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 Communicable Disease Control, 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.
- Refugee and Immigrant Definitions
- Refugee Arrivals in Massachusetts
- Program Components
- Data and Statistics
Refugee and Immigrant Health Program
State Laboratory Institute
305 South Street
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
Jennifer Cochran, MPH
Tel. (617) 983-6590
Fax (617) 983-6597