New Staff Profile: Brian Ombongi
Brian, MCC’s new Health Case Manager, joins the Refugee Services team with a wide variety of experience. In addition to being a nurse, he has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and recently graduated with a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the Humphrey Institute. He describes himself as an “old soul” because of his love for music from the 1970s and 80s and old architecture. Since childhood, he’s dreamed of traveling to Cuba and would love to see the classic architecture and cars there. After completing high school in Kenya, Brian immigrated to the United States and made a home here in Minnesota. He first pursued a LPN nursing degree and then worked as a nurse through his college and graduate school years studying politics and public policy. While he was a student, he interned with Give Us Wings, a non-profit that serves communities in Uganda and Kenya, and completed an internship with the International Institute of Minnesota, where he was introduced to the field of refugee resettlement. He has interests in global public policy, human rights, gender rights, immigration, and politics, and hopes to someday work for the United Nations in Africa or a developing country. When he began at MCC Refugee Services, Brian had the opportunity to join the Employment Team, working with individuals finding their first jobs in Minnesota and he is now transitioning into the position of Health Case Manager in our Intensive Case Management (ICM) program. This program holistically supports individuals with complex health needs. His experience and nursing and refugee resettlement come together perfectly in this role as he helps families with refugee status navigate the complexities of the American health care system. Although he did not experience being a refugee himself, Brian finds that he can relate to the families he serves because of his own immigrant journey. The experiences of being an immigrant, finding his way around Minnesota, and understanding a new culture have also helped him connect with new refugees. Brian also speaks Swahili, which has been helpful to all of the Refugee Services programs that support arrivals from the Democratic Republic of Congo that we have welcomed in recent months. We are excited to welcome Brian to our Refugee Services team!