Centers of Excellence in Refugee Health

In 2015, CDC established the Centers of Excellence in Refugee Health to enhance refugee health guidance and surveillance infrastructure. The goals of the Centers are to improve continuity and quality of care, and health outcomes for refugees arriving to the United States, and to protect the health of the communities that receive refugees.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), and the Colorado Departments of Public Health and Environment and Human Services lead the two Centers of Excellence in Refugee Health. The Centers have extensive expertise in refugee health, allowing them to identify refugee health issues and needs, improve disease surveillance across states, and contribute to evidence-based polices and guidelines. The Centers also work with a diverse group of partners that contribute a range of perspectives, strengths, and knowledge to ensure the success of this initiative.

Center for Excellence in Refugee Health—Colorado
Colorado Center of Excellence in Refugee Health logo
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Colorado Department of Human Services’ Center of Excellence in Refugee Health have a primary goal to create a multisite, multistate health surveillance network. This network will identify common health issues of recently arrived refugees. Network partners use pooled data to identify refugee health conditions of public health significance, immunization coverage rates, and the prevention and treatment of common health conditions. These efforts enable network partners to respond to the changing landscape of refugee health in near-real time and to understand which health intervention strategies are effective. This infrastructure captures, standardizes, and visualizes many aspects of refugee surveillance data. For more information, see the Center of Excellence in Refugee Health—ColoradoExternal.
Center for Excellence in Refugee Health—Minnesota
Minnesota Center of Excellence in Refugee Health logo
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and its key partners—HealthPartners Research Institute, Center for International Health, University of Minnesota, and Philadelphia Refugee Health Collaborative—are focused on developing and sharing best clinical practices for refugee populations. The MDH team has developed CareRefExternal, an online interactive tool for health care providers, which customizes CDC’s domestic health screening guidance for individual refugees. The tool helps health care providers make patient visits more efficient, improve their own understanding of refugee health needs, gain confidence in communicating with refugee patients, and adequately screen individuals for specific conditions. For more information, see the Center for Excellence in Refugee Health—MinnesotaExternal.