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Refugee and Immigrant Medical Association

Refugee and Immigrant Medical Association


Student Leadership

Maedot Haymete
Niju Khatiwada

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Vydia Permashwar

Note: contact information for student leaders and faculty mentors is available for current students only.  

described below
The Refugee and Immigrant Medical Association collected 100 bags of health and school supplies to distribute to families at four back-to-school clinics at Bradley Free Clinic and two Hispanic culture and health fairs. Pictured are the students who led this effort: Atreyi Saha, Ilona Jileaeva, Vemmy Metsutnan, and Devra Asah.

RIMA stands for Refugee and Immigrant Medicine Association. This group aims to address the disparities identified in the refugee/immigrant population of Roanoke by offering longitudinal educational guidance as well as providing resources for the children and their families to promote a healthier lifestyle in their own home.

An underlying goal of this group is to promote trust between the medical community and refugee/immigrant population. In order to establish this relationship, the project will partner with two local established refugee organizations (Roanoke Refugee Partnership and Commonwealth Catholic Charities) to reach out to this population.

This group is made up of VTC students and community members and its views don't necessarily reflect those of VTCSOM and its affiliates.


  • Offering longitudinal educational resource for children and their families to promote a healthier lifestyle in their own home
  • Promote trust between medical community and refugee/immigrant populations
  • Support locally established refugee partnership organizations
  • Respond to community needs
  • Engage VTC students and community members through an annual Health Fair, volunteering opportunities and fundraising efforts.
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My name is Devra Asah. Sometimes go by Dev. I am from California.

Hi, I'm Ilona Jileaeva and I’m from Washington State originally. 

Hi, my name Vemmy Metsutnan and I’m from Los Angeles, California.

Hi, my name is Atreyi Saha. I'm also from Northern California.


Well, RIMA stands for the Refugee and Immigrant Medical Association. Although it's a Medical Association, we try to help in every other aspect. It's not specifically just for medical services, although that is like our core of the group.

It's specifically for the underserved refugee and immigrant population of Roanoke, because Roanoke is like a federally recognized region for the refugee population. People are immigrating over here. This is one of the places that they could be located. So we're… like Roanoke is kind of special in that way. And then so then having this club or organization is like really unique as well. 

And we work with a lot of other non-profit organizations within the community to, to basically connect the medical school and the research institute to those communities to lend that extra hand.