Center for Immigrant Health
Explore This Program
The interdisciplinary MGH Center for Immigrant Health (CIH) fosters excellence in clinical care, education, advocacy and research to improve the health and wellbeing of immigrants, across all departments and clinical sites at MGH and within the broader community. The Center’s programming serves the needs of both immigrant patients and staff.
The MGH CIH seeks to ensure that all MGH employees are equipped with the knowledge and resources to meet the needs of immigrant patients, and that all immigrant patients--regardless of legal status--feel safe accessing care to optimize their health.
The six pillars of the MGH CIH include:
- Resource development and navigation. The MGH CIH provides outreach and guidance to help immigrant patients, staff, and their families navigate access to hospital and community resources, including medical, dental, insurance, legal, educational, housing, nutrition, and interpretation services. All resources are vetted to ensure that patients can access them without undue fear of repercussions for their immigration status.
- Clinical programming. The MGH CIH clinical team includes expertise in internal medicine, pediatrics, and psychiatry. The Center will develop mental health programming to address resettlement and acculturation stressors as well as the trauma and isolation experienced by some members of the immigrant community. The Center will also develop culturally informed nutrition programming to address food insecurity and risk factors for obesity.
- Education. The MGH CIH collaborates with experts in immigrant and refugee health to develop and disseminate best practices in caring for immigrant patients through educational modules for staff and clinical electives for students and residents.
- Advocacy. The MGH CIH leverages its expertise in immigrant health to advocate for legislation and policies that promote the wellbeing of our immigrant patients and staff and their families.
- Quality improvement and research. The MGH CIH seeks to identify opportunities to improve the quality of clinical care for Limited English Proficiency (LEP) patients, and to study factors that affect immigrant health outcomes.
- Inclusivity. The MGH CIH collaborates with the MGH Immigrant Health Coalition (IHC) and multiple institutional partners to promote a welcoming environment at MGH that celebrates our patients’ and staff’s diverse backgrounds and immigration histories.
Who We Are
Under the guidance of an Executive Steering Committee consisting of leadership from across hospital departments, and with input from a Community Advisory Board and the MGH Immigrant Health Coalition, the MGH CIH is led by Dr. Fiona Danaher (Pediatrics), Dr. Rashmi Jasrasaria (Internal Medicine), and Dr. Rahel Bosson (Psychiatry). The MGH CIH team currently includes an Immigrant Health Resource Specialist and a program coordinator. As its clinical programming expands, the team will add community health workers with mental health training and a nutritionist with cross-cultural expertise.
The MGH Immigrant Health Coalition (IHC) is an interdisciplinary network of more than 200 MGH employees dedicated to advancing the health and social equity of immigrants. The IHC meets monthly to discuss opportunities to promote immigrant health, and maintains an active listserv.
For inquiries or for MGH employees/students seeking to join the IHC, email MGHImmigrantHealthCoalition@partners.org.
To learn more about efforts to promote immigrant health across the Boston area, visit the Greater Boston Health & Law Immigrant Solidarity Network and join the listserv at www.hlisn.org.
Migration Is Beautiful
Migration is Beautiful is an initiative that aims to bring awareness and celebrate the diversity that comes with immigration. It uses the monarch butterfly as a symbol of migration. Each year, the monarch butterfly begins its journey in central Mexico and goes back to the United States and Canada. In this way, the butterfly has become a symbol of migration as a natural occurrence and of the importance of migration to the human experience. Many MGH employees wear monarch butterfly stickers on their ID badges as a symbol of solidarity and welcome to immigrant patients.
Hear our director, Dr. Fiona Danaher, speak about the campaign and the launch of the MGH Center for Immigrant Health.
The 2020 Migration Is Beautiful Campaign
Tuesday, December 15
12pm Turn Your Expertise into State Action for Immigrants | Find Recording here
7pm Anti-Racism Book Club: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio Vargas
Wednesday, December 16
12pm Building Stronger Connections with Undocumented Patients: An UndocuAlly Training for Health Professionals by Pre-Health Dreamers | Find Recording here and additional resources here
7pm Know Your Rights Training led by Lawyers for Civil Rights | Find recording here
Friday, December 18
12pm Creating Immigrant Friendly Health Systems: A Review of Best and Local Practices by Dr. Altaf Saadi, Dr. Sarah Kimball, Dr. Fiona Danaher, and Lianet Vazquez HMS MS3 | Find Recording here
The 2020 Migration Is Beautiful Campaign Co-Sponsors Include:
- Mass General Brigham
- MGH Center for Immigrant Health
- MGH Immigrant Health Coalition
- MGH Asylum Clinic
- MGHfC Division of Global Health
- MGH Center for Diversity & Inclusion
- MGH Disparities Solutions Center
- MGH Center for Community Health Improvement
- MGH Office of Equity & Inclusion
- MGH Center for Global Health
- MGH Center for Social Justice and Health Equity
- MGHfC Diversity and Equity Program
- MGH Interpreter Services
- MGH Disparities Research Unit
- MGH Nursing and Patient Care Services
- MGH Chelsea HealthCare Center
- MGH Revere HealthCare Center
- MGH Everett Family Care
- Boston Medical Center
- FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University
- Massachusetts Immigrant & Refugee Advocacy Coalition
- Cambridge Health Alliance Asylum Center
- Lawyers for Civil Rights
- La Colaborativa
- Boston Children’s Hospital Global Health Program
- Boston Children’s Hospital Office of Government Relations
- Boston Children’s Hospital Office of Health Equity and Inclusion
- Brazelton Touchpoints Center
- Newton-Wellesley Hospital Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion