The mandate of the Refugee and Immigrant Health Program is to control communicable diseases among refugees and newly arrived immigrants and to improve the general health status of the State's refugee populations. A Program of the Bureau of Infectious Disease, staff work to increase access to public health services for newcomers.

Refugees are persons who are outside their country of nationality and who are unable or unwilling to return to that country due to persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution because of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a social group. Individuals apply for refugee admission to the United States and are interviewed by Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) officers overseas.

Refugees have unique health care needs which result from conditions in their native countries, their refugee experiences and their journeys to the United States. Many refugees come from areas where disease control, diagnosis and treatment are lacking and health systems and surveillance are interrupted. Further, vastly different health care beliefs, and cultural and linguistic barriers impede access to information and services.


Contact Us

Division of Global Populations and Infectious Disease, Refugee and Immigrant Health Program
Hinton State Laboratory Institute
305 South Street
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

Tel: (617) 983-6550
Fax: (617) 983-6597

This information is provided by Refugee and Immigrant Health Program within the Department of Public Health.