To assess the current health status of all newly-arriving refugees and to identify health problems, the Refugee Health Program operates through
health care providers that have signed a participating provider agreement to provide an initial health assessment to all newly-arriving refugees, including mental health screening.
Although all refugees are given a medical exam overseas before entering the United States, the assessments performed here look for health issues not identified or developed subsequent to the overseas exam. The health assessment also ensures that conditions identified during the overseas medical exam are properly treated.
THE PRIMARY COMPONENTS OF THE HEALTH ASSESSMENTS ARE:
- Medical history and physical examination (include review of overseas documents)
- Tuberculosis screening
- Hepatitis Screening Panel
- Sexually transmitted infections and HIV screening
- Immunization (childhood and individuals with incomplete or missing immunization records)
- Lead screening (Children six months to 16 years; Pregnant and lactating women; adolescent girls )
- Pregnancy (Women of childbearing age, girls of childbearing age)
- Mental health screening
- Parasite testing (based on country of origin)
- Referral for other services
Refugee Health Program also provides interpretation services, a vital part of reducing disparities in those who have limited English language skills. These services are provided for refugees within eight months of arrival for medical concerns and within two years of arrival for mental health concerns. Additionally, we advocate for culturally and linguistically appropriate service (CLAS) standards to be incorporated into all health care systems in order to better serve refugee and immigrant communities.