Community Engagement and Equitable Policy: Promoting Resilience and Stability for Children in Immigrant Families in North Carolina

Mariya Mohammed, Shruti Simha, Kathleen Clarke-Pearson, Lourdes Pereda, Ricky Hurtado, Emily Esmaili, David T. Tayloe and Julie M. Linton
Date of Publication: 
March, 2019
Source Organization: 

Immigrant families in North Carolina, despite multidimensional challenges in the context of national, state, and local policies, enrich our communities. Over the last 18 months, a small group of North Carolina Pediatric Society (NCPS) physicians with concerns about the health and emotional well-being of children in immigrant families have come together to address the challenges facing this vulnerable population. Our goal, as the newly formed NCPS Committee on Immigration, is to advance policy to support immigrant families in obtaining equitable health, educational, and economic opportunities in our state. We are in the process of building a task force to bring together those who work closely with the North Carolina immigrant population to promote resilience and stability through legislative and policy advocacy.

Immigrant families demonstrate tremendous strength and resilience but also face a number of risks relating to the social determinants of health (SDOH), defined as “the economic and social conditions that shape the health of individuals and communities” [6]. In the setting of recent and rapidly evolving immigration policies, the physical and mental health of many children in immigrant families is being threatened by fear and uncertainty [7]. In this commentary, we highlight current state- and federal-level issues that impact children in immigrant families in North Carolina. Additionally, we offer potential solutions that are urgently needed to support health and well-being and the collective prosperity of our North Carolina communities.

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Mohammed, M., Simha, S., Clarke-Pearson, K., Pereda, L., Hurtado, R., Esmaili, E., Tayloe, D. T., & Linton, J. M. (2019). Community engagement and equitable policy: Promoting resilience and stability for children in immigrant families in North Carolina. North Carolina Medical Journal (80)2. Retrieved from