Refugees arriving in the U.S. have spent an average of 17 years in a refugee camp. In camps, healthcare access is limited. In order to ensure that refugees are healthy enough to become fully-contributing members of our community, the Institute has developed an array of medical services for refugees.
The purpose of the Health Program is to help refugees and immigrants, especially those from Vietnam, Burma, and Somalia, overcome language, cultural and economic barriers to health and healthy lifestyles. The program provides a well-rounded set of health education and promotion activities, including classes on diseases and their prevention; help with enrollment in affordable public and private health insurance plans, such as Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare, and food support; outreach at community festivals, churches, temples and other places where refugees and immigrants gather; and help in accessing mainstream health services.
The agency is in partnership with Minnesota Department of Health and Portico Healthnet to provide refugees in Minnesota with culturally appropriate support and education so that they can achieve foundational stability and access to healthcare resources.