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.
News: Mass General Celebrates "Migration Is Beautiful"
Hear our director, Dr. Fiona Danaher, speak about the campaign and the launch of the MGH Center for Immigrant Health.
The 2021 Migration Is Beautiful Campaign
Please see the Agenda for the 2021 Migration Is Beautiful campaign below. All Zoom information for the events can be found here. (PDF)
* Spanish interpretation provided
Monday, December 13
Visit our table outside of MGH Eat St Café from 10 am-2 pm to learn more!
12 pm - Migration Is Beautiful Kickoff
Featuring a performance and discussion with Hadi Eldebek, musician with the Silkroad Ensemble
7 pm - Anti-Racism Book Club: The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio
Carlos Torres, MD, Pediatrician, MGH
Tuesday, December 14
12 pm - Building Stronger Connections and a Safe Space for Undocumented Patients
Lucy Ogbu-Nwobodo, MD, MS, MAS; Yadira Ortiz, Pre-Health Dreamers, Executive Director; Angeles Almaraz, Network and Training Manager, Pre-Health Dreamers
1:30 pm - Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program and Health Law Advocates present Health Benefits and Immigration
Alexandra Warren, Health Law Advocates
7 pm - COVID-19 Q&A with a Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist*
Vandana Madhavan, MD, MPH, MGH
Wednesday, December 15
Visit our table outside of MGH Eat St Café from 10am-2pm to learn more!
12 pm - Legislative Advocacy for Immigrant Health
Amy Grunder, Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition; Chrystel Murrieta Ruiz, SEIU 32BJ; Melanie Rush, Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law & Justice; Maria Gonzalez Albuixech, Health Care for All; Amanda Stewart, MD, MPH, Boston Children’s Hospital
Thursday, December 16
8 am - Health Literacy for Newly Arrived Afghan Refugees
Javad Rajai and Ali Abdullahi, MGH Chelsea HealthCare Center; Alisa Miller, PhD and Amy Piepiora, LMHC, Boston Children’s Hospital Trauma and Community Resilience Center
12 pm - Immigrant Access to Public Benefits: SNAP, Disability, Cash Assistance and More
Brooke Alexander, Senior Program Manager, MGB Community Health; Ellen Forman, Program Manager, MGH Social Service Department
7 pm - Know Your Rights*
Silvana Gómez, Sara Wilson, Esq, and Lauren Sampson, Esq, Lawyers for Civil Rights; Katherine Tarpley, Children’s Law Center Boston
Friday, December 17
12 pm - Immigrant Life and Health in the West End: 1880-1920
Sarah Alger, George and Nancy Putnam. Director, Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History and Innovation; Sebastien Belfanti, Museum Director, The West End Museum
* Spanish interpretation provided
Download the Migration Is Beautiful Zoom Background and Virtual Stickers
The 2021 Migration Is Beautiful campaign co-sponsors include:
- Mass General Brigham, including:
- Newton Wellesley Hospital
- Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
- MGH Chelsea Healthcare Center
- MGH Everett Family Care
- MGH Office of Equity & Inclusion
- MGH Center for Diversity & Inclusion
- MGH Center for Global Health
- MGH Nursing and Patient Care Services
- MGH Asylum Clinic
- MGHfC Division of Global Health
- MGH Interpreter Services
- Pre-Health Dreamers
- Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy (MIRA) Coalition
- Harvard FXB Center for Health and Human Rights
- Lawyers for Civil Rights
- Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program
- Boston Children’s Hospital: Global Health Program, Office of Government Relations, Office of Health Equity and Inclusion
- La Colaborativa
- Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History and Innovation
- The West End Museum; Children’s Law Center Boston
The 2020 Migration Is Beautiful Campaign
The 2020 Migration Is Beautiful campaign included the following virtual events:
Tuesday, December 15
12 pm Turn Your Expertise into State Action for Immigrants | Watch recording
7 pm Anti-Racism Book Club: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio Vargas
Wednesday, December 16
12 pm Building Stronger Connections with Undocumented Patients: An UndocuAlly Training for Health Professionals by Pre-Health Dreamers | Watch recording | Download additional resources (PDF)
7 pm Know Your Rights Training led by Lawyers for Civil Rights | Listen to recording
Friday, December 18
12 pm 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 | Watch recording