The Massachusetts Refugee Health Assessment Program (RHAP) provides health evaluations, resources, and support for newly arrived refugees coming into the United States. The program serves approximately 2,000 newly arrived refugees, in Massachusetts, each year through a network of healthcare providers. The Refugee Program at Lynn Community Health Center, established in 1999, provides a unique approach in serving the refugee community. The program follows the RHAP protocol and works under DPH / CDC guidelines in collaboration with Catholic Charities, International Institute of New England, and Refugee Immigrant Assistant Community.
Zhanna Bronshvayg, RN runs the Refugee and Immigration Program with providers Dr. Kelly Holland and James Nicholson, NP. When refugees arrive for care, they complete a health assessment in which our staff provides them with the resources to obtain health insurance and referrals to medical specialists specific to their needs. All referrals for Eye Clinics, OB/GYN, Dental Care, and the HIV Clinic are done on-site while referrals for specialists outside of Lynn Community Health Center are set up within the initial visit and scheduled once their health insurance is complete.
Lynn Community Health Center also provides an integrated care approach, assessing behavioral needs during the follow up visit as well. Collaboration between LCHC’s behavior health providers, Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, and Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma allows the refugee to obtain an appointment for behavioral health intake during their follow up visit. For urgent cases, the behavioral health intake will be completed on the same day with a behavioral health provider.
Refugees participating in this program have the comfort of knowing our multilingual staff are trained on supporting cultural and linguistic needs with diversity focused programming.
As one of the biggest refugee sites in Massachusetts, Lynn Community Health Center has served 110 refugees from Afghanistan since January 2022. The Refugee Program also participated in United For Ukraine (U4U) where they assisted 47 refugee arrivals, so far.
The Refugee Program at LCHC provides regular Wellness and Integration services (DPH) to check-in with new arrivals, review engagement in care, isolation, provide support to engage or re-engage in care. We strive to identify newly arrived refugees who may be at higher risk of being in distress, isolation, out of care while providing increased engagement and comfort with transitioning to a new life.