Centers of Excellence in Newcomer Health
In 2015, CDC established the 5-year cooperative agreement, the Centers of Excellence in Refugee Health, to enhance refugee health guidance and surveillance infrastructure. The goals of the Centers were 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.
In 2020, CDC established a new cooperative agreement called the Centers of Excellence in Newcomer Health. The purpose of this cooperative agreement is to focus on 1) using the multi-state/regional surveillance network to determine which health issues are most prominent amongst newcomer populations; 2) developing clinical training tools, presentations, and webinars to inform US clinicians of the new CDC screening recommendations; 3) developing health orientation materials for newcomers; and 4) developing and enhancing health information materials for clinicians and newcomers. These Centers will provide expertise in these program areas, build upon existing infrastructure, and collaborate with partners focusing on these at-risk populations.
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), and the Colorado Departments of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and Human Services (CHS), lead the two Centers of Excellence in Newcomer Health. Both Centers have extensive expertise in newcomer (e.g. refugees, asylees, Special Immigrant Visa holders) health, allowing them to identify health issues and needs among these recently arrived populations, improve disease surveillance, and contribute to evidence-based polices and guidelines. The Centers work with an extensive group of partners with diverse perspectives, strengths, and knowledge to ensure the success of this initiative.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Colorado Department of Human Services’ Center of Excellence in Newcomer Health have a primary goal to maintain and utilize a multisite, multistate health surveillance network. Network partners use pooled data to identify health conditions of public health significance and assess immunization coverage rates, with the goal to prevent and treat common health conditions. These efforts enable network partners to respond to the changing landscape of refugee health 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 Newcomer Health—Coloradoexternal icon.
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 newcomers. The MDH team has developed CareRefexternal icon, an online interactive tool for healthcare providers, which customizes CDC’s domestic health screening guidance. The tool helps health care providers make patient visits more efficient, improve understanding of health needs, gain confidence in communicating with newcomer patients, and adequately screen individuals for specific conditions. For more information, see the Center for Excellence in Newcomer Health—Minnesotaexternal icon.