Design of a service project that provides a model for interprofessional collaboration and layered learning within the refugee and asylum seeker community


  • Donika Emerllahu Rochester Institute of Technology, New York, United States
  • Lirika Veseli St. John Fisher University, New York, United States
  • Ashley Blaakman Rochester Regional Health, New York, United States
  • Christine R Birnie St. John Fisher University, New York, United States



Asylum-seeker, Interprofessional education, Layered-learning, Refugee, Service


Background: Development of an interprofessional service outreach within the refugee and asylum-seeker population gives pharmacy trainees the opportunity to develop healthcare skills and gain cultural awareness.

Programme description: The interprofessional team prepared for the medical service trip through meetings, gathering supplies, and engaging in fundraising events. The team partnered with Siguiendo los Pasos de Jesús (SPJ) and Annunciation House while observing and partaking in service. A retrospective review of medical records was completed to develop the research project.

Evaluation: A team of nine participated in a service project providing medical care and support for asylum-seekers. Layered learning and the importance of interdisciplinary communication were demonstrated within the team. The most common medical ailments for patients were respiratory, gastrointestinal diagnoses and headache/pain.

Future plans: Service outreach offers the experience of caring for underserved populations and increases awareness of cross-cultural development, which is transferable in any clinical setting.

Author Biographies

Donika Emerllahu, Rochester Institute of Technology, New York, United States

Rochester Institute of Technology

Lirika Veseli, St. John Fisher University, New York, United States

Wegmans School of Pharmacy

Ashley Blaakman, Rochester Regional Health, New York, United States

Rochester Regional Health

Christine R Birnie, St. John Fisher University, New York, United States

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Wegmans School of Pharmacy


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How to Cite

Emerllahu, D., Veseli, L., Blaakman, A., & Birnie, C. R. (2023). Design of a service project that provides a model for interprofessional collaboration and layered learning within the refugee and asylum seeker community. Pharmacy Education, 23(1), p. 499–504.



Programme Description