Western University experts available for comment on Syrian refugees

The first large group of Syrian refugees is scheduled to arrive in Canada on Thursday, December 10. With 25,000 expected to enter Canada by the end of February 2016, Western University experts are available to provide comment on a variety of issues facing Syrian refugees in Canada and those who are welcoming them, including ethnic relations, discrimination, and healthcare.

Immigration, Cultural Diversity & Ethnic Relations

Victoria Esses, Professor of Psychology, Director of the Centre for Research on Migration and Ethnic Relations at Western University, and Co-Chair of the Pathways to Prosperity Partnership, a national alliance of university, community, and government partners dedicated to fostering welcoming communities that promote the integration of immigrants in Canada.

Areas of Expertise: immigration and cultural diversity; ethnic relations; national identity and belonging; stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination; and the dehumanization of refugees.


Western University’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry has experts with research and frontline experience related to refugees and newcomers. They are available to comment on what these populations may face once they enter Canada, and how the health care system can accommodate their physical and mental health requirements.

Kelly Anderson, Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Areas of Expertise: Mental health, social determinants of health and health services use, risk of psychotic disorder in refugee and immigrant populations

Dr. Bhooma Bhayana, Adjunct Professor, Department of Family Medicine, family physician

Areas of Expertise: Family medicine, primary care of refugees and marginalized populations, implemented the Newcomer Health Project (initial screening and triage clinic for refugees by volunteer physicians and medical students)

MEDIA CONTACT: Stephen Ledgley, Senior Media Relations Officer, Western University, 519-661-2111 x85283, sledgley@uwo.ca


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