Refugee Health Technical Assistance Center
Introducing Community Dialogue!

Want to discuss refugee health and mental health issues with other professionals in the field? Have an effective practice or program that improves refugee health to share? Participate in the RHTAC Community Dialogue discussion!


Community Dialogue is your space to ask questions, learn from your colleagues, and begin building a community of practice. The January 2012 Community Dialogue focuses on domestic health orientation topics suggested by the Health Orientation Continuum webinar participants. 

Join the conversation >

Affordable Care Act (ACA) &
Health Insurance 

The RHTAC December Update included a short quiz for readers on the ACA. Some respondents were uncertain whether health insurance companies can currently deny coverage for a refugee child because of a pre-existing medical condition. The good news is twofold: this practice is not legal under the ACA and this part of the ACA is already implemented.   


Health plans cannot limit or deny benefits or deny coverage for a child younger than age 19 simply because the child has a "pre-existing condition" - that is, a health problem, including a disability that developed before the child applied to join the plan. This applies to all lawfully residing residents in the U.S. including refugee children. Learn more > 

More ACA Resources
Find health insurance options now! Discover the health insurance best suited to your needs, whether it's private insurance for individuals, families, and small businesses, or public programs.

How is the ACA helping you where you live? Find materials related to implementation of the Affordable Care Act specific to your state such as grants, new services and programs.

ACA information specific to YOU Learn how the healthcare law meets the unique needs of specific groups (e.g. people with disabilities, families with children, seniors, and more). Also contains informational videos.
Preventing Refugee Suicide
RHTAC is collaborating with a suicide prevention training program called the Question Persuade Refer (QPR) Institute to prevent suicides among resettled refugees. The QPR suicide prevention model has been adapted and used by a wide range of communities around the world. The goal of the RHTAC QPR Refugee Suicide Prevention Project is to provide refugee gatekeepers (case managers, ESL teachers, employment specialists, community health workers, MAA caseworkers, community volunteers, etc.) with information and skills to identify individuals who may be at risk of suicide, intervene and link them with resources. Stay tuned for QPR trainings for refugee gatekeepers in your area.

See more suicide prevention resources >

Watch Suicide among refugees: Understanding the social and cultural context for prevention strategies, a webinar by Heidi Ellis, PhD, Director of Boston Children's Hospital Center for Refugee Trauma and Resilience 
Scam Alert
The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) has issued an alert for a telephone scam apparently targeting Bhutanese refugees.  So far, reports are localized in Texas.
A man identifying himself as a representative of the "Federal Grants Department" calls from a Washington, DC-based telephone number, (202) 436-9601, informing recently resettled refugees that they are eligible to receive $10,000 because they are refugees from Bhutan.  To claim the money, they are instructed to produce a money order for $650 and call the telephone number for further instructions on where to send the money. Be advised that this is NOT a legitimate solicitation.

Targets of suspicious requests should contact local police or resettlement agency for further assistance.
Did You Miss a Newsletter in 2011?  
Upcoming RHTAC Webinars  
Tools and Strategies for Refugee Mental Health Screening: Introducing the RHS-15 - Registration Open!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM EST  
Presented by: Michael Hollifield, MD, Program for Traumatic Stress, VA Long Beach Healthcare System, PIRE and Pathways to Wellness, Albuquerque, NM and Seattle, WA.  Details: Continuing education credits (CECs) are now available! In order to receive CECs, you must register on the Baystate Continuing Education learner portal at least 24 hours before the start time of the event and register separately for the webinar. The target audience for this webinar is mental health providers, clinicians, primary care providers, and refugee health program staff.
Register now for the webinar >
Register now for CECs >
Strong Roots and Bright Futures: Promoting Successful Adjustment for Refugee Youth - Registration Open!  
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
12:30 - 1:30 PM EST
Co-sponsored by: Bridging Refugee Youth & Children's Services (BRYCS) and RHTAC. Presented by: Heidi Ellis, PhD, Center for Refugee Trauma and Resilience, Boston Children's Hospital, and Lyn Morland, MSW, MA, BRYCS. Details: This webinar will cover the risk and protective processes most critical to refugee youth adjustment and the elements of programming most effective in promoting the resilience and success of refugee youth. Q&A time and practical resources will be provided. Register now > 
Upcoming Events   

2012 Harvard International Conference on Digital Disease Detection
February 16-17, 2012, Boston, MA

Presented by: HealthMap and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Details: This conference will address how disease and outbreak data are disseminated through informal digital channels.


