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Chelsea is home to immigrants and refugees from Bosnia, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Central Africa, and countries in Central America – refugees who have experienced trauma, witnessed violence and war, were born and/or lived in refugee camps with limited resources, and had very limited health care access and educational support. Given their experience, immigrants and refugees may arrive in the U.S. with a range of health or psychosocial needs.
The Center for Community Health Improvement's Immigrant and Refugee Health Programs help them connect to primary, specialty care and other needed services and resources. To date, the program has served more than 1,800 newly arrived refugees and more than 300 new immigrants from Central America.
The Refugee Health Assessment: Massachusetts General Hospital is a designated refugee health assessment site since 2001, and the program receives funding from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. MGH Chelsea provides comprehensive health assessments for newly-arriving refugees and asylees to identify and provide the health and psycho-social services that they need.
The new Central American immigrants’ initiative: Targets children, adolescents and adults patients newly arrived from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador and ensures that they get connected to primary care and other needed health services, helps children enroll in school and connects new immigrants with psycho-social needs to available resources at Mass General and in the community.
The Immigrant and Refugee School initiative: Bridges the cultural and academic gaps for newly arrived immigrant and refugee children. The program coordinator orients new immigrants and refugees on academic expectations while teaching social skills to ensure positive interactions with school personnel. The coordinator works to empower immigrant and refugee parents to be academic advocates for their children and motivates students to successfully complete high school and attend post-secondary schools. The coordinator also links families to the MGH Chelsea HealthCare Center to help meet the students’ health needs.
Ali Abdullahi, MSW
Manager, Complex Patient Populations
Center for Community Health Improvement
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