Refugee Health Technical Assistance Center
World Refugee Day is June 2oth!

Refugee Health and World Refugee Day

Refugee health and well-being are fundamental to successful resettlement and refugee integration. Overseas medical examination and domestic health assessment during the initial resettlement period are important milestones in the continuum of refugee health care. Services and resources such as care coordination, patient navigation, medical interpretation, health education, and insurance coverage facilitate refugees' access to and active engagement in health care. 


On this year's World Refugee Day, RHTAC encourages our readers to highlight the importance of health and well-being for the refugee communities we serve while sharing cultural traditions and celebrating the many positive contributions refugees make each day to their families, communities, and American society.  RHTAC would also like to recognize the refugees and health care providers who work to improve the health of refugees.  


Read refugee health stories from the community >



Refugee Health Updates Delivered to You

Be in the know! Visit the enhanced RHTAC website and click on Refugee Health Updates in the menu bar to view the latest refugee health announcements.  Refugee Health Updates feature up-to-date information on new resources, trainings, events, funding opportunities, and publications.  These updates, collected from the refugee-serving community, can also be delivered directly to you by subscribing to the Refugee Health Updates RSS Feed.   



Refugee Women's Health:   

Pregnancy to Postpartum Care 

Linking pregnant refugee women to prenatal care promotes health benefits for both mother and child. Prenatal care is an opportunity to connect refugee women with health screenings, nutrition counseling, and immunizations while orienting them to U.S. health care settings. Health education and cultural sensitivity are strategies for providing quality obstetrical care to refugee women throughout pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum care. Learn more > 

In the Literature    

Albendazole therapy and enteric parasites in United States-bound refugees.

Swanson SJ, Phares CR, Mamo B, Smith KE, Cetron MS, Stauffer WM. N Engl J Med. 2012 Apr 19;366(16):1498-507.


A new clinic model for refugee health care: Adaptation of cultural safety.  

Reavy K, Hobbs J, Hereford M, Crosby K. Rural Remote Health. 2012;12(1):1826.


Lead poisoning in United States-bound refugee children: Thailand-Burma border. Mitchell T, Jentes E, Ortega L, Scalia Sucosky M, Jefferies T, Bajcevic P, Parr V, Jones W, Brown MJ, Painter J. Pediatrics. 2012 Feb;129(2).


Introducing the Refugee Suicide Prevention Training Toolkit

Looking for a suicide prevention training that incorporates the challenges and strengths of resettled refugees? RHTAC, in collaboration with Bhutanese community members, recently adapted a nationally recognized suicide prevention training model called Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) and developed a toolkit that includes presentation slides, facilitator's guide, interactive training activities, and resource handouts. Download the free Toolkit and host a training > 

New Lead Poisoning Prevention Recommendations

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Advisory Committee for Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention issued new recommendations on elevated blood lead levels that emphasize the importance of primary prevention. The Advisory Committee recommends eliminating the use of the term "blood lead level of concern" based on evidence of adverse health effects in children from levels less than 10 g/dL. Instead, the Advisory Committee recommends the adoption of a "reference value" based on the 97.5th percentile of the blood lead level distribution in U.S. children aged 1-5 years, which currently is 5 g/dL. Read the CDC Announcement >  


Learn about lead poisoning among refugee children > 

Community Dialogue 

Looking for resources? Have advice or a promising practice to share? Use Community Dialogue to spread the word and connect with colleagues from around the country.  


Participate in Community Dialogue now to:

Affordable Care Act & Refugee Health

Each state operates a Medicaid program that provides health coverage for lower-income people, families and children, the elderly, and people with disabilities. The eligibility rules for Medicaid are different for each state, but most states offer coverage for adults with children if they meet income qualifications. In addition, beginning in 2014, most adults under age 65 with individual incomes below $15,000 per year will qualify for Medicaid in every state, thanks to the Affordable Care Act.  


Refugees whose incomes are above 133% of the poverty line but who lack employer-based or private health insurance will be able to purchase affordable coverage through Health Insurance Exchanges. Premium and cost-sharing tax credits will be available for refugees and others with incomes between 133% and 400% of the federal poverty level to make the purchase of quality insurance affordable.


ACA Resources  

North American Refugee Healthcare Conference

June 28-30, 2012, Rochester, NY

The 2012 North American Refugee Healthcare Conference will feature presentations from experts on contemporary issues in refugee health, mental health, women's health, pediatrics, and primary care. RHTAC Leadership Team members will be hosting seminars on a variety of refugee health topics.


