Refugee Health Technical Assistance Center
April is National Minority Health Month! 

Health Disparities & Refugees 

National Minority Health Month provides an opportunity to raise awareness of the health disparities that continue to affect racial and ethnic minorities in the United States. The theme for this year's National Minority Health Month is Health Equity Can't Wait. Act Now in Your CommUNITY. 


Upon arrival in the U.S., refugees face the challenge of navigating the complex health care system. Providing culturally and linguistically appropriate health services to refugees advances health equity, reduces health disparities, and promotes health care for all regardless of race, ethnicity, or country of origin.


The Affordable Care Act, in conjunction with the Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities and the National Stakeholder Strategy for Achieving Health Equity, is addressing the needs of minorities and other underserved populations across the U.S. by decreasing health care costs, investing in prevention, and supporting improvements in primary care and Medicaid. As a result of health reform, refugees will have increased access to affordable, quality health care. Learn more > 


Minority Health Resources 

Toolkit for Community Action

National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities and U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) Office of Minority Health  

This toolkit includes descriptions of health disparities and their causes, tools for policy change, and action steps to end health disparities. 


A Physician's Practical Guide to Culturally Competent Care

U.S. DHHS Office of Minority Health 

This self-directed training course offers CMEs for physicians and other health care professionals with a specific interest in cultural competency in care.  

New in the Literature
Seroprevalence of Antibodies against Taenia solium Cysticerci among Refugees Resettled in United States. Seth E. O'Neal, John M. Townes, Patricia P. Wilkins, John C. Noh, Deborah Lee, Silvia Rodriguez, Hector H. Garcia, and William M. Stauffer. Emerging Infectious Diseases. 
Community Dialogue:
World Refugee Day 2012

World Refugee Day on June 20, 2012 is an occasion to raise awareness about the unique health needs and strengths of refugees. How are you highlighting refugee health in your community, family, or workplace for this year's World Refugee Day? What refugee health events have you held in the past? Share your experiences and be inspired to hold an event. Join the conversation >  

Affordable Care Act & Refugee Health

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has provisions that extend coverage to children, young adults, and students including refugees. Below is an overview of ACA benefits and protections for young people.

  • Children: Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) will continue to provide affordable, quality coverage to many refugee children, with increased federal funding from 2015 through 2019.
  • Young Adults: Refugee young adults can receive coverage until the age of 26 through their parent's health insurance or, for those who are eligible, through Medicaid.
  • Students: Refugees enrolled in higher education institutions will be covered by consumer protections for student health plans.



ACA Resources

Scam Alert
Perpetrators of national telephone scams continue to target refugees. The scams vary slightly in nature but all attempt to persuade their targets to give personal or financial information. Everyone is advised to be extra-vigilant with unsolicited calls. File an online report at if you are the target of a scam call. Get more details >
Upcoming RHTAC Webinars

Infectious Disease Challenges in Refugee Health

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

1:00 - 2:30 PM EST

Presented by: Elizabeth Barnett, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine.

Details: CECs available.   

Register now >  


Refugee Mental Health Screening: Operationalizing the RHS-15
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
1:00 - 2:30 PM EST
Presented by: Beth Farmer, MSW, Project Director for the Pathways to Wellness Project, and Sasha Verbillis-Kolp, MSW.
Details: This webinar is a follow-up to Tools and Strategies for Refugee Mental Health Screening: Introducing the RHS-15.
Register now >


Mental Health Interpreting
Postponed - New date to be announced.

Upcoming Events   

African Refugee and Immigrant Lives: Conflict, Consequences, and Contributions 

May 2-4, 2012, Arlington, VA 

Presented by: The Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC) Center for African Refugees and Immigrants (CARI)


North American Refugee Healthcare Conference - Registration now open!

June 28-30, 2012, Rochester, NY

Presented by: Rochester General Hospital 

View updated speaker schedule > 


National Immigrant Integration Conference 

September 22-25, 2012, Baltimore, MD
Presented by: The National Partnership for New Americans
Funding Opportunities  

Victim Services Grant 

U.S. Department of Justice   

Due April 25, 2012.  Provides up to $250,000 to develop and implement online national-scope training and technical assistance to strengthen the capacity of victim service and ancillary service providers. 


