto
  • Rachel Hill
  • Maiju Lehmijoki-Gardner
  • Phyllis Sharp
  • W. Daniel Hale
  • Panagis GaliatsatosEmail author
Original Paper


This study focused on a partnership with a mosque in Baltimore, MD, and its impact on the local Syrian refugee population through a peer-to-peer healthcare training program. We implemented the Lay Health Educator Program over a 6-week period in an effort to teach members of the mosque about healthcare-related topics that they could then disseminate to the Syrian refugee population that attends the mosque. Physicians and nurses instructed community members on health, healthcare resources, and healthcare information during 2-h long sessions once a week. A total of 18 community members took part in the program, and their participation highlighted that the most significant health issues for the Syrian refugees are “access to healthcare,” “mental health,” and insight into certain noncommunicable disease. Finally, the community program graduates implemented several health-related campaigns over 2 years in an effort to disseminate information taught to them. In doing so, they significantly impacted the ability of the refugees to assimilate to the US healthcare system.


Community health Refugees Islam Faith-based intervention 


Compliance with Ethical Standard

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Animal and Human Rights

This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Medicine for the Greater GoodJohns Hopkins School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical CenterLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.Department of TheologyLoyola University MarylandBaltimoreUSA
  4. 4.Johns Hopkins University School of NursingBaltimoreUSA
  5. 5.Division of GeriatricsJohns Hopkins School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  6. 6.Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care MedicineJohns Hopkins School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA

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