Registration closes on June 18th, 2012. Register now >
Upcoming RHTAC Webinars
Making Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) Happen   
Wednesday, June 20, 2012 | 12:00-1:30pm EDT

Details: This training will introduce the Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) standards, issued in 2001 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Minority Health.    

Register now >   


Promising Practices in Domestic Health Orientation    

Wednesday, July 11, 2012 | 1:00-2:30pm EDT   

Details: This webinar is co-sponsored with the Association of Refugee Health Coordinators (ARHC). 

Register now >

Upcoming Events & Trainings 

Global Mental Health: Trauma and Recovery Certificate Program 

Applications Due July 1, 2012
On-site Learning: November 4-17, 2012, Orvieto, Italy
Web-based Learning: November 2012 - May 2013
Presented by: Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma


Fostering the Resilient Spirit: E-Learning Course  

July 23-September 14, 2012 

Presented by: National Partnership for Community Training (NPCT)


Office of Refugee Resettlement 2012 National Consultation  

September 19-20, 2012, Washington, DC

Presented by: U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement


National Immigrant Integration Conference 

September 22-25, 2012, Baltimore, MD

Presented by: The National Partnership for New Americans 


2012 National Refugee and Immigrant Conference: Issues and Innovations

October 18-19, 2012, Chicago, IL.

Presented by: Adult Learning Resource Center


The Eighth National Conference on Quality Health Care for Culturally Diverse Populations

March 11-14, 2013, Oakland, CA  

Presented by: DiversityRx  


View more events > 

Funding Opportunities 
Technical Assistance to ORR-Funded Refugee Programs and Services to Asylees

U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement
Letter of intent due June 22, 2012. Application Due July 23, 2012.  Funding to provide innovative and new technical assistance to refugee-serving agencies and mainstream providers to assist in their response to challenges and needs specific to refugee resettlement.


Cuban/Haitian Discretionary Grant Program

U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement

Due June 25, 2012. Designed for services in the program areas of employment, hospitals, and other health and mental health care programs, adult and vocational education, refugee crime or victimization, and citizenship/naturalization for those localities most heavily impacted by Cuban and Haitian entrants and refugees, particularly where arrival numbers in recent years have increased.


Services to Older Refugees

U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement

Due June 25, 2012. Funding for programs that ensure the provision of social and supportive services to older refugees, defined as refugees and other ORR-eligible populations age 60 and above.


Services for Survivors of Torture Program: Assistance to Torture Survivors through Direct Services  

U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement 

Application Due August 6, 2012. Provides up to 30 grants for to direct service providers for physical, psychological, social, and legal services for persons who have been tortured.  


Services for Survivors of Torture Program: Technical Assistance to Organizations and Institutions Providing Direct Services to Torture Survivors

U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement 

Due August 6, 2012. Funding to provide technical assistance (TA) to organizations and institutions that serve survivors of torture (SOT), who are refugees or seeking asylum in the U.S.

View more funding opportunities > 

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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Orientation For, and About, Refugees with Disabilities (Archived Webinar)

Cultural Orientation Resource Center, Center for Applied Linguistics 

Webinar provides case examples of challenges and resources for Bhutanese refugees in Nepal, as well as an overview of U.S. resources and programs available to refugees with disabilities.


Refugee Groups Resource Packages

Cultural Orientation Resource Center, Center for Applied Linguistics
Resources designed to assist in orientation, resettlement, and adjustment of a variety of refugee groups.


Health Reform to Require Insurers to Use Plain Language 

U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services  
New regulations under the Affordable Care Act will require health insurers to provide clear, understandable, and straightforward information on health plan coverage and costs. 


Language Assistance - Your Right to an Interpreter 

Legal Services of New Jersey 
Video explains right to language assistance when accessing services for government agencies or federally funded organizations. Video available in Spanish and Haitian Creole.


Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services
Webinar uses a case presentation of a Kosovo family to illustrate assessment and intervention for refugee children and families who experienced war trauma and violence.

Higher Advantage
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service

Tools and resources for job seekers, potential employers, and employment service organizations to support refugees and migrants entering the U.S. workforce.


Somali Cultural Guide: Building Capacity to Strengthen the Well-Being of Immigrant Families and Their Children: A Prevention Strategy 

Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare
Information for child welfare professionals on the culture of Somali immigrant children and families.  


View more resources > 


Webinar Archive   

Refugee Mental Health Screening: Operationalizing the RHS-15

May 23, 2012 


Infectious Disease Challenges in Refugees and Immigrants 

May 9, 2012  


Addressing the Language Access Barrier When Serving 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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