Mental Health panel

Ibraham Dandakoye

Rev Riggs




Refugee Summit 2016, a Focus on Healthcare, was a success!

One hundred-seventy seven community leaders, healthcare and social service professionals, students, and volunteers attended the region’s first “Refugee Summit” on September 21, 2016. The all-day event took place at The Summit, 1025 W. Rudisill Blvd. A total of 10 speakers, comprised of regional professionals and local elected officials, spoke to the group on a broad spectrum of topics all focused on refugee physical and mental health as well as the difficulties providers face finding and using trained interpreters to smooth the healthcare process here, and across Indiana.

The Keynote speaker, the Reverend Jennifer Riggs, wove a colorful tapestry of her own personnel experiences from her years working as the national Director of Refugee and Immigration Ministries for the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ. Her travels took her to the refugee camps around the world; including Bosnia, Thailand, and the African continent. Riggs pointed out how slow the process of resettlement is, as the refugees must navigate the governmental red tape on both ends, and how heart breaking it could be to encourage people to apply while knowing it might take them years to ever be cleared to immigrate, if at all.

The St. Joseph Community Health Foundation would like to thank its partners and the other sponsors who participated in the event. Major collaborators included Amani Family Services, Catholic Charities, Luna Language Services, and Maple Leaf Farms. We equally thank everyone for attending and appreciate all of feedback received to help plan a refugee summit in 2017.

Below you will find the links for power points from some of the presenters at this year’s event.


1. St. Joseph Coummunity Health Foundation.                                                                              

2. Catholic Charities, Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend  materials.

3. Refugee Health Issues/Fort Wayne-Allen County Health Department.

4. Amani Family Services.

5. Melissa  Rinehart.