Have you seen the first-ever statewide task force report on immigrant health professionals?

IMPRINT is thrilled to share this important report with you from our colleagues at the MIRA Coalition in Massachusetts. 

Please let us know what conversations it sparks in your state.

Stacey Simon headshot

Stacey Simon
Director, IMPRINT

Statewide Task Force Report on Advancing Immigrant Healthcare Professionals in Massachusetts Released

Advisory commission co-chairs with governor
Governor's Advisory Commission Co-Chairs Westy Egmont (left) and Eva Millona (right) with Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick

Many months of research, consultation and stakeholder engagement reached their goal when the leaders of the GAC's Task Force on Immigrant Healthcare Professionals submitted their report, Rx for Strengthening Massachusetts' Economy and Healthcare System, to Governor Deval Patrick in his Statehouse office.  


The report presents ground-breaking new research on the challenges facing foreign-trained nurses, doctors, dentists, pharmacists, physical therapists and other healthcare professionals working to restart their careers in Massachusetts. It also looks at the benefits that these experienced immigrant professionals can bring to a state with growing primary care needs and an increasingly diverse population.  


GAC Co-Chairs Eva Millona and Westy Egmont joined the Task Force Co-Chairs Kathleen Betts, Assistant Secretary for Children, Youth and Families in the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, Marcony Almeida-Barros, Acting Executive Director of the Office for Refugees and Immigrants, and the author of the report Jeff Gross, the Director of MIRA's New Americans Integration Institute.


The new report also offers a detailed and far-reaching framework of recommendations to address the occupational barriers facing foreign-trained healthcare professionals in Massachusetts. Such barriers can range from lack of reliable information and targeted career services to complex and costly relicensing requirements.

The recommendations include:
  • Creating more centralized and widely shared information on relicensing pathways and alternative skilled healthcare careers
  • Improving supports at workforce development and educational institutions
  • Establishing new funding mechanisms to cover the costs of professional re-entry
  • Reviewing healthcare professional licensure regulations that may create artificial barriers to relicensing.

Finally, the report calls for a new position within the Massachusetts Office for Refugees and Immigrants to oversee immigrant integration policy across state government.

Called for by Governor Patrick in a November 2013 letter to the GAC, the Task Force was the first initiative of its kind in the country. It kicked off its work in May 2014 with senior leadership from state executive agencies and workforce development bodies, representatives of medical licensing boards and major hospital systems, medical educators, presidents of two community colleges, academic researchers, and many other stakeholders.

Support for this effort has been provided by the J.M. Kaplan Fund and The Boston Foundation.


"The GAC extends its deep thanks to the Task Force members for sharing their expertise and their commitment, and to Governor Patrick for his vision and his support of this effort," said MIRA Executive Director and GAC Co-Chair Eva Millona.  


"This new report is a breakthrough for talented, experienced immigrant healthcare professionals who want to return to their careers in Massachusetts," added Millona. "At the same time, the report, important as it is, represents only a first step. The GAC and MIRA look forward to working with the new Administration to review and begin to implement recommendations that will benefit all the residents of the Commonwealth."  



Photo credit: MIRA Coalition. All rights reserved. 

A Look Back:
 This Spring 2014 Event Examined
Issues Facing Immigrant Professionals in Massachusetts

In April 2014, the MIRA Coalition brought together nearly a dozen experts to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing immigrant professionals in Massachusetts.

A robust crowd of more than 100 attendees gathered at The Boston Foundation to explore the issue, peppering the speakers with questions and adding many of their own observations.

You can read the presentations from that day at the MIRA website, and take a look at some of the key speakers below.

Joyce Sackey, M.D.,
is Dean of Global Health & Multicultural Affairs and Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine, as well as a practicing internist at Tufts Medical Center.
Johan Uvin at Boston event
Johan Uvin
is the Acting Assistant Secretary in the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, US Department of Education.
Josiane Martinez
Josiane Martinez
served as Executive Director of the Massachusetts Office for Refugees and Immigrants (ORI), the state agency that oversees the resettlement of refugees and asylees in the Commonwealth and that coordinates state policies and programs that serve immigrant communities.
Eva Millona
Eva A. Millona
is Executive Director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA), the state's largest organization representing the foreign born, and co-chair of the National Partnership for New Americans, the lead national organization focusing on immigrant integration.

Ron Marlow
served as the Assistant Secretary for Access and Opportunity, Executive Office for Administration and Finance, in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Dr. Anna Pinto
is a fully trained child neurologist from Brazil who came to United States to pursue further training in epilepsy/clinical neurophysiology.
Jeff Gross 
directs the New Americans Integration Institute at the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refuge Advocacy (MIRA) Coalition.