Lauren Cirrincione, class of 2015, presented her Albert Schweitzer Scholarship project at the Health Diversity Poster Competition on April 8, 2013. Cirrincione works with Bhutanese refugees at both the Squirrel Hill Health Center and the community family center in Prospect Park to better understand and educate refugees on the treatment of latent tuberculosis.
Some of her important findings…
Refugees have a solid understanding of Western medicine due to exposure to medications and health care provided by agencies such as UNHCR( United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) while in refugee camps in Nepal. Medication therapy for LTBI (latent tuberculosis) is generally not perceived as an unnecessary hardship or burden among the Bhutanese communities in Pittsburgh; instead, refugee families identify it as an important component of the resettlement process. This association was due to patients’ exposure to friends and family who had previously undergone nine months of INH (isoniazid) therapy in Nepal. INH counseling is most beneficial to Nepali-speaking Bhutanese refugee patients when side-effects, basic infection pathology, and appropriate medication refill practices are emphasized.
Faculty member Lauren Jonkman, PharmD, MPH, BCPS is Cirrincione’s mentor.