Approximately 250 refugees arrive in the Greater New Haven area yearly, although numbers may vary depending on changes in refugee admission policies nationally. In addition to many other resettlement needs, these refugees need medical care soon after arrival. Health care needs of refugees vary depending on previous access to health care and physical and psychological effects of forced migration.
The Yale Refugee Health Program is at the center of health services provided to refugees in New Haven. The program is part of the New Haven Primary Care Consortium (NHPCC), a collaboration between Yale New Haven Hospital (YNHH), Cornell Scott Hill Health Center, and Fair Haven Community Health Care. We partner with the local refugee resettlement agency in New Haven—Integrated Refugee and Immigrations Services (IRIS). We provide the first domestic screening examination for all legally resettled refugees coming into the Greater New Haven area and establish them for longitudinal care in one of the primary care sites at NHPCC.
Refugees face many challenges navigating the U.S. health care system due to complexity of the system, differences in access compared to their home countries, and language barriers. Our goal is to provide high-quality health care to refugees and support their transition into a new health care system.
The Yale Refugee Program provides a medical home for refugees arriving in the Greater New Haven area and promotes clinical innovation, education, and research in refugee health care.
We partner with other health clinics in New Haven when refugees need access to services beyond NHPCC. The Connecticut Mental Health Center through the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services has been a consistent partner. Some private providers and YNHH-affiliated clinics also offer services to refugees.
Besides providing direct clinical care to refugees in New Haven, we created a forum for health care providers across Connecticut to promote communication. We organize a yearly half-day refugee health conference that brings together trainees and providers to share clinical and research innovations.
Our institutional and community partnerships include:
Connecticut Mental Health Center (CMHC)
Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addictions Services (DMHAS)
Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS)
Our program screens refugees for mental health problems during the first and subsequent visits. Refugees that are identified as having potential mental health issues are triaged into different levels and types of care based on the severity and nature of their psychiatric condition. Some refugees are referred to the behavioral health team at Cornell Scott Hill Health Center, some receive care at CMHC, and some are treated by their primary care physicians