Refugee Health Technical Assistance Center
Update on Suicide Prevention Activities
QPR Gatekeeper Training Participants
RHTAC colleagues at the QPR Training in Boston, MA
In response to reports of suicides among Bhutanese and other refugees resettled in the U.S., RHTAC has sought to develop suicide prevention resources and tools. Last week we invited 10 Bhutanese community members from eight resettlement states  to participate in a Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) suicide prevention model training. Each participant is now certified as a master QPR trainer and will work with RHTAC to develop tools to increase the capacity of the more than 4,000 QPR trainers in the U.S. to work with refugee communities and the resettlement network.  

Public Health Screenings for Refugees   


At RHTAC, we conceive of refugee health as the physical, psychological, and social well-being of refugees. Important milestones in the continuum of refugee health care include the overseas medical examination and the initial public health screening.  


In recent years, the Division of Global Migration and Quarantine at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (DGMQ/CDC) has issued comprehensive guidelines on health screening for refugees in the U.S. The guidance is detailed and represents the first codification of what should be the basis for "refugee health." At the same time, by drawing on existing, evidence-based federal recommendations for the general public, they may lack the nuance that is necessary for developing a specific clinical public health screening program and primary care for refugees. These refugee-centered services must also reflect the health needs and the cultural, linguistic and experiential backgrounds of refugees. Nonetheless, for any state, the CDC guidelines serve as a basis for developing clinical content of a screening program.


Read more about Health Assessments on the RHTAC website and register now for the upcoming webinar on Domestic Refugee Health Screening Models and Clinical Guidelines. 

Upcoming Webinars
Domestic Refugee Health Screening Models and Clinical Guidelines
October 26, 2011
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM ET
Presenters: William Stauffer, MD, University of Minnesota; and Paul Geltman, MD, Massachusetts Refugee and Immigrant Health Program and Boston University School of Medicine. Details: This webinar will focus on discussing initial screening guidelines for newly arrived refugees and models for public health screening. It is targeted towards clinicians, primary care doctors, and refugee health coordinators.
Clinical Care for Refugees with HIV Infection
November 30, 2011
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM ET
Presenter: Sondra Crosby, MD, Co-Director of the Boston Center for Refugee Health and Human Rights at Boston Medical Center. Details: This webinar will explore screening refugees for HIV infection and clinical care for HIV-positive refugees. The target audience is clinicians, primary care doctors, and refugee health coordinators. Registration details coming soon. 

 RHTAC is a project of the Refugee and Immigrant Health Program, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, in collaboration with the Center for Refugee Trauma and Resilience at Children's Hospital Boston, the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture, Sauti Yetu Center for African Women, the Cultural Orientation Resource Center at Center for Applied Linguistics, and John Snow Research and Training Institute, Inc.  RHTAC is funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services. Grant #90RB0042.  


For more information, please contact 617 983 6589 or write

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September 23/60(37); 1281-1282. CDC MMWR.

Through exercises and video vignettes, pharmacists and technicians learn to communicate with limited English proficiency patients to improve medical outcomes. Developed by the American Pharmacists Association and the Center for Immigrant Health and Cancer Disparities, supported by a grant from the National Health Law Program.

Affordable Care Act Bulletin
September 20, 2011. DHHS.

In the Literature 

Developing preventive mental health interventions for refugee families in resettlement  

Weine, S.M. (2011).  Fam Process, 50, 410-30. 


Refugee resettlement to the United States: recommendations for a new approach

Westermyer, J.J. (2011). J Nerv Ment Dis,199, 532-6. 


Mental health of displaced and refugee children resettled in high-income countries: risk and protective factors

Fazel, M., Reed, R.V., Panter-Brick, C., Stein, A. (2011). Lancet.


Common mental health problems in immigrants and refugees: general approach in primary care   
Kirmayer et al.  (2011). CMAJ, 183, E959-E967. 


Webinar Archives    

Addressing the Mental Health Needs of Refugees in Primary Care Settings

July 27, 2011


HIV and Refugee Resettlement  

June 23, 2011

Suicide Among Refugees: Understanding the Social and Cultural Context for Prevention Strategies

May 17, 2011