Center of Excellence in Newcomer Health
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.
- CareRef: Clinical Assessment for Refugees
- Clinical Decision Support for Newcomer Health
- To learn more about Clinical Decision Support tools, visit PolicyLab: Providing Tools for Clinicians to Better Support Immigrant Health.
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:
- Train clinicians and service providers on newcomer health.
- Promote communication among refugee and other newcomer health professionals and dissemination of best practices.
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
- Recorded webinar evaluation and certificate of attendance: Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) in Girls and Women
Webex Recording (August 25, 2020):
Center of Excellence Webinar: Addressing refugee and immigrant health in the face of persistent inequality and COVID-19
Perspectives of clinical experts
- Recorded webinar evaluation and certificate of attendance: Addressing refugee and immigrant health in the face of persistent inequality and COVID-19
- Slides: Addressing refugee and immigrant health in the face of persistent inequality and COVID-19: Perspectives of clinical experts (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
- Recorded webinar evaluation and certificate of attendance: Center of Excellence Webinar: Community Solutions during COVID-19 Evaluation
- Slides: Community Solutions during COVID-19: Effective partnership and communication strategies with refugee and immigrant communities (PDF)
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
- Questions and Answers from COE Webinar: Hepatitis B in Refugees (PDF)
- Recorded webinar evaluation and certificate of attendance: Center of Excellence Webinar Series: Hepatitis B in Refugees Evaluation
- Slides: Hepatitis B in Refugees and Immigrants: The Need for Improved Testing, Vaccination, and Linkage to Ongoing Care (PDF)
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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.
- Hepatitis B Evaluation and Linkage to Care for Newly Arrived Refugees: A Multisite Quality Improvement Initiative
- Evaluation of a Program to Improve Linkage to and Retention in Care Among Refugees with Hepatitis B Virus Infection — Three U.S. Cities, 2006–2018
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.