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WEBINAR | COVID-19 Vaccines: A National Learning Session from the Frontlines of Refugee, Migrant, and Immigrant Health


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COVID-19 Vaccines: A National Learning Session from the Frontlines of Refugee, Migrant, and Immigrant Health

DATE: February 11, 2021



How do we ensure COVID-19 vaccines reach immigrant communities, where many work tirelessly in jobs deemed essential during the pandemic? How do we help farmworkers and their families have access to COVID-19 vaccines? Join Migrant Clinicians Network as we host a national learning session to share experiences from the frontline of COVID-19 vaccine distribution and initiatives to reach disenfranchised and vulnerable populations. The diverse faculty will discuss best practices, challenges and lessons learned in order to help clinicians, health centers, health departments, hospitals, employers and community groups as they work determinedly to help people at high risk from COVID-19 to get access to this much-needed vaccine. The session will also address inclusive rollout strategies, advocacy successes, and vaccine hesitancy. We will share what’s working, what’s not working and what needs to be done to ensure successful vaccine distribution to refugees, migrants and immigrants. 


Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to…

  • Recognize challenges facing communities trying to distribute vaccines equitably.  

  • Identify successful strategies to distribute vaccines to refugee, migrant and immigrant communities.

  • Be familiar with resources to help promote vaccine acceptance.  



Lynn Bahta, R.N., MPH, CPH

Lynn Bahta, R.N., MPH, CPH

Lynn Bahta is a Public Health Nurse at the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) serving as the Immunization Program Clinical Consultant. With over twenty years of work in immunization, Ms. Bahta provides subject matter expertise to MDH immunization programs, local public health, and clinicians. Additionally, Lynn works on vaccine safety-related and vaccine hesitancy activities. As a part of this work, Ms. Bahta is part of an interdivisional MDH team that is working to address MMR vaccine hesitancy among Somali parents.  In July 2019, Ms. Bahta was appointed to the Center for Disease Control’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, a national group of medical and public health experts that make policy recommendations for licensed U.S. vaccines. 


Andrea Caracostis, MD, MPH

Andrea Caracostis, MD, MPH

Dr. Andrea Caracostis, has dedicated her career to providing equal access to health care for all. She is a medical doctor with a master’s degree in public health from Texas A&M and has 25 years of experience in health care. Since 2007 she has been the Executive Director of HOPE Clinic, a Federally Qualified Health Center providing care to the large multicultural community in Southwest Houston. Under her leadership, HOPE Clinic has grown from 5 employees and a $700,000 budget to a large corporation employing over 200 staff and a $20 million dollar budget. HOPE Clinic is nationally recognized as a quality and innovation leader by the Bureau of Primary Health Care. Dr. Caracostis is board member on various local and national healthcare organizations, including Harris Health, Texas Association of Community Health Centers, Asian American and Pacific Islanders Community Health Center Organization and Susan G. Komen Medical Board.


Lourdes Villanueva

Lourdes Villanueva


Lourdes Villanueva is the Director of Farmworker Advocacy at Redlands Christian Migrant Association (RCMA) that serves farmworker families in Florida.  At age 11, Ms. Villanueva and her family came to the US to harvest fruit and vegetables.  In the early 1980s, Ms. Villanueva, then the mother of three, came to RCMA because she wanted a safe place for her children to be cared for while she and her husband harvested tomatoes.  She went on to become RCMA staff, got her GED, went to community college, and eventually earned her bachelor's degree. She now  serves as Director of Farmworker Advocacy for RCMA.  She has received numerous awards for her ongoing advocacy and commitment to farmworkers and their families.


Eva Galvez, MD

Eva Gálvez, MD


Dr. Eva Gálvez is a board-certified family physician at Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center in Oregon. She obtained her medical degree from the University of Washington School of Medicine in 2004 and has been working in federally qualified health centers since her residency training. As the daughter of Mexican immigrants and agricultural workers, she has a special interest in the health issues facing immigrant families and agricultural workers. She is passionate about providing high quality, culturally appropriate care to her community as well as being an advocate to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable populations. Outside of her busy practice, she spends much of her time providing education around health issues that impact the Latino community and raising awareness around health disparities. She was named 2020 Alumni Fellow for the College of Science at Oregon State University for her leadership during the time of COVID-19. She is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and is the board chair. Dr. Galvez is also the board chair of Migrant Clinicians Network. 


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