Roadmaps to Health: Community Grants

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation   

Due May 2, 2012, 3:00 p.m. EDT. Provides support for communities to implement policy or system changes to address one of the social or economic factors that, as defined by the County Health Rankings, most strongly influences health outcomes in their community. Grantees will be organizations that participate in established coalitions or networks that span multiple sectors and perspectives.


Citizenship and Integration Grant   

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services 

Due May 7, 2012. Designed to promote immigrant civic integration and prepare permanent residents for citizenship. This year's program will offer approximately $5 million in funding for citizenship preparation programs in communities across the country.  


Strengthening Surveillance for Diseases Among Newly-Arrived Immigrants and Refugees

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 

Letter of Intent Due May 9, 2012.  

Application Due June 8, 2012. Supports surveillance to detect, prevent and control diseases and evaluate existing health programs to improve the health of newly arrived refugees and/or immigrants. 


Discretionary Funds for Refugee Child Care Microenterprise Development 

U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement
Due May 15, 2012.
Provides microenterprise business opportunities to refugee women with a focus on child care mentoring programs that will facilitate refugee integration into the U.S. and meet State Child Care requirements.


Refugee School Impact 

U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement

Letter of Intent Due May 18, 2012.

Application Due June 18, 2012. Funding to support local school systems that are impacted by significant numbers of refugee children or are faced with challenges in providing education to refugee students. 


Discretionary Grants for Refugee Microenterprise Development 

U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement
Due June 5, 2012.
Provides discretionary grants to public agencies, community economic development agencies, community action and other human service agencies, local mutual assistance associations, and/or voluntary agencies with a long-term commitment to refugee microenterprise development.

Community Economic Development (CED) Projects
U.S. Office of Community Services

Due June 6, 2012. Provides approximately $27 million in grants ($800,000 maximum per project) to Community Development Corporations (CDCs) for projects designed to address the economic needs of low-income individuals and families through the creation of employment and business opportunities. The CED program will provide up to $10 million of this funding to CDCs for CED projects located in food deserts and designed to improve access to healthy, affordable foods.


Discretionary Grant Funds for Projects to Establish Individual Development Account (IDA) Programs for Refugees
U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement
Due June 18, 2012. Designed for projects to establish and manage IDAs for low-income refugee participants. Grantee organizations may use ORR funds to provide matches for the savings in the IDAs for individual refugees and refugee families. 

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 JSI Research and Training Institute, Inc. RHTAC is funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Grant #90RB0042.    


For more information, please email

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Rainbow Welcome Initiative  

Heartland Alliance.

This new website provides resources to support resettlement of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and/or Transgender (LGBT) refugees and asylees.


Videos of Resettled Refugees

Center for Applied Linguistics.

These videos are comprised of interviews with resettled refugees and are a powerful way to present information about refugees, their challenges, and their strengths.     


Center for Applied Linguistics.

This toolkit includes domestic health orientation resources for resettlement agency staff and others who provide orientation to newly arrived refugees.   


Cultural Profiles for Specific Refugee Populations

Center for Applied Linguistics.

This website features cultural profiles for Kunama, Eritrean, Bhutanese, Burmese, Somali Bantu, Iraqi Kurdish, and other refugee groups.


Healthy Living Toolkits

U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants.

These toolkits are designed to educate refugees and immigrants to become proactive health consumers and health promoters in their communities. Toolkits are available in several refugee languages.


Health Education Materials in Refugee Languages

Refugee Health Information Network (RHIN).

The RHIN website enables refugees and their health care providers to search for multilingual refugee health resources.


Bhutanese Refugees

Bhutanese Refugee Support Group & PhotoVoice 

This website provides an introduction to the experiences of Bhutanese refugees in camps, in Bhutan, and in exile. 


Webinar Archive     

Addressing the Language Access Barrier When Servicing Refugee Patients

March 28, 2012  


Strong Roots and Bright Futures: Promoting Successful Adjustment for Refugee Youth 

February 8, 2012  


Adapting QPR Training to Incorporate Refugee Experiences 

January 31, 2012 


Tools and Strategies for Refugee Mental Health Screening: Introducing the RHS-15

January 25, 2012 


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   


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