Global Health & Innovation Conference 2012
April 21-22, 2012, Yale University, New Haven, CT

Presented by: Unite For Sight. Details: This global health and social entrepreneurship conference convenes 2,200 professionals and students from all 50 states and from more than 55 countries. Participants are from all fields of global health, international development, and social entrepreneurship.


North American Refugee Healthcare Conference

June 28-30, 2012, Rochester, NY

Presented by: Rochester General Hospital. Details:  Keynote speakers are Dr. Eskinder Negash, Director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), and Martin Cetron, MD, Director of the Division of Global Migration and Quarantine at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Asian Clinical Tropical Medicine Course

July 21 - August 3, 2012, Bangkok, Thailand 

Presented by: Georgia Health Sciences University Department of Emergency Medicine. Details: Health care providers with experience and/or a special interest in clinical tropical medicine or infectious disease are invited to attend.     


Free Guided Care Training and Tools for ACOs Seeking to be Part of Medicare Shared Savings Program 

Presented by: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Details: Free training and technical assistance is available for organizations that seek to use the Guided Care model to participate in the Medicare Shared Savings Program.

Funding Opportunities   

Preferred Communities Program 
Due March 1, 2012.
Funding to support the resettlement of newly arriving refugees in Preferred Communities where they have ample opportunities for early employment and sustained economic independence and to address special populations who need intensive case management, culturally and linguistically appropriate linkages, and coordination with other service providers to improve their access to services.  


Ethnic Community Self Help Program

Due March 13, 2012. Funding for ethnic community-based and faith-based organizations to strengthen organized ethnic communities comprised and representative of refugee populations to ensure ongoing support and services to refugees within five years after initial resettlement. The populations targeted for services and benefits in the application must represent refugee communities which have arrived in the U.S. within the last five years (no earlier than 2005).    

Standing Announcement for Supplemental Services for Recently Arrived Refugees
Due March 16, 2012. Funding of the Supplemental Services for Recently Arrived Refugees program to provide services to newly arriving refugees or sudden and unexpected large secondary migration of refugees where communities are not sufficiently prepared in terms of linguistic or culturally appropriate services and/or do not have sufficient service capacity. This program is solely in support of newly arriving refugees and/or sudden or unexpected secondary migration.
Nominate Someone for the Nansen Refugee Award
Do you know of any person, group or people, or organization that has gone beyond the call of duty and shown outstanding dedication and service to the refugee cause?  

If so, please nominate them as a candidate for the Nansen Refugee Award! All you have to do is request the nomination form and send it to  
Call for Reviewers 
The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) invites you to share your expertise in working with refugees or in refugee resettlement by reviewing applications for future discretionary funds.

Learn more about reviewer requirements.
For questions, email

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, 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 email

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Crossing Borders: One World, Global Health, Articles from the Division of Global Migration and Quarantine (DGMQ)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Clinical Infectious Diseases journal has dedicated a section online to global health, titled Crossing Borders: One World, Global Health. Once a month, new contributions from DGMQ will be featured in the online edition of this publication.

Office of Refugee Resettlement.
This video outlines guidelines for meaningful access to persons who are limited English proficient.  

Limited English Proficient (LEP) Individuals in the United States: Number, Share, Growth, and Linguistic Diversity
National Center of Immigrant Integration Policy, Migration Policy Institute (MPI).

The most up-to-date analysis on the number, share, growth, and linguistic diversity of LEP individuals in the U.S. from 1990 to 2010 at the national, state and metropolitan levels.    

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children & Families.
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) assists low income households in meeting their immediate home energy needs. 


Seasonal Flu Materials for Refugees

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
These materials are designed to improve knowledge of seasonal flu in refugee populations and available in 11 languages.


Clinician's Corner

Minnesota Department of Public Health. 
The Clinician's Corner provides a collection of resources for providers working with refugee populations, including a quick guide for conducting initial refugee health assessments.


Webinar Archives    

Clinical Care to Refugees with HIV Infection 

November 30, 2011


Domestic Refugee Health Screening Models and Clinical Guidelines

October 26, 2011


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