Center of Excellence in Newcomer Health - Minnesota Department of Health

Center of Excellence in Newcomer Health

center of excellence in newcomer health logo

The Minnesota Department of Health Refugee and International Health Program and its principal partners received funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2015 to establish the Center of Excellence, a network for training and epidemiology in refugee health.

With continued funding awarded in September 2020, the Center of Excellence will expand its work as it transitions to become a Center of Excellence in Newcomer Health.

The Center builds on existing infrastructure and its partners’ extensive experience to identify and monitor newcomer health issues and needs, contribute to evidence-based policies and guidance, and ultimately improve continuity of care and health outcomes for newcomers.

Working with clinicians, state refugee health coordinators, and other stakeholders, the Center will promote communication among newcomer health professionals and disseminate of best practices.


  • Minnesota Department of Health
  • Denver Health and Hospital Authority, Colorado
  • HealthPartners Research Institute and Center for International Health, Minnesota
  • Nationalities Service Center (NSC) (2015-2021)
  • Thomas Jefferson University and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • University of Minnesota
  • International Organization for Migration (IOM)
  • The Cultural Orientation Resource Exchange (CORE)
  • Various consultants

Clinical guidance and clinical decision tools

During the past five years, the Center assisted the CDC with the revision and integration of new content in various refugee screening guidance documents (CDC: Guidelines for the U.S. Domestic Medical Examination for Newly Arriving Refugees). In addition, the Center developed and disseminated applications to improve clinician understanding of the screening guidance focused on Newcomer populations, support implementation of guidance-directed care, and provide training and quality improvement on best practices. The Center will leverage existing infrastructure and relationships with partners to enhance and disseminate electronic health record tools and an interactive online guidance tool for clinicians working with refugees.

Trainings and presentations

Improving health care provider access to knowledge about newcomer health requires identification of gaps in health knowledge among newcomer health providers followed by development and delivery of educational resources to health care providers. The Center will:


Recording (August 25, 2021):
Revisiting Community Solutions during COVID-19 (YouTube)

Recording (August 13, 2021):
COVID-19 Vaccine Journey for Newcomers: From Registration to Protection (YouTube)

Webex Recording (June 25, 2021):
Best Practices for Medical Screening of Unaccompanied Refugee Minors

MMA Disclosure: Center of Excellence in Newcomer Health Webinar Series (PDF)

2020 webinars

Webex Recording (September 25, 2020):
Center of Excellence Webinar: Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) in Girls and Women
Diagnosis, management, ethical, legal, and cultural considerations

MMA Disclosure: Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) in Girls and Women (PDF)

Webex Recording (August 4, 2020):
Center of Excellence Webinar: Community Solutions during COVID-19
Effective partnership and communication strategies with refugee and immigrant communities

Webex Recording (April 28, 2020):
Center of Excellence Webinar: Hepatitis B in Refugees (1 hour)
Data and quality improvement efforts supporting improved testing, vaccination, & and linkage to ongoing care

If you need this information in a different format, please email

Evaluations and quality improvement projects

The Minnesota Refugee Health Program works with its collaborating sites to perform surveillance activities focused on quantifying disease incidence and prevalence among newcomer populations using the data available at participating sites or the Colorado Center of Excellence in Newcomer Health’s repository. Data from partner sites and this multi-state data repository will be analyzed to provide descriptive information about the epidemiology of both communicable and non-communicable diseases among various newcomer groups. Similarly, the Center undertakes quality improvement projects to understand the barriers to appropriate screening and follow-ups and offer practical recommendations. Learn more at Colorado Center of Excellence in Refugee Health.

These findings and recommendations are shared with clinicians caring for newcomers through a variety of dissemination strategies including publications, annual reports, integration into CareRef, maintenance of certification activities, manuscripts, and online learning.


Health education

Effective delivery of refugee orientation messages requires consistency and reinforcement from all the stakeholders who support Newcomers during resettlement. The Minnesota Refugee Health Program, in partnership with the Cultural Orientation Resource Exchange (CORE) and IOM, will bring together a diverse group of stakeholders, including Resettlement Agencies (RAs), community-based organizations, clinicians, and members of the Association of Refugee Health Coordinators, to develop, adapt, vet and disseminate refugee orientation resources. The team will work toward consistent health messaging, prioritizing ease of delivery and innovation. The Center will:

  • Develop accessible health education resources for refugees.
  • Explore the possibility of enhancing a mobile application for dissemination.
  • Develop and share enhanced health orientation curricula developed with feedback from new arrivals.
Updated Friday, 24-Sep-2021 13:51:00 